CenterPoint Learning Solutions

About Dyslexia

Click here for a list of characteristics

What is Dyslexia?

The definition of dyslexia varies depending on the organization that is doing the defining. Below are definitions provided by both health and educational establishments, as well as the definition from which CenterPoint Learning Solutions operates, and an explanation of Davis® theory.

National Institutes of Health, 1993

"a disorder that affects people’s ability to either interpret what they see and hear or to link information from different parts of the brain. These limitations can show up in many ways: as specific difficulties with spoken and written language, co-ordination, self-control or attention. Such difficulties extend to schoolwork and can impede learning to read, write or do math."

International Dyslexia Association, 2007

"Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words."

CenterPoint Learning Solutions

Dyslexia is simply a different way of thinking….of perceiving the world! Dyslexic individuals tend to be extremely creative, highly intelligent, visual thinkers with often times uncanny intuitive problem solving. But this wonderful ability to view the world multi-dimensionally can get in the way when it is used to problem solve with symbols and sounds…and reading and math involve symbols (letters, numerals) and sounds! This causes a learning problem that eventually can become a disability.

Davis theory can be summed up as follows:

All dyslexics are primarily picture-thinkers: they think through mental or sensory imagery, rather than using words, sentences, or internal dialogue (self-talk) in their minds. Because this method of thinking is subliminal – faster than the person can be aware of – most dyslexics are not aware that this is what they’re doing.

Because dyslexics think in pictures or imagery, they tend to use global logic and reasoning strategies, looking at the ‘big picture’ to understand the world around them. They tend to be very good at strategizing, creative endeavors, hands-on activities, and solving real world objective problems, but tend to be poor with word-based sequential, linear, step-by-step reasoning. When you look at a picture of a dog, you do not move your mind from tail to haunches to legs to shoulders to head to ears to nose to figure out you have a dog. You see all parts at once, and conclude ‘dog’. If most or all of your thinking is in pictures, you would become accustomed to figuring things out by looking at the whole object or situation at once.

Thinking primarily with images, dyslexics also tend to develop very strong imaginations, and to use a picture or feeling based reasoning process to solve problems rather than a verbal one. If they are at first confused (or intrigued), they will mentally turn an object around to look at it from different viewpoints or angles. From this thought process, they develop many unique abilities and talents.

This ability can also be the foundation for a problem. When disoriented, the individual will perceive their own thinking as reality. Most people experience a state of disorientation when looking at an optical illusion, or when exposed to misleading sensory stimuli, such as that created by virtual reality amusement rides. But dyslexics become disoriented on a day-to-day basis; it is their natural mental response to any confusing sensory information - as well as to creative problem-solving.

Dyslexics tend to have difficulty with unreal and symbolic objects, such as letters and numerals. In their effort to comprehend symbols as they would an automobile engine or an engineering diagram, they can become disoriented. This leads to the familiar symptoms of substitutions, omissions, reversals or transpositions in reading or writing letters and words. Disorientation is not limited to visual input; many dyslexics commonly mishear or garble words or the sequence of words in sentences. Their sense of time can seem distorted and their motor coordination can appear delayed or clumsy.

The repeated mistakes that result from misperceptions due to disorientation inevitably lead to emotional reactions, frustration and loss of self-esteem. In an effort to solve this dilemma, each dyslexic will begin to develop a set of coping mechanisms and compulsive behaviors to get around these problems. Ron Davis calls them "old solutions." Rote memorization, the alphabet song, getting Mom to do the homework, acting out, illegible handwriting to cover up poor spelling, skillful deception and avoidance of any task related to school or reading, are some examples. These can begin to develop as early as ages six or seven. An adult dyslexic will have an entire repertoire of such behaviors. Now we have the full range of symptoms, characteristics and behaviors commonly associated with dyslexia.

The most significant aspect of the Davis Theory in resolving dyslexia is the observation that when an auditory symbol – a word – lacks a mental picture and meaning for the dyslexic, disorientation and mistakes are the result. When we show a dyslexic how to turn off the disorientations at the moment they occur, and then help find and master the stimuli that triggered the disorientation, the reading, writing and spelling problems start to disappear. So do the "old solutions."

Used with permission.
“The Davis Theory of Dyslexia”, exerpt from
(by Abigail Marshall, © 1999, 2005)

Wondering if this program is the right fit?

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For more information, or to set up an initial consultation, please contact:
Kelley Phipps
licensed Davis®Dyslexia Correction Facilitator
(208)949-7569

Resources

Recommended Books

Dyslexia.com Website

Dyslexia the Gift Blog

Dyslexia Talk Discussion Board

The Davis Autism Approach

Davis Videos

DDA

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CONTACT INFO

Phone:
208-949-7569

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Professional services described as Davis®, Davis Dyslexia Correction® Davis Symbol Mastery®, Davis Orientation Counseling®, and Davis Math Mastery® may only be provided by persons who are employed by a licensed Davis Specialist, or who are trained and licensed as Davis Facilitators by Davis Dyslexia Association International.