Gift of Dyslexia lecture 23rd April in Cape Town

 


Axel Gudmundsson gives a talk about learning difficulties seen in a positive light, in association with NAPTOSA, the National Professional Teachers' Organisation of South Africa.



Date: April 23rd. 
Time: 15:15-17:45.
Venue: Golden Grove Primary, Stuart Street, Rondebosch
Audience:
Any of the following: School and LEA administration, SEN staff, teachers and parents. The talk is open to anyone. 

Duration: Two and a half hours

Cost: NAPTOSA members: R50; non-members: R70, cash by the door.

Ron Davis with Axel Gudmundsson in 2003

Ron Davis, the dyslexic and autistic internationally best-selling author of The Gift of Dyslexia, has discovered that behind 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.

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 discuss how to address ADD/ADHDhandwriting issues and maths issues - as well as discussing Do-It-Yourself options for parents at home.