Community Spotlight: Mary Conway, Breaking Barriers to Learning

Author: Jonathan Marsh

If learning is a challenge for a child or adult in your life—or even for you—then Mary Conway, M.Ed., of Breaking Barriers to Learning of Bradenton can help.

Mary Conway, Owner of Breaking Barriers to Learning

Mary specializes in helping people learn better, be it for reading, writing, math, or test-taking. She brings to her job experience as resource director at the Bradenton Preparatory Academy and director of the Learning Resource Center at Pendleton School of the IMG Academies. Mary also has a range of specialized educational credentials, including

  • Certified Irlen Screener & Diagnostician
  • Certified Handwriting Without Tears Specialist
  • Certified PACE Trainer
  • Certified Master the Code Trainer
  • Specific Learning Disabilities, K to 12
  • Emotionally Handicapped, K to 12
  • Gifted Endorsement, K to 12

Mary is knowledgeable on a variety of learning disabilities; one learning disability particularly important to Mary is Irlen syndrome, which is often underdiagnosed. With Irlen syndrome, the brain is not able to process visual information, so the letters on a printed page can appear to move or shift. Some symptoms of Irlen syndrome include light sensitivity, poor depth perception, slow reading rate, fatigue, and migraines. Even some of the common signs of attention deficit disorder actually can be signs of Irlen syndrome. Irlen syndrome isn’t just for children—Mary also has diagnosed and treated adults with it.

Mary will work with clients to diagnose Irlen syndrome when it is suspected and offer learners tools to make reading easier. These can include precision-tinted colored overlays and filters for glasses. Although awareness about Irlen syndrome has increased only recently, the Irlen method has been successfully used to identify and help people for more than 25 years.

If someone you know is struggling with learning but isn’t quite sure what’s wrong, Breaking Barriers to Learning is an excellent starting point. With Mary’s vast knowledge and training, she can help pinpoint what learning issues may be occurring.

Breaking Barriers to Learning welcomes clients at offices in Bradenton and Osprey. Discover more by calling 941-447-2226. Or, visit the company website at For more information about Irlen syndrome, visit

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