Commenced in January 2007
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Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS) Related Abstracts

1 Correlation Analysis between Sensory Processing Sensitivity (SPS), Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS) and Dyslexia

Authors: Kaaryn M. Cater

Abstract:

Students with sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS) and dyslexia can become overwhelmed and struggle to thrive in traditional tertiary learning environments. An estimated 50% of tertiary students who disclose learning related issues are dyslexic. This study explores the relationship between SPS, MIS and dyslexia. Baseline measures will be analysed to establish any correlation between these three minority methods of information processing. SPS is an innate sensitivity trait found in 15-20% of the population and has been identified in over 100 species of animals. Humans with SPS are referred to as Highly Sensitive People (HSP) and the measure of HSP is a 27 point self-test known as the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS). A 2016 study conducted by the author established base-line data for HSP students in a tertiary institution in New Zealand. The results of the study showed that all participating HSP students believed the knowledge of SPS to be life-changing and useful in managing life and study, in addition, they believed that all tutors and in-coming students should be given information on SPS. MIS is a visual processing and perception disorder that is found in approximately 10% of the population and has a variety of symptoms including visual fatigue, headaches and nausea. One way to ease some of these symptoms is through the use of colored lenses or overlays. Dyslexia is a complex phonological based information processing variation present in approximately 10% of the population. An estimated 50% of dyslexics are thought to have MIS. The study exploring possible correlations between these minority forms of information processing is due to begin in February 2017. An invitation will be extended to all first year students enrolled in degree programmes across all faculties and schools within the institution. An estimated 900 students will be eligible to participate in the study. Participants will be asked to complete a battery of on-line questionnaires including the Highly Sensitive Person Scale, the International Dyslexia Association adult self-assessment and the adapted Irlen indicator. All three scales have been used extensively in literature and have been validated among many populations. All participants whose score on any (or some) of the three questionnaires suggest a minority method of information processing will receive an invitation to meet with a learning advisor, and given access to counselling services if they choose. Meeting with a learning advisor is not mandatory, and some participants may choose not to receive help. Data will be collected using the Question Pro platform and base-line data will be analysed using correlation and regression analysis to identify relationships and predictors between SPS, MIS and dyslexia. This study forms part of a larger three year longitudinal study and participants will be required to complete questionnaires at annual intervals in subsequent years of the study until completion of (or withdrawal from) their degree. At these data collection points, participants will be questioned on any additional support received relating to their minority method(s) of information processing. Data from this study will be available by April 2017.

Keywords: Dyslexia, highly sensitive person (HSP), Meares-Irlen Syndrome (MIS), minority forms of information processing, sensory processing sensitivity (SPS)

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