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Davis Dyslexia Correction Programme

An interview with Ron Davis about the origin of the Davis programme

Literacy is the key foundation of most education establishments. By doing the Davis Dyslexia Correction programme you can improve literacy dramatically over the course of 30 hours one-to-one.

In case you are considering coming to Kommetjie to work with Axel, you can look here for information about transport and accommodation in Kommetjie.

Various options for you

There are a number of options available to you, depending on the level of involvement you are prepared to take on, and what you can afford.
We like to think that the Davis programme is actually available to practically anyone, as you are not really restricted by finances. All you need is the book, some plasticine, time and patience. Alternatively, you can sign up for a workshop to give you more confidence in applying the procedures in the book, or book in a professional one-to-one intervention.
Handwriting correction might take an additional day.

Even though the Davis Dyslexia Correction programme is generally structured as six hours daily over five days, it can be adapted to fit your schedule. Half-days are common, and we have done the work as a day a week over five weeks.

The 30 hour one-to-one literacy programme gives adults and children over the age of eight effective tools to conquer the problem once and for all. You then use the tools at home for about 50 hours, and eliminate the problem for good. If a problem is recognised and addressed earlier, we can use our early intervention programmes to prevent the problem from ever becoming an issue.

We talk about correcting learning difficulties, as there is in our view nothing to cure. By using our simple set of effective tools, you can overcome your learning difficulties once and for all.

The Content and structure of the Literacy Programme

The 30 hour correction procedure consists of the following steps:

Alignment or Orientation:
This is the simple foundation on which the whole system builds. By using this simple focusing technique the dyslexic can begin to identify and eliminate triggers – the things that create confusion, which in turn generate the symptoms of learning difficulties.
This is very different from concentration, because while concentration takes a lot of effort, Orientation is practically effortless.

This is a simple tool for releasing tension in the body. This can be very helpful when concentration headache sets in, and should generally be an integrated part of focusing.

Energy dial:
This is an especially important tool for people who have symptoms of ADD and ADHD. This allows them to control their energy levels and thereby have greater awareness of the appropriate energy level for various tasks.

Symbol mastery of the alphabet:
This allows the dyslexic to go back to the roots of reading – the letters of the alphabet – and make sure there are no gaps in their understanding at this basic level. The dyslexic uses plasticine to make all the letters of the alphabet as three dimensional objects, and then we look for any signs of confusion. If confusion is found, it’s cause is identified and then eliminated by establishing certainty.

Symbol mastery of punctuation marks: 
We use plasticine to clear up any confusion about the meaning of punctuation when reading. We may also cover usage of punctuation when writing.

Reading exercises:
We use a three-step system for establishing accuracy in reading and comprehension. We bypass phonetic decoding, and instead go for whole-word recognition, 
similar to what dyslexic MIT professor Catherine Drennan did without any Davis intervention. 

  1. Spell reading is designed for establishing certainty in letter recognition.
  2. Sweep-sweep spell is designed for establishing certainty in word recognition.
  3. Picture at punctuation is designed to establish fluency and accuracy in comprehension.

Symbol mastery of trigger words:
We use plasticine to clear up any confusion about the meaning of what we call "trigger words". Trigger words cause reading difficulties as they don’t translate easily into picture thinking. Even though there are only 219 of these words in the English language, they still make up about half of all we read. Once you have truly mastered their meaning, they no longer cause dyslexia symptoms. During the correction programme, we normally only master a few of the trigger words. We aim to make the client confident enough to take on the task of mastering the rest of them without the need for a facilitator. We train a family member or a tutor to be a support person or assistant in this task.

Co-ordination exercises: 
We use soft balls called Koosh-balls to improve co-ordination and balance.This generally results in significantly improved hand-eye coordination which can bee experienced by playing darts (soft-tip).
See: Co-ordination Made Easy.

Handwriting exercises:
We use simple step-by-step exercises to address handwriting problems. 
See: Handwriting Made Easy.

Maths and AD/HD:
Handwriting, spelling, and co-ordination are addressed as needed within the 30 hours along with reading, but maths and AD/HD correction generally require 15-20 further hours one-to-one. 
See: Maths Made Easy and Attention Made Easy.

Follow-up at home
Included in the five day programme is the training of a support person of your choice, a three hour review session a couple of months after the initial programme, up to six hours of phone support, and all materials needed for you to follow up the correction at home.
Over the months following the programme, you use the clay at home to master the 219 trigger-words, and when this is completed, the dyslexia is fully corrected. For maths you will need to master the symbols and words used in mathematics.

Cost and commitment:
Only your time - and your chosen support person’s. 
Duration: Approximately 50 hours, normally spread over several months.

Mastery versus learning
I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.  
Mastery goes beyond learning. What we traditionally call learning often happens without truly understanding what you have learnt. When a picture thinker learns this way the learning normally doesn’t stick well in their memory. Mastery on the other hand, is for example what you do when you learn to ride a bicycle. When you have mastered the skill of bicycle riding, it will stay with you for the rest of your life. As literacy is a skill we need to aquire for life, this is obviously an important difference. We clearly need to master the letters of the Alphabet as well as the spelling of the most common words in the language.
About 50% of all we read - whatever we are reading - is made up of what we call trigger-words. These are the most common words in the language and we call them trigger-words because they tend to break the focus of a dyslexic person. The reason is that the dyslexic uses the meaning of the word in their thinking process - and the meaning of the trigger-words does not translate easily into a picture. Mastery of the trigger-words consists essentially of discovering their exact meaning and translating that into an image. We use plasticine for making the image clear and specific and then anchor it into our long-term memory using our unique focusing tool.
Training of your support person
By the end of the 30 hour programme, the client has normally already experienced a significant change in self-esteem and the areas that he/whe decided to focus on, whether it is reading or spelling.

A support person has received a three hour training in supporting with using the Davis-tools. This now needs to be put to use by doing specific follow-up work which normally takes about 50 hours. If the client decides to commit 1 hour weekly to this work it should be finished within a year.

The follow-up work is imperative to the success of the programme, as the learning difficulty has not been permanently conquered until this work is done. If this work is not done there is a risk of the benefits experienced within the 30 hour one-to-one work may start fading away within a year or two.

When a client is in education, we encourage as much involvement from school as possible - even though the success of the programme does not rely on this.
In case you are considering coming to Kommetjie to work with Axel, you can look here for information about transport and accommodation in Kommetjie.