Davis Dyslexia Correction

The Davis Dyslexia Correction program is suitable for children age 8 and over, and adults of any age.  Licensed Davis providers have successfully worked with many individuals over age 70.

The program 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 innate visual conceptualization skills often tied to dyslexia.

The two major components of the Davis Dyslexia Correction program are Orientation Counseling and Symbol Mastery.

orientation counseling

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.

girl with clay model of word and

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.

When working with children and teenagers, the Davis provider also provides support training to parents, 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 all materials needed to continue to practice Davis techniques and to continue with clay modeling until they have mastered all the common trigger words.

This program is currently available online from many Davis Facilitators. For more information, see Online Program Delivery (Pilot Program).

For a sense of program benefits, watch these videos from GiftedDyslexic (South Africa):

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  • Anonymous


    What’s the simplest way to explain the Davis program briefly for a mother.

    Mothers often ask me “What’s Davis…. What’s the method…..”

    What’s the best way( which words should I use)to explain the program in short clear professional manner so that the mother gets a brief overview about Davis?

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      What a great question! I’m sure there are many ways a person could answer.

      Here is how I might start:

      Davis is a strength-based approach that gives a learner effective learning tools to work around and overcome problems tied to their learning differences. Because it is keyed to individual strengths rather than weaknesses, progress can be very rapid.

      At that point, I might pause, to give the parent a chance to ask questions — and then try to answer any questions briefly and directly.

  • What would be the easiest way to detect if a child is dyslexic and would benefit from the Davis method?


    I’m a teacher for 10 year old students. I have some students struggling with reading and focusing. Before recommending parents to find a Davis facilitator I would want to make sure that Davis would be the right approach for there child. What would be the easiest way to detect if a child is dyslexic (not just struggling with reading and will get it at some point) and would benefit from the Davis method?

    P.S. There are so many methods out there and parents don’t always know what to try first. I read about Davis and I strongly believe in it, I just feel that it caters a very specific type of children and before pushing a mom to go for it I want to know for myself that there child is the right candidate.

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      That’s a great question.

      First of all, Davis Facilitators always provide program-specific screening, and will not accept clients unless they are confident the person will benefit from a Davis program. There are no limitations based on diagnostic label or category — that is, the Davis program is effective for all types of dyslexia and can help any struggling reader. But here are some of the things that Facilitators look at:

      > The child’s level of motivation. Does the child recognize that they have a problem, and do they want help with the problem?

      > The child’s maturity: is the child ready to take on responsibility for their own learning? To practice, use, and carry through with the tools they are given during the course of the program?

      > Parental/family support: Are the parents committed to supporting their child through program follow-up? This means not only following up with the Davis program, but also giving the program time to work, rather than jumping right into some other, alternative form of intervention or remediation as soon as the facilitated portion of the Davis program has been completed.

      > Medication status: Most medications commonly prescribed for ADHD will make it very difficult for a child to learn and integrate the Davis mental tools, so in most cases a Facilitator will not accept a child who is taking those medications.

      Keep in mind that it never is a good idea to “push” a parent to choose Davis — and sometimes too much encouragement can be counter-productive. A better alternative might be to keep a few copies of the book The Gift of Dyslexia to lend out as appropriate. Many parents will feel the book makes sense to them and will want to learn more after that — then, you might want to share your own experience and observations based on students you have seen benefit from the program.

      As to this question: “What would be the easiest way to detect if a child is dyslexic (not just struggling with reading and will get it at some point) and would benefit from the Davis method?” — the answer is that it doesn’t matter. Any child who is struggling with reading can benefit from the Davis tools — but the 10-year-olds you teach are already past the age where “will get it at some point” is a realistic expectation. Those kids need help, whether or not they qualify for an official diagnosis of dyslexia.

      • Teacher


        I appreciate your response! It was very helpful!

        I just want to clarify one thing. You wrote “Those kids need help, whether or not they qualify for an official diagnosis of dyslexia.”

        Does that mean that the Davis Dyslexia correction program can help any child struggling with reading as long as they are motivated cooperative and understand that they have a problem? Even if they are not picture thinkers?

        • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

          Yes, absolutely — the motivation is the key piece. We think that 80-85% of dyslexics are picture-thinkers, but the Davis Alignment process and auditory orientation were developed as a way of reaching those who could not follow the minds-eye orientation process. The Alignment process was further simplified to develop instructions for Focusing when the Davis Learning Strategies primary-level classroom program was developed, and that is taught successfully to all children in DLS classrooms. DLS is not a program for dyslexia but is a foundational program that is ideally used to supplement instruction for all children in K-3 classrooms, with the idea that it will reach the dyslexic children before they are old enough to be identified and before they start to struggle and fall behind — but it has been apparent from the start that all children can benefit from the tools, whether or not they are dyslexic.

  • Axel Gudmundsson

    Hi Janie, I just wanted to mention that The Davis programme is now available online via Zoom. See a list of available facilitators here: https://www.dyslexia.com/davis-difference/davis-programs/on-line-program-delivery/

  • April Ferguson

    How can a teacher become Davis certified? I would love to be able to better help my students in the classroom, but I know of no training offered in my area.

