All her life, Jennifer Evans (42) had struggled daily with Irlen Syndrome, a condition that affects perception and causes difficulty in reading. It can also affect mathematical ability, attention span, listening, motivation, work production, and even mental health.
She had difficulty understanding more complex concepts and fought a constant battle with balance and co-ordination difficulties. These problems made it hard for Jennifer to go about her daily activities; she struggled to walk for longer distances and would often fall over – a particularly frustrating problem for Jennifer who enjoyed walking in the countryside with her friends. “It was like my feet just wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do” she says. “Maths was a problem as well; I always carried a calculator with me.”
The everyday tasks that most of us take for granted were a real and ever present hurdle for Jennifer and by the time she was 41 she decided that something was going to have to change.
“I had no energy left for anything, but BIRD gave me the glimmer of hope that perhaps things could be put right.”
When Jennifer first visited BIRD, she was assessed by Senior Clinician Sophie Challoner. “We were confident that our treatment programme would be able to help alleviate some of her problems and were very hopeful that she would then be able to lead a happier life” says Sophie.
Just a month into her programme, Jennifer and her mother, Nerys, began to notice major changes in her ability. She was able to walk for longer periods and her co-ordination had begun to improve greatly. Her understanding of concepts dramatically altered and her perception markedly improved.
The improvements continued and after six months of treatment Jennifer now enjoys country walks with her friends, clambering over styles which would previously have been impossible for her to cope with unaided.
“I’m more relaxed and happier now – and for the first time in my life I have been able to use maths without a calculator to work out my bills. I realised my writing was improving and could feel myself growing stronger my general health has also improved.
“I feel like I’ve found myself now my life is just beginning. It has always been such a struggle for me, but I now have reasons why I have been finding things so difficult; I’ve been through every emotion imaginable and been left completely amazed at BIRD’s treatment. I now feel that I can understand myself. It is wonderful and has completely turned my life around.”
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