Paterson Burn Optometrists – Te Awamutu

About Us

I initially trained as a Primary School Teacher and taught for many years in the Hawkes Bay and the Bay of Plenty but mostly in the Waikato. During that time I also trained as a SPELD tutor, working with children who had learning disabilities. After leaving teaching I then found my way into the world of Optics.

I gained my qualification as a Dispensing Optician and later a Diploma in Practice Management.

Approximately 5 years ago I trained as an Irlen screener to identify those children with visual perception problems. At that time these children were then referred on to an Irlen Diagnostician in either Auckland or Rotorua as there was no diagnostician in the Waikato. In 2015 I then became an Irlen Diagnostician based at Paterson Burn Optometrists in Te Awamutu.

How you help children

In a screening session children are presented with a series of pictures which are printed in black on a bright white background.

This is the most difficult contrast to see. They will be asked to count various things on the page and describe what they see.

This will indicate any visual perception problems that may be present. They are then shown a piece of text and 10 different coloured over-lay sheets are placed over the page to gauge what colours are the most helpful.

The diagnostic tinting session is where we ascertain the exact colour or combination of colours required to correct the symptoms/distortions the child is experiencing. Every one is different and requires a different combination of tint colours.

Physical environment

We are situated on the corner of Sloane and Alexandra street and have parking for 4 cars at the back of the building.


We have a lovely, light open waiting area which has childrens toys and books. We have an extensive selection of children’s sunglasses and optical frames.

If your child is struggling with reading/writing for unexplained reasons, has mentioned words moving, fuzzy words or bright glary pages then make an appointment for an eye examination and an Irlen Screening. They may NOT have a problem with their eyes but they MAY have a VISUAL PERCEPTION PROBLEM. As a parent/teacher/irlen diagnostician I understand the frustrations parents have in trying to find the right type of help for their children.