Lecture 7 June - The Gift of Dyslexia and ADHD

Axel Gudmundsson, director of Gifted Dyslexic, Davis Dyslexia Association Africa, and Capella House School, gives a lecture about how both dyslexia and ADHD develop, and how these conditions are related. He will also outline how you can use the Davis methods to make both life and learning easier for dyslexic and ADHD individuals.

Date and time:
7 June 2016, 6:00pm
Venue: Maragon School, Ruimsig, Gauteng 
Peter Road, Ruimsig 

Maragon Private Schools - Ruimsig

Any of the following: Educators, therapists, individuals with dyslexia and/or ADHD, and their parents.

Duration: About 2 hours 
Cost: Free

A New Paradigm in Dyslexia

Ron Davis has discovered that behind the learning difficulties are generally gifts waiting to be harnessed.

Ron Davis' story

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.

The Gifted Dyslexics

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

The cause for dyslexia lies in the tendency to think in pictures. People who primarily think in words (experienced like talking to oneself in the mind) do generally not develop learning difficulties. This is primarily because the teaching methods used in normal schools are designed primarily for the word thinkers.

This tendency to think in pictures is also responsible for a brain which has great processing power than the average person.

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.

Dyslexia and focus

The solution

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.

An AD/HD client also needs to master ten fundamental life-skills concepts, critical for success in life. These concepts include the following: 
  • Self
  • Change
  • Consequence
  • Time
  • Sequence
  • Order/disorder

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 Mechanism of Dyslexia 
According to the research by Ronald Davis at the Reading Research Council’s Dyslexia Correction Center, dyslexics view the world very differently from others. You might say they are wired up differently. While most people perceive the world linearly, dyslexics perceive in whole pictures. Also, most people have a fixed point of reference from which they perceive the world outside them and around them. Dyslexic individuals have a peculiar capacity to move the reference point from which they perceive objects.

These differences can be very helpful when examining objects because the dyslexic can view objects from many perspectives very rapidly. However, it is a serious handicap when viewing two-dimensional symbols, such as letters or words. The solution to the problem of reading and writing is to somehow represent the symbol as a picture.

Many words, for example, are easy to picture such as house, car, cat and dog. Others such as a, the, and, and have are far more difficult to picture. Most teachers, even in special education programs, do not know how to help a person picture these words. As the dyslexic individual tries to make sense of these symbols, they shift their perspective, or where they view from, and this causes letters on a page to move around, reverse themselves and even to disappear completely.

The Davis methods have proven successful in dealing with dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, hyperactivity, ADD, AD/HD and Aspergers syndrome.