The Gift of Dyslexia lecture in Woodridge, PE, 19 May 2014

We had about 70 people (educators, therapists, parents and children) attending a free Gift of Dyslexia lecture in Woodridge College, Port Elizabeth, SA, 18 May 2014. It was a wonderful audience, who engaged well with the subject.

Axel Gudmundsson

Axel Gudmundsson, director of Gifted Dyslexic, gives a lecture about learning difficulties seen in a positive light - how they develop, how we can address them in only five days, and even how we can prevent them. 

May 19th, at 18:00-19:30pm. 

Venue: Woodridge College, Port Elizabeth, WC. Physical Address: Van Staden's Pass Heights approximately 40km from Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay, Eastern Cape, Telephone: +27(0)419566200

Audience: Educators, therapists, and parents. The talk is open to anyone.

Duration: 90-100 minutes.

Cost: Free. 

Gifted Dyslexic phone: 021 783 2722 

Woodridge College and Preparatory School

Ronald D. Davis, a dyslexic himself, has discovered that behind the learning difficulties are generally gifts waiting to be harnessed.

Dyslexic people are visual, multi-dimensional thinkers. They are intuitive and highly creative, and excel at hands-on learning. Because they think in pictures, it is sometimes hard for them to understand letters, numbers, symbols, and written words.

They can learn to read, write and study efficiently when they use methods geared to our unique learning style.

A short sample of The Gift of Dyslexia Lecture

Gift of Dyslexia lecture - Focus

The problem
A problem with focus (attention) is the key common factor in all dyslexia related learning difficulties. By addressing this issue successfully, the symptoms of learning difficulties are eliminated, solving the problem once and for all.

The cause
A person’s learning style reflects their preferred thinking style. Thinking styles fall into two main categories – verbal or non-verbal. We all start life as non-verbal thinkers, and sticking to this thinking style puts us at risk of developing special education needs. Conversely, using this thinking style allows us maintain access to the high-speed creative thinking babies and toddlers use to learn. This is the main reason for the gift of dyslexia.

The solution in a therapeutic setting
There are essentially two steps needed to address all the above special education needs: 1. Learn how to focus – and how to notice when focus is broken; 2. Identify and eliminate triggers which break the student’s focus. We teach a specific focusing technique, and use plasticine for a multi-sensory learning method to help us eliminate confusion. This allows the non-verbal student to read, spell, and write as well as a verbal thinker within a year – solving the problem for good.
A student, eight years or older needs at least 30 hour one-to-one work followed by ca. 50 hours at home. This ensures that there is no confusion about letters, punctuation marks, words, and mathematical symbols, and thereby we can maximise the dyslexic’s learning potential.

We talk about correcting learning difficulties, as there is in our view nothing to cure. By giving the individual a set of simple effective tools, their learning difficulties are overcome.

Our experience has shown a very high success rate in correcting the above learning difficulties. This is achieved with the Davis® correction procedures, explained in detail in Ron Davis’ internationally bestselling book The Gift of Dyslexia and his new book The Gift of Learning.

The solution in a classroom setting

Studies indicate that Davis Learning Strategies (DLS) significantly reduce special needs referrals while improving performance of all students. The basic tools and understanding can be given to teachers in only two days, but Gifted Dyslexic prefers giving a much deeper understanding by offering a five day workshop which combines the two-day DLS workshop and the four-day Gift of Dyslexia workshop. We piloted this workshop in Crossroads school in April 2011, and early indications suggest that the longer workshop gives the teachers valuable insights to recognise their learners' learning style and how to accommodate them in the classroom.
All teachers and therapists at Crossroads school were equipped with the Davis tools in April 2011.

No special needs referrals in two years
A recently published research study in America found dramatic change from using Davis Learning Strategies (DLS)in the classroom. DLS is a new method of teaching children how to learn, based on the Davis Dyslexia Correction methods described in Ron Davis’ bestselling book 
The Gift of Dyslexia. It takes only two to three days of training to make a teacher proficient in using DLS in the classroom.
In a pilot study started 1993, eventually including seven Californian schools, DLS was shown to have a very encouraging effect. In three classrooms included in a study published in Reading Improvement Journal in 2001, referrals for special needs two years after the introduction of DLS were non-existent. Furthermore, numbers of gifted children in these classrooms were on average 20%, compared to US national average of 5%. This is four times the national average of gifted referrals.

Two schools transformed through Davis
In recent years, two elementary (primary) schools beat all others in their respective regions by introducing Davis Learning Strategies. In the year 2006, Elbert Elementary school's third grade reading scores went straight from the worst to the best of all schools in the Pikes Peak district in Colorado, US, - immediately after 17 staff members were trained in using DLS. The second school to hit the headlines for using DLS is Walsh Elementary School. This is a small, underfunded school in rural Colorado, serving preschool through sixth grades. They introduced DLS in 2003, and four years later - against all odds - they had the highest reading scores in the state of Colorado, with 89% of the children scoring at or above grade level proficiency.

Axel will also mention how to address ADD/ADHDhandwriting issues and maths issues - as well as Do-It-Yourself options for parents at home.

You can learn how to address learning difficulties in your family and your class by attending The 4-day Gift of Dyslexia workshop. The next one will be in Cape Town, October 4th.

We address literacy and handwriting in five days (30 hours), but ADD, ADHD, and maths problems will add about three days to the time needed.  

There are essentially three options available to you in terms of addressing dyslexia using the Davis approach: 

1. Do-it-yourself programme (R 300):
You can buy The Gift of Dyslexia book and follow the instructions in the book yourself. This is obviously not as secure in terms of success as working with a professional, but it is a good first step anyway, as it would be a great preparation even if you do not succeed with the DIY work, and decide to move on to one of the other options anyway. The maths work is outlined in Ron Davis's second book, The Gift of Learning

 2. The Gift of Dyslexia workshop (R 5 500):
This is a four-day workshop, which is offered a couple of times a year in the UK and SA. It is designed to give more confidence in applying the procedures from the book. It obviously does not give the same skill and confidence as a professional Davis facilitator, who goes through rigorous training over a year, but a lot of people have reported good success from this option. Note, though that this option does not equip partici with the procedures needed taddress ADD, maths, or handwriting. The next Gift of Dyslexia workshop will be in Cape Town, 4 October.

3. Professional one-to-one Davis programme (R 24 000):
Dyslexia correction takes 30 hours (5 days) - ADD and maths add another three days approximately -  and there is about 50 hours worth of follow-up work you would need to do at home. If you go for this option, the first step would be a Davis assessment, which can be done over Skype if necessary. The cost of the Davis assessment is R 1 100.

  See costs below:
Professional options (more certain outcome):  In UK In SA
A professional GD assessment (2-3 hrs)  £110 R 1 100
Literacy Made Easy (dyslexia) 5 days  £2,100 R 24 000
Maths Made Easy (dyscalculia) 8 days  £3,360  R 38 400
Attention Made Easy (ADD and AD/HD) 8 days £3,360  R 38 400
Co-ordination Made Easy (dyspraxia)  5 days  £2,100R 24 000
Early Learning Made Easy (prevention) 30 hours  £2,100 R 24 000
Handwriting Made Easy (dysgraphia)  5 days  £2,100 R 24 000