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      April, teachers do not need certification in order to implement Davis strategies in a classroom setting. We regularly offer 2 or 3-day workshops geared to primary level classroom teachers; many of these workshops are offered online. You can find out more about the Davis Learning Strategies program here: http://www.davislearn.com

      Full training and licensing is required in order for a person to become qualified to offer the full, individualized programs described on this site at http://www.dyslexia.com/davis-difference/davis-programs/ This training begins with a 4 or 5-Day Gift of Dyslexia workshop, and also is sometimes offered online. Any adult is welcome to enroll in the first workshop, but facilitator licensing requires a series of workshops, practice meetings, and field assignments that usually take a year to complete. Information about these workshops is available at http://www.davistraining.info You can find a workshop schedule there, as well as a description of the licensing training sequence.

  • Janice

    Hi. I did the Davis dyslexic correction course in my 30’s. It changed my life. Thank you.

    • Safiya

      Hi Janice . That’s so lovely to hear. I’ve also done mine and felt really great afterwards even though I hadn’t managed to complete the whole home program yet, by myself. Are you aware of any platform that allows for participants of the Davis program to speak and discuss the trigger words for better clarification. How did you go about yours and complete it.

      • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

        There is a Davis Dyslexia Support Facebook group you can join. It is a private group, but anyone can join — and if you have questions about trigger words you will get feedback from Davis Facilitators as well as from others who have completed programs and are working on their own trigger words. Here is a link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/davisdyslexia

        If you are not on Facebook, we do have a website with examples of trigger words that you might find helpful: https://www.symbolmastery.com/

  • Jacky

    Hi. My daughter is completing the Barton program. She’s diagnosed dyslexic, CAPD, visual tracking issues ( has vision therapy) and some sensory issues with food textures/clothes. Will your program help? Or does she needs to complete all the above programs first? I’m interested in the 5 day program. Any available in CA? Thanks

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      The Davis tools can address all the issues you describe. In addition to addressing reading problems, Davis programs include tools to build and reinforce visual tracking during reading and auditory orientation. However, it is generally not a good idea to do a Davis program at the same time as other forms of therapy, because of the potential for confusion. Also, it is important that the person is committed to prioritizing the at-home follow through for Davis, and that can be difficult when there is a full schedule of other types of therapy.

      The vision therapy would be compatible with Davis, but Barton emphasizes strategies that would tend to undermine the Davis program. Davis facilitators often work with clients who have had the Barton program before starting with Davis program, but that program would need to be discontinued before starting Davis. The problem is that any program that emphasizes phonetic decoding will tend to slow down the reading process, and so it becomes very difficult to develop automatic word recognition skills, reading fluency, and comprehension.

      It’s best to consult directly with a Davis facilitator to discuss your daughter’s needs and your expectations for a program. All Davis Facilitators are listed at http://www.davismethod.org — you can use this page to find facilitators in California: http://www.davismethod.org/loc/california

  • Ashley D

    Could you advise where you source the clay from? We would like to order some.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    KB, is it possible for you to arrange a consultation and screening appointment with the facilitator near you? That would not be costly and would give you the option to discuss your daughter’s specific needs as well to get the facilitator’s opinion on whether a Davis program will help. The Facilitator might also be able to provide specific guidance and suggestions.

    You can buy a kit for home use, but that is not the same as the program — it just is not possible to put all the knowledge and tools that facilitators get in the course of their many hours of training into some sort of manual for home use. It would be way too confusing and overwhelming for parents who buy the home kit. So the kits provide information to supplement what is in the book, The Gift of Dyslexia.

    Have you tried the Orientation or Alignment procedure as outline in the book? Just about every weakness or diagnosis you have described can be tied to disorientation — so if a child does not have the tools for orientation, she will have difficulty with any sort of therapy or remediation, because the inconsistency of perceptions will stand in the way.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Sara, the Davis Dyslexia Correction program is effective at any age. So a good starting point would be to arrange a consultation with a Facilitator.

  • Andrea P

    My 8.5 year old son has (pending official diagnosis) Auditory processing disorder. (Also possible ADHD and a few sensory things going on). Would the Davis program be appropriate for him?

    • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

      Yes — APD is often just a different manifestation of symptoms which stem from the same underlying issues. A Davis program can address those issues. The combination of the APD with possible ADHD and sensory issues does suggest that disorientation may be a significant factor. So it would definitely be worthwhile for you to arrange an assessment with a Davis provider to discuss the range of symptoms and difficulties in the context of a possible program.

  • Abigail Marshall, DDAI webmaster

    Janie, a full Davis program depends on one-on-one work with a qualified facilitator who can observe the person while working with them. Because of the hands-on, participatory nature of the program it would not be possible to get the same results with an online program. However, the key techniques are described in detail in the book, The Gift of Dyslexia and we also sell home kits at https://shop.dyslexia.com/kits – so it is possible to get started with the Davis approach even if it is not feasible to travel to work with a Davis Facilitator. I’d add that many facilitators are able to travel to work with their clients — so it’s probably worth at least a phone call to the nearest facilitator to explore options.

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