Davis Dyslexia Correction
Davis Dyslexia Correction is a unique approach geared to the creative thinking strengths of individuals with dyslexia. It combines specific techniques to resolve perceptual problems and attention focusing issues with a method for mastering sight words and improving reading fluency and comprehension that is geared to creative thinking strengths that accompany dyslexia. It is a two-stage program beginning with a one-week, intensive program of counseling and guidance that breaks down major learning barriers and often results in dramatic reading improvement. The second stage is practice and implementation of the Davis methods at home, mostly through a systematic program of clay modeling, and generally takes between six and eighteen months to complete.
Description of Program
The Davis program was developed by an adult with severe dyslexia, Ron Davis, author of the book
The Davis program also includes a set of strategies for reading. The primary strategy, Davis Symbol Mastery, is based on the idea that a child with dyslexia thinks primarily in pictures rather than words and needs to create mental pictures for words before he can read or understand words in print. While your child probably understands nouns such as “dog” or “lion,” he may stumble over words like “for” or “in” because he has no clear mental image to go along with the word. The focus of the Davis program is to help the child supply his own pictures for each word.
The Davis methods were developed in 1981 and were used in a clinical setting with more than 1,000 students before a program of professional training was created in 1995. Because the reading techniques can be easily transferred to different languages, the program has grown rapidly and by 2004 was offered in twenty-nine countries and nineteen different languages.
The primary tools of the Davis program are a dictionary and clay. Your child learns how to look up words, how to use the pronunciation key to find out how each word sounds, and how to use the definition and example sentences as a starting point for mastering the meaning of the word. Your child will then use clay to form the letters of each word and also makes a three-dimensional model to depict the word's meaning. The child will model small, abstract words such as
The Davis program is geared toward children aged eight and over and often produces very rapid reading gains, especially with older children. It is common for word recognition and reading fluency skills to jump by three to five grade levels during the initial week with children or teenagers aged nine and over. However, the Davis techniques must be practiced after the program in order for progress to continue and initial gains to be sustained; thus, the program requires that you and your child be ready to follow a recommended schedule of reading practice and continue with the clay modeling until a word list of almost 220 words is fully mastered.
Davis providers can work with almost any child who has symptoms of dyslexia, but the program is particularly appropriate for children who have difficulty gaining reading fluency, who have difficulties with letter reversals and transpositions, or who tend to stumble over or omit small words when reading. It is also an excellent choice for multilingual children, as the methods can readily be transferred from one language to another. Often, children who have been labeled as unteachable with phonics-based reading tutoring are the ones who report the most dramatic gains with the Davis methods.
Students who complete the Davis program often become very capable and enthusiastic readers, often gaining proficiency at or above grade level. This may be partly attributable to the fact that the program is aimed at higher-order reading skills rather than at early-stage decoding strategies. However, because the program deemphasizes phonics, it remains controversial among many educators who prefer traditional tutoring. Also, a Davis provider will screen carefully to evaluate your child's learning profile and level of maturity and motivation. Because the program emphasizes mental strategies for self-awareness and control, it is not recommended for children using medications such as Ritalin to regulate attention level or behavior.