A fundraising campaign has been launched with the hope of buying some much-needed specialised glasses for a 13-year-old boy.
Dylan Smith, of Hunstanton, has Irlen Syndrome, which is not an optical problem, but affects his brain’s ability to process visual information.
The teenager depends on his American-made, turquoise-lens glasses to read, write and cope with bright light.
The glasses are now too small for Dylan, who lives with parents Jenny, 38, and Andy Smith, 42, and sister Sophie, 19.
But a new pair and a re-assessment to find out if he needs a different colour lens would cost the family around £300, as this is not covered on the NHS.
Mrs Smith, a full-time carer for Sophie, who has autism, said it was a struggle for her and her husband, who works for Parkdean Resorts in Heacham, to raise the money.
“It’s quite hard as we are a low income family but want to do the best for our son,” she said.
“The NHS pays optometrists a fee for carrying out a basic eye examination, but an examination for Irlen is more specialised and is not covered by the NHS so it is necessary to go private, which would cost us around £250 to £350. But we do not have that kind of money.”
Dylan, a pupil at Smithdon High School, was diagnosed with Irlen Syndrome four years ago.
“I knew he was struggling, so I did a lot of research on the internet and Irlen Syndrome kept popping up and then I got a diagnosis for him,” said Mrs Smith.
Dylan’s glasses also help to minimise bright lights from the classroom or from cars, which often trigger headaches and nausea.
“Without the special coloured tint he can’t read or write because for Dylan, the page is blank.
“He also gets a lot of headaches and migraines if looking at bright lights and can feel quite sick and dizzy,” said Mrs Smith.
Staff at Hunstanton Library, where Dylan regularly plays board games, learned about the family’s struggle and decided to help.
They held a bucket collection for Dylan’s Special Specs during a band night at Heacham Public Hall last Saturday, raising £160.
Mrs Smith said her son was delighted by the amount.
“We were amazed by it, I never expected that much money to be raised to help my son.
“We want to thank everyone who has donated so far,” she said.
The next band night in Heacham in aid of Dylan’s Special Specs will be held on Saturday, August 24. Tickets can be bought by calling 07704 803983.
The family has pledged any spare funds will be donated to the West Norfolk branch of the National Autistic Society or Irlen Syndrome UK.
To donate, visit the fundraising page at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dylan-smith2006