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Davis method- What comes first? Senso...

Davis Dyslexia Discussion Board » Davis Dyslexia Correction & The Gift of Dyslexia » Questions about Davis Methods » Davis method- What comes first? Sensory,Cognitive, Academic skills « Previous Next »

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Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 06:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have contacted a Davis provider about 2 hrs away from me for my son whom I feel fits the dyslexic learner "profile" - I strongly believe in trying to match up the symptomology as best as possible with the anticipated results so we can make efficient progress that make sense. (We have tried many programs along the way already.) Since there are so many providers of various methods and programs -Orton-Gillingham, Lindamood Bell, Earobics, IM (Interactive metronome) Fast Forward, PACE, Brain Gym -- to name a few.... How do you know which to try first and which would be follow-up?
My thinking on this seems to be that the sensory/physical abilities would come first (vision, phoneme awarness, speech, hearing, coordination).
If these are in place then the cognitive abilities like processing, short and long term memory, left-right, sequencing and tracking skills.
Then at the top would be the actual academic work on phonics, reading, syllabication that is primarily done in school. but also offered intensively by tutors and providers. Does this make sense?
My confusion comes in because the Davis method seems to address all of these at once or somehow bypass them.
Does learning to control the disorientaion make visual therapy less likely to be needed or does the visual inefficiency need to be corrected first? How does one know if the disorientation makes one unable to track or the other way around?
Then would cognitive therapy (like PACE or Audiblox) used to address processing problems be more effective AFTER Davis is done or is it not needed at all? When doing the followup Davis work with clay/trigger words etc. is a reading program like O-G or LMB worthwhile?
Hopefully some of you can be of help here?

Abigail Marshall (Abigail)
Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2002 - 08:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How old is your son, Carylin?

Studies show that programs teaching phonemic awareness are not very useful beyond 2nd grade. Too much emphasis on these skills actually causes students to lose comprehension skills and makes it more difficult for them to gain fluency.

Many of the methods you refer to are geared to building specific skills; Davis is geared to finding and addressing the barriers that are part of dyslexia. Programs like PACE or Audiblox are somewhat closer to Davis, as they focus on cognitive training, but progress tends to be a lot slower. There is an excellent diary of a parent on the Audiblox site detailing the progress of her daughter as she works through the steps. I think it gives you a real flavor for how that program works, as well as a way to compare it with other programs. What struck me about the diary was that as the months went by, the mother could detail the improvement in the discrete cognitive skills that are part of the program, such as the sequencing and pattern work - but I didn't see many entries about the child's reading and school work. I think that just highlights the difference between skill-building or cognitive training, or a comprehensive program aimed at addressing the whole problem.

Generally, the cognitive skill building is not needed after the Davis program. I personally would not encourage doing Davis along with a phonics-based program like Orton-Gillingham or Lindamood Bell LIPS, because they focus on different reading strategies. Davis really is emphasizing visual strategies and whole word recognition, and it can undermine that approach if a teacher insists that a student "sound-it-out".

Remember, Davis theory is that dyslexic students tend to be picture thinkers, and have a hard time thinking with the sounds of words - so telling a dyslexic kid to "sound out" a word is like the child to translate the word into a foreign language. The dyslexic child will not be able to make sense of the word until it connects with a picture -- and because the dyslexic child has a low tolerance for frustration, sounding-out unfamiliar words will tend to increase confusion and cause disorientation.

Lindamood Bell has another program called Visualization and Verbalization, and I see no conflict at all with using that in addition to Davis, except for the the fact that it is a very expensive program that probably adds very little to Davis Symbol Mastery and the reading exercises such as Picture-at-Punctuation. But if that is offered through the school, then it would be a complementary approach.

Obviously, I'm biased, but with a child who fits the Davis profile I would think that Davis is the place to start, because it is comprehensive and results tend to be much faster than other programs. I think that the skill-building programs can be very good for younger children who are not cognitively ready for a comprehensive program like Davis, or who may lack the motivation and maturity that we look for in Davis -- but they can seem tedious to an older child.

Best wishes,

Abigail Marshall
DDAI Webmaster

Sarah S
Posted on Friday, June 21, 2002 - 05:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't know if this will help, but I can give you a little bit of information on my 9 year old daughter and the process we have been through. She has a speech disability and was diagnosed with central auditory processing disorder in April of last year. She was in the 2nd grade and was 8 yrs old. She has had speech therapy and remedial reading for what seems like forever. I found this site and a Davis Facilitator in the Minneapolis area. I spoke with them several times and asked a million questions. I filled out some questionaