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Michelle Williams from Bridgewater Road, Sheerness dyed her hair rainbow colours in an inspired charity stunt

By Rachel O'Donoghue

A mum came up with a novel way to raise money for a charity which supports a little-known condition.

Michelle Williams dyed her hair the colours of the rainbow at Sheerness’s Hairy Monster Salon as part of Irlen Syndrome Awareness Week, which runs until Friday.

The 47-year-old wanted the dramatic new hair do because her 14-year-old son Jack suffers from the illness.

Michelle Williams with her son Jack, 14, who suffers from Irlen condition.
Michelle Williams with her son Jack, 14, who suffers from Irlen condition.

Named after Helen Irlen, who discovered it, the syndrome affects people’s ability to process visual information.

Sometimes referred to as scotopic sensitivity syndrome, it means its sufferers are extremely sensitive to bright light.

As a consequence, they are unable to read as well as they should and often have concentration problems.

Mrs Irlen discovered many people’s reading ability was vastly improved when they looked at the words through coloured pieces of plastic.

Michelle Williams pleased with her rainbow coloured hair.
Michelle Williams pleased with her rainbow coloured hair.

Irlen sufferers now often wear coloured glasses.

On Saturday, Jack watched as his mother had streaks of red, blue, green, pink and orange put in her hair.

The Bridgewater Road resident said: “I opted to do it because there are lots of different colours that can be used in the filters of the glasses.

“There are a lot of people that have Irlen but don’t realise they’ve got it. It was only because of Oasis Academy – which has a specialist – that my son was diagnosed with it.

“They explained it to me, told me what I could do about it, and provided my son with coloured overlays.”

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