The Gift of Dyslexia Workshop

Previous and planned workshop pages

A photo from the first Gift of Dyslexia workshop in South Africa, 2009

This photo is from April 2014, when we had 25 participants attending a workshop in Pretoria from all over South Africa, some from as far as Uganda. We had a mix of dyslexics, parents, teachers and other educators, as well as a wide range of therapists; educational psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. 

We had 15 participants attending a four-day Gift of Dyslexia workshop in Cape Town in October 2014. An enthusiastic mix of teachers, parents, educators, specialists, and dyslexics.

Here is a message from a mother who attended the workshop in 2014 and then worked with her daughter at home:

From Sadie

I also wanted to report back that I got [my daughter’s] report yesterday and I am so excited! I normally travel to her boarding school for a week at exam time to help her study. These last exams, I decided not to do so that I could get raw results on how she can now cope on her own. Well – she achieved above class average, got an academic award which is better than she has done when I used to help her! 
Very exciting!!!!

Here is a message from a special needs teacher in Chester House private school, who attended the workshop in 2014:

From Monika

The 4 day 'Gift of Dyslexia' workshop certainly opened my eyes to the thought processes of a child presenting with dyslexic symptoms. I learnt about the importance of 3 dimensional and creative structures in the life of a dyslexic. Another tool we were taught was to help a child remain focused, as opposed to 'disorientating' when having to read.
Since attending the workshop, I have made use of the Davis techniques and have found that the reading progress made by my dyslexic students, has been astonishing.
Monika Davies, Learning Support Specialist Grade 2-7

The gifted dyslexics lecture sample

Dyslexia and Focus

Video-log from a participant in the Gift of Dyslexia workshop

The Gift of Dyslexia workshop was developed in the nineties by Ron Davis, author of the international best-seller The Gift of Dyslexia.
The location for the Cape Town workshop is Kommetjie a beautiful seaside surfing village on Cape Town's southern peninsula. 

In April 2011, we also ran a five-day in-house workshop for Crossroads school in Johannesburg, one of South Africa's leading remedial schools. The Crossroads School team had sent three remedial therapists on a Gift of Dyslexia workshop in Limpopo back in 2009, and after they had tried out the methods in the school for a year with encouraging results, they decided to have every teacher and specialist in the school trained (the workshop counted 39 participants), and we feel very excited about the results we are already seeing in their children.  

"We are in full swing with implementation and there is a lot of excitement.  Every member of staff is currently either doing the programme in the class or, in the case of the therapists, running the individual programme for children identified as in desperate need."
Vivienne Jones, principal

Gift of Dyslexia workshop in Crossroads School

All teaching staff at Crossroads attended The Gift of Dyslexia workshop.

Testimonial from a mother:

From Mel

I can't believe that 2 months ago I phoned you in tears, frustrated by my son Caleb's inability to read, after 3 years of trying all that I knew to help him. For two months we took a break from teaching Caleb and I went on the Dyslexic course in January 2012. The course was worth every cent for me. I learnt so much about my son and husband who are both dyslexic - and a few things about me.
Caleb and I were excited and as soon as I finished the course I started to work with him... He wanted to surprise his dad that evening so he soon got into the alphabet and worked on each letter. Well he was dancing in the lounge when he was done. In the afternoon we play a 15 min alphabet game to see if he can beat his mom. We are loving it.
Mel Bresler

This 4-day (30 hour) workshop was developed in the nineties and it is an introduction to the basic theories, principles and application of all the procedures described in Ron Davis' best-selling book The Gift of Dyslexia

This is a stand-alone workshop, but at the same time it forms the first step of the full Davis Facilitator training. If you are interested in becoming a qualified Davis Facilitator, this workshop is your first step.

Training is done with a combination of lectures, demonstrations, group practice, and question and answer sessions. Attendance is limited to ensure the highest quality of training.

Daily schedule:
  • 9.00 start
  • 10.30 - 10.50 approx: morning break
  • 12.15 - 1.15 approx: lunch
  • 2.40 - 3.00 approx: afternoon break
  • 4.30 - 5.00: finish

Participants will learn:
  • Proven methods for helping adults and children improve reading, spelling, motor coordination, and attention focus.
  • How and why the Davis methods were developed.
  • How dyslexics think and perceive.
  • How to assess for the “gift of dyslexia”.
  • How to eliminate confusions and mistakes in basic language symbols.
  • How to incorporate the Davis methods in a therapeutic or educational setting.

