Published with Permission of Barbara Hoi (Licensed Davis Dyslexia Correction® Facilitator and Davis Autism Approach® Facilitator/Coach) – www.sydneydyslexia.com
I have just said good-bye to a lovely 8-year old girl and her mum, who had come for an assessment. She wanted to know if her daughter’s reluctance to read had any possible root in dyslexia.
I told her that I will not be able to do any comprehensive psychological testing, or a lengthy written report about it. This will be very useful for her, if her daughter will need further assistance at school.
My role is not the testing, but the correcting of dyslexia. But in order to use the Davis Method to correct it, I need to find out if our method is the right one for that young girl’s learning style and if it is matched with the proper motivation.
My consultation with this girl took ninety minutes and I was looking to assess her talents and strengths as well as her challenges and weaknesses. Based on her and her mum’s answers to many questions, I gained an insight into the girl’s learning style; her short- and long-term memory; visual or kinaesthetic talents; sense of time, balance and orientation; her literacy and numeracy levels – and challenges; and I usually ask if there are any sensitivities.
Based on the answers and a couple of visual orientation tests I have concluded, that Anne is dyslexic: She processes information in a visual way, describes and recalls the images – yet finds it hard to follow the same information from an auditory source. I could detect a very fast, clever mind that doesn’t always translate easily into spoken or written words. She finds writing difficult, especially when it involves structuring her thoughts in a comprehensive way.
Her reading was not bad at all, but I found that many of the small words were omitted or replaced, which would make comprehension difficult and reading tiresome.
Maths can be challenging, especially when it comes to rote learning times tables. She didn’t find it easy to balance on one leg, while catching a ball. Sitting still was also a problem, she kept spinning on a chair constantly.
Anne is highly creative, imaginative and fun. She also excels at French and Science.
Ron Davis calls Dyslexia the mother of all learning disabilities, as he defines it as
- A person who thinks in pictures (which was clearly the case with Anne)
- A person who becomes disoriented
- A person with a low threshold for confusion
Thinking in pictures has given Anne a great awareness of her environment, an inherent curiosity, a vivid imagination, creativity and giftedness in many areas. People like Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Winston Churchill, Tom Cruise, Jamie Oliver – and a majority of actors and sportsmen share this gift.
Dyslexia is a perceptual talent – but the downside of multiple images from multiple angles is the difficulty in reigning the mind in (focusing or concentrating). Words that fail to conjure meanings (like most two-letter words: in, by, so; prepositions, pronouns…) need to have comprehension added to, so words are not just read, but also comprehended. The Davis Method uses a creative way to add meaning to words.
When picture thinkers cannot make a picture, they experience confusion. The mind tries to find an answer by moving around an object – or a written word – to make sense of it. While this often proves successful with objects, it just leads to reversals of b/d or p/q and more confusion. Although not all dyslexics reverse letters, they all experience confusion more often than the average child.
That feeling of intense confusion results in a state of disorientation…caused by the mind searching for meaning. The mental perception on longer reflects the reality of their environment. Mistakes are made and frustration sets in.
What I told Anne’s mum is not only that her lovely girl is brilliant and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her – but that the reason for a dyslexia correction program is mainly to help her to gain confidence, reach her full potential and give HER the tools and strategies to achieve anything she likes in life.
I have suggested a five-day program, where in one-on-one sessions all the tools and methods can be taken on board by Anne, who will be able to master her own learning and excel at her own time and speed. There is no need to correct the dyslexia as such, but the disorientation that causes the challenges of dyslexia. The gifts have to stay intact.