Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I am an avid reader and lately I am finding that reading is overstimulating and the words seem to swim on the page. Fortunately,this does not happen all of the time.

    When I was teaching children with emotional disabilities, many also had LD, reading problems as well as being too overstimulated to read.

    Some of the students had figure/gound problems where the words and the background "noise" of the page are processed the same, making it difficult to read.

    A blue overlay on the pages of reading material helped a lot of students (not all) to read. It also reduces the glare from light hitting the page. Also copying the pages on blue paper helped.

    This is a common practice for the type of students I taught.

    Last night, I bought a book and at the same time a light blue plastic overlay, like the ones you use on a screen projector that many teachers use.

    I cut this out to the size of the pages and could not believe the difference it made. No dizziness, no swimming of the words.

    At first it was kind of cumbersome to move the overlay from page to page but I got used to that very quickly. I also used this as a bookmark.

    This may not work for everyone but I thought it was worth a try and tell others what worked for me.

    One word of caution. Do not use an overlay that is bright as the glare is too much. Blue seems to be the color that is most helpful. However you might need to experiment with the shade of blue that is most helpful. This can be done at the store.

    If anyone tries this, let me know if it was successful for you.

    Have a great day!!


    [This Message was Edited on 07/13/2008]
  2. schaken

    schaken New Member

    Dear GA,

    This brings back memories. When I was in the Air Force we had word processors. I could change the background colors and the type. People would get mad because I used different colors and they couldn't read it.

    This was at the beginning of my FM. Undiagnosed for another 15 years.

    This is neat.

  3. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    I used to teach 3rd grade and I had a lot of students with LD and we gave them those too. Only problem was they would forget them or lose them all the time.

    I wish we could change the background color here on this Message Board. I also found light blue to be the best color for me although other colors work too, anything is better than white. I do have my settings here so that the box I type in is blue but the pages here are still white.

  4. layla1954

    layla1954 New Member

    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try it!!

    I used to read a lot and I really miss it... I probably have 25 or 30 books at home that I haven't read yet. :-(

    layla1954 (Lee Ann)
  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Hi, you are close to my age.

    Is your PH name after the song, "Layla" written by Eric Clapton?

    He is one of my favorite singers/writer with the exception of "I shot the sheriff". LOL

    Take care.

  6. layla1954

    layla1954 New Member

    I tried a blue vinyl overlay and it helps A LOT!!! YAY!!!

    I'm finding the blue reduces the "glare" of the white pages and makes it much easier to focus on the print. Now I understand what you meant when you said "background noise" of the page. Using the blue overlay is kind of like adjusting the contrast.

    I didn't see your reply to my last post until just now when I came back to say thanks for the tip... indirectly "layla" does come from the Clapton song. Layla is my little dog's name, and SHE was named for the song, lol!

    BTW I have a background in psych too... have an MA in Clinical Psych and worked as a counselor in a community mental health center for years, until it got to be too exhausting and stressful... another casualty of this DD.

    Thanks again and have a great day....
    Lee Ann
  7. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I am glad that this worked for you. My dad has a friend who has MS and I told her about this and it is helping her with reading, when she can but she tires easily.

    The way I feel today, I am not sure if I would be able to process going to counseling, LOL!!!

    Now I have the song Layla going through my mind. Thanks a lot!!!

    Take care, GA
  8. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    I ordered aqua blue overlays from Crossbow Education Ltd. online. They are a UK company, but ship from North Carolina to the US.

    I find the full-page overlays work best for me. Crossbow also carries two types of ruler-size overlays which can be used to isolate a single line or paragraph of text.

    The overlays are available in ten different colors and have a matte finish on one side. They also have overlays and special software for reading on computer screens.

    The blue background makes it easier for me to focus, and I find I can read longer with less strain.

    Thanks for the tip, GA!

  9. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    I've been using the blue overlays for a couple of weeks now, and they are a big help with reading.

    They really help me focus and stop the words from "swimming around." However, I still have a general problem with stamina for any mental task.

    It's great to be able to enjoy reading again.

    Thanks for the valuable tip, GA!!
  10. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    It is really interesting that some of the techniques I used with the students I had over the years, who were sometimes on sensory overload, benefit some of us.

    I have even rolled myself up in a blanket as this gives your nervous system feedback, called proprioception, which can calm your nervous system.

    I have often thought of a suit like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when I go to stores that give me the, "Walmart Effect", LOL!!

    When I am not so froggy, I will try to think of other things we used.

    Take care,

    [This Message was Edited on 09/07/2008]
  11. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    I do used to read alot and couldnt figure out what was going on and of course docs looked at me like I was crazy when I told them what was going on!

    Thanks so much for tip. Does it have to be the kind of sheet for screen projector or any kind of blue sheet?

    Keep up the good tips. Liked the one about blanket could have used it the past few days.

  12. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Just be careful about wrapping yourself too tightly. You might have to wait until someone can rescue you. LOL!!!

    Take care.
  13. luvdogs

    luvdogs New Member

    when I try to read in the mornings. I will try the blue overlay. I don't know if it's my migraines or what.
  14. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

  15. ChuckNBerkeley

    ChuckNBerkeley New Member

    iCab and Firefox for the Mac allow the background color to be set to a different color. Tried it on both. Lighter blue is interesting. Safari does not. Don't do Windows (did till I retired in '93) and seldom if ever used IE for Mac in the '90s.

    But Firefox for Windows very likely does allow setting the background color.
  16. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    GREAT info Gap!

    One thing that I can't stand and frankly dont' understand is the magazines that write articles and little blurbs that use white lettering on pink backgrounds etc. I can't even read it. They obviously don't think about the ease of reading at all.

    There are also tools, besides using a ruler for instance, to help you follow the line you are on. We got one from my son's eye Dr. Very helpful.