Who Should Attend:
    The workshop is open to anyone who wants to develop a deeper understanding of dyslexia and to acquire effective and deeply satisfying skills to help with literacy problems. We have found that most people attending the workshop come from one or more of the following groups:
    • Parents
    • Home educators
    • Teachers
    • SENCOs
    • Special Needs Support Staff
    • Tutors
    • Psychologists
    • Counsellors
    • Speech therapists
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Trainers
    • Researchers
    • Career Guidance Counsellors
    • Anyone interested in helping others correct their dyslexia
    Why should you attend?
    • If you have a dyslexic in your circle of friends or family, and you want to take matters in your own hands, this workshop is for you.
    • If you are in teaching or special needs support, and looking for improved results and more satisfaction from your existing work, this workshop is for you.
    • If you are a therapist or a councellor and you have clients you suspect might have dyslexia, this workshop is for you. 
    • If you are responsible for providing quality education and excellent return on investment, this workshop is for you. 
    • If you are interested in training as a Davis Dyslexia facilitator, then this workshop is your first step.

    Important note:

    This workshop does not give you license to promote your services as a Davis professional, or offer a Davis Dyslexia Correction Programme - for this you need to go through the full Davis Facilitator training - but of course you can use what you learn in the workshop in your existing remedial practice.

    "Ron Davis is a revolutionary and profound thinker, and has discovered what history will record as one of the greatest insights into the fields of learning and how the mind works." 

    Below you can read a comment from Marcia Verdelli, a third grade teacher in the South African Crossroads special needs school in Johannesburg. She attended the first Gift of Dyslexia workshop in South Africa in June 2009, along with two other members of staff. They were impressed enough after the workshop to ask Richard Whitehead from the Davis Learning Foundation in UK and Axel Gudmundsson from Gifted Dyslexic to offer a five day pilot in-house
    workshop, to train every member of staff in using the Davis methods. This workshop is a hybrid of The Gift of Dyslexia workshop and the Davis Learning Strategies workshop for early intervention and prevention.

    Hi Axel. Marcia here - I was with Noleen and Elana on the first Davis Workshop. I teach at Crossroads Remedial School in Jhb. and also have a remedial practice in the afternoon. I have given the Davis tools to about ten children and even a seven year old (I know we should do only after 8 - but I felt she could - very bright and aware and visual) and each wonderful child totally turned around and made stunning progress!! One Gr4 girl who was totally failing, and diagnosed as dyslexic, in one term, achieved 1% higher than the class average!!

    In August, I presented the Programme in Hillcrest Natal to the Natal Remedial Association. I was terrified ! I am no group speaker! But I think my passion got me through it! I am sure the sales of The Gift of Dyslexia and the Gift of Learning soared!

    I am really looking forward to you and Richard coming to do "another first in S.A.' workshop in April at Crossroads.
    I want to tell everyone out there.....if your child is dyslexic or not but has a learning problem... in any area.... the Ron Davis Dyslexia Programme WILL help!! I encourage everybody to purchase the two mentioned books.

    Good luck for your workshop in April in C.T. Axel - parents and teachers of C.T. be amazed!!

    Course Outline
    • Background and development of the Davis procedures
      • Research and discovery. The “gifts” of dyslexia. 
      • Anatomy and developmental stages of a learning disability. 
      • Overview of the steps for dyslexia correction.
    • Davis Perceptual Ability Assessment
      • (a screening for dyslexic learning styles)
      • Demonstration and Practice Session
    • Symptoms Profile Interview 
      • (used to assess symptoms, strengths and weaknesses, set goals, and establish motivation)
      • Demonstration and Practice Session

    • Q & A Session
    • Davis Orientation Counselling
      • (methods to control, monitor and turn off perceptual distortion)
      • What is Orientation? 
      • Demonstration and Practice Session
    • Release Procedure
      • (method for alleviating stress and headaches)
    • Alignment 
      • (an alternative to Orientation Counselling)
      • What is Alignment? 
      • How is it used? 
      • Group Demonstration
    • Dial-Setting Procedure
      • (a method for controlling energy level and ADD symptoms)

    • Q and A Session
    • Orientation Review Procedure
      • (a method for checking orientation skills)
      • Demonstration and practice session
    • Davis Symbol Mastery
      • What is Symbol Mastery?
      •  Why clay?
    • Mastering Basic Language Symbols
      • Demonstrations and Group Exercise
    • Reading Improvement Exercises
      • Spell-Reading
      • Sweep-Sweep-Spell
      • Picture-at-Punctuation
    • Davis Facilitator Licensing Programme

    • Q & A Session
    • Fine-Tuning Procedure
      • (checking and adjusting orientation using balance)
    • Symbol Mastery Exercises for Words
      • Demonstrations, Group Exercises and Sessions
    • Implementing the Davis Procedures


    After completing this workshop, you can use all the procedures in your existing work, or on a voluntary basis when working with friends and family. If you want to offer your services as a Davis professional, the full Davis Facilitator training is needed, and then this workshop would still be your first step. The full training outline is available here.

    Previous and planned workshop pages

    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.

    For prices, please see the navigation panel on the top left of the page.

    Handwriting correction might take an additional day.
    Subpages (1): - Previous GD workshops
    Axel Gudmundsson,
    3 Jan 2013, 22:57