FAQ: About Dyslexia

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  • Anna Smith

    My daughter is 8 and is really struggling with spelling. In fact it’s almost like she’s getting worse. She had real problems with phonics and has learnt to read I think by recognising words as opposed to sounding them out. She is also really struggling with maths and is becoming more and distressed and panicked by the constant timed tests that seem to happen now, she seems to struggle with quite simple counting and addition as well as with quite basic spellings. She is an excellent reader however. Could she be dyslexic?

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      Anna, the distress and panic you described is a common and very clear sign of disorientation. It is something that is both a symptom of dyslexia and a cause of other symptoms – your daughter becomes confused, feels frustrated, and panics. The feeling of panic causes distortions in perception and might also cause feelings of physical distress (such as feelings of nausea or a stomachache). That in turn causes the child to panic even more — and within a short time the child develops a trigger response, so just seeing the symbol or type of problem that causes confusion is enough to trigger the disorientation almost immediately. A Davis provider would able to assess your daughter, including checking for any reading problems that may be hidden, and make some recommendations about the best approach to pursue.

      It’s very possible that some educators would describe you daughter’s symptoms by another name — for example, dyscalculia (for the math problem) rather than dyslexia. But in our experience, the underlying pattern of confusion over symbols and concepts leading to disorientation is almost always the cause of the difficulties. This is especially likely when you are seeing problems with very simple counting, addition, and basic spellings. Davis providers use the same basic approach to address both problems with reading and math, although we do have a separate program specifically geared to maths. However, in each case the facilitator gives the child tools to relax and to recognize and resolve disorientation, and then follows with specific tools to master the concepts and symbols that are triggering confusion and disorientation.

      This page has listings for Davis Facilitators in the UK: http://www.davismethod.org/loc/uk-ireland

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