The principles behind the Davis Dyslexia Correction Program are fully detailed in the book, The Gift of Dyslexia. The book also explains the key methods used by all Davis Program providers, in a simple and direct scripted fashion designed to allow parents, tutors, and teachers to use these methods on their own.
No. Dyslexia is not a disease, and it is not the result of a brain injury or defect. Dyslexic people think primarily in pictures, not words, and have difficulty learning to work with symbols such as letters or numerals. When they are confused or frustrated as children, they begin to experience distorted perceptions, such as reversals of letters, and develop life-long learning blocks that hamper their progress.
The problems that prevent learning can be corrected. That is, dyslexic children and adults can learn to recognize and to control the mental state that results in distorted perceptions, thus eliminating this problem. They can also learn new and more effective approaches to reading, writing, spelling, or math calculation, and thus overcome problems at school or work.
Davis Orientation Counseling® teaches dyslexic students how to recognize and control the mental state that leads to distorted and confused perceptions of letters, words and numerals. Through a simple mental technique, the students learn to turn off the thought processes that cause misperceptions. Instead, they are able to restore their minds to a relaxed and focused state, suitable for reading and other studies. Once Orientation is learned, the student is ready to build the conceptual skills that will allow them to overcome problems stemming from dyslexia.
Davis Symbol Mastery® gives dyslexic students the ability to think with symbols and words, so they can learn to read easily and with full comprehension. Using clay, students first work with the alphabet, numerals, and punctuation marks, to make sure that they have an accurate perception and understanding of these symbols. Students then use clay to model the trigger words--the short abstract words, frequently encountered in reading, such as and, the, to, or it. These words cause problems when dyslexic students cannot form a mental picture to go along with them. Through Symbol Mastery, the student makes a three-dimensional clay model of the meaning of each word, together with a model of the letters of the words. With this approach, learning is permanent.
A parent working at home cannot replicate the comprehensive program that is offered by experienced Davis Facilitators. However, the book The Gift of Dyslexia, contains enough basic information about the Davis approach, and the theory behind it, to enable parents, tutors, or teachers to begin working with students on their own. A dyslexic teenager or adult cannot work entirely by themselves to use the methods explained by the book, but they may be able to work successfully with the help of a friend or family member. Many people have experienced great success just from following the steps laid out in the book. The degree of success varies depending on the abilities and level of motivation of the students and their helpers. Many people choose to supplement the book with other Davis materials, including videotapes explaining the Perceptual Ability Assessment and Orientation Counseling, and the Davis Symbol Mastery Kit.
Can Davis methods help children with attention focus problems or hyperactivity?
Yes. Davis Facilitators have training in specialized methods designed to help students gain self-control over their energy level. Through the program, students will master concepts of time, sequence, consequence, order and disorder.
All licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction Facilitators and Specialists offer a basic program which incorporates Orientation Counseling and Symbol Mastery, and typically includes 30 hours of one-on-one work over a 5-day period. Before starting the program, the Davis provider performs a Perceptual Ability Assessment, an exercise that helps determine whether the student has some of the positive mental talents associated with dyslexia. Then, the Facilitator or Specialist works with the student (and the parents if the student is a young child) to develop a profile of academic weaknesses which need to be remedied. For example, the student may want to focus on problems associated with spelling, handwriting, math, or attention deficits, in addition to or instead of reading difficulties. In addition to the basic Davis techniques, the Facilitator will work one-on-one with the student, using other specialized Davis methods as appropriate to meet individual needs.
The Davis Dyslexia Correction program is suitable for children age 8 and over, and adults of any age. We have successfully worked with many individuals over age 70.
When working with children and teenagers, the Davis providers also instruct parents in using the basic methods taught, so that they can continue to work with the child at home. At the end of the basic program, students have a full understanding of all the Davis methods, and know how to continue to use these methods on their own. On completion, students are given a kit containing the tools for Symbol Mastery, which they will continue to use until they have mastered all the trigger words which cause problems for dyslexic people.
For younger children (ages 5-7), a Davis provider may offer the Davis® Reading Program for Young Learners.
All Davis providers adhere to the DDAI Standards of Practice.