Davis Facilitator, Director of Gifted Dyslexic.
Tel +44 7599 624 725
Hi, my name is Axel Gudmundsson, and I am the founding director of Gifted Dyslexic. Having trained for several years in psychotherapy, I swapped over to working with dyslexia when I got involved in an amazing programme designed by Ronald D Davis, a brilliant autistic and dyslexic man. On this website I would like to share with you what I have learnt about making learning easy for people of all ages, and offer you ways to address the problem yourself, with or without professional intervention.
I first became interested in learning difficulties in 1997, shortly after I met my wife who is dyslexic, dyspraxic, dyscalculic, and suffered from ADHD. Shortly after we met, she told me she wanted to go through the Davis Dyslexia Correction Programme, designed by an autistic and dyslexic American called Ronald Dell Davis. My first response was sceptical; fixing a problem she had been battling with her whole life - in only five days - just sounded too good to be true.
Too good to be true?
As it turned out, her life was transformed by the Davis Correction Programme, and I got interested. I still was a bit sceptical, and it did not help that the programme originates in America - and costs quite a bit of money. A lot of expensive snake oil has come from America.
I was not convinced until I met Ron Davis in person on a lecture tour in UK. Ron describes himself as a simple person, and I agree with him. Like a lot of people on the autistic spectrum, he is a very sincere, intelligent and simple (uncomplicated) person. Being totally non-defensive and talking with the simple authority of a person who knows from direct experience, he explained the principles in details and his simple convincing logic persuaded me to train as a Davis Facilitator. Ron often quotes his favourite fellow dyslexic/autistic Albert Einstein, when talking about being simple: "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.".
The best decision of my life
I think this was one of the best decisions in my life. I now have the privilege of spending every moment of my working life unleashing (often undiscovered) talents in people who might otherwise have gone through tortured education and perhaps ended up as a burden on their family or society as a whole.
Most of the year I am based in Kommetjie, a small surfing village, just south of Cape Town, South Africa, but I spend some time each year in London and Iceland. I am available to work in UK and Iceland - and of course in Kommetjie. If you want to contact me about anything - like booking an assessment or finding out more about my work, please feel free to drop me a mail or fill in a booking form for a personal assessment here below. You can also give me a ring on in South Africa on 021 783 2722.
Curriculum Vitae (My Story)
With a college degree in arts, and several years of psychotherapy training, I have a wide background in human development and creative industries, including graphic design, TV, and motion pictures.
In my early twenties shortly after graduation, I set up my first company, Mannraektin (Human Potential) in my native Iceland, offering a variety of human devopment courses, primarily focusing on workshops and products developed by myself for treating food addiction, inspired by the internationally successful 12-step programme of Overeaters Anonymous.
After a few years spent in film, TV and graphic design, my next significant project was to co-found the publishing company Voxtur (Growth) for publishing human potential books. The first task of the new company was to translate and publish the international best-seller "Men are from Mars,Women are from Venus" by the American relationship expert Dr John Gray PhD. This book broke new ground in Icelandic book-publishing history by being the first self-help book to compete in the Icelandic general best-seller list. It went straight to number one on the overall national best-seller list in Iceland 1995. The next success was translating and publish the tiny life-transforming book "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by the internationally renowned spiritual guide Deepak Chopra. This was also a significant success, achieving number four on the overall best-seller list in 1996.
This is when I left Iceland to study humanistic psychotherapy at Spectrum in London, where I completed the Spectrum Counselling Course and graduated from the One Year Course in Psychotherapy. After completing three years of intensive psychotherapy training, I remained a member of the Spectrum post-graduate continued education programme, as well as being a member of an on-going Men's Group and a couples' Group at Spectrum, until late 2008 when I moved to Cape Town, SA.
While training at Spectrum, I also trained and qualified as a Davis dyslexia facilitator in 2002, and then successfully introduced the Davis methods in my native Iceland, where the Davis programmes are now offered by a number of licensed local facilitators, and the Davis Learning Strategies have been widely introduced in primary schools. In 2004 I founded Gifted Dyslexic, which now operates in both UK and SA.
Since December 2008 I relocated to Kommetjie, a small surfing village on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. I am passionate about promoting the Davis methods on a national level in South Africa. I am also currently engaged in developing a new approach to teaching numeracy and fundamental maths, based on the Davis approach.
As part of my training to run The Gift of Dyslexia workshop, I was involved in the first "Gift of Dyslexia" workshop in South Africa held in Limpopo in June 2009, run by my colleague Richard Whitehead from Davis Learning Foundation in UK. In April 2011 I co-presented another large workshop with Richard at Crossroads school in Johannesburg and then solo-presented a Gift of Dyslexia workshop in Kommetjie, Cape Town. Since then I have presented a number of Gift of Dyslexia workshops in South Africa, and continue to do so. I regularly give free lectures to educators, remedial professionals, and the general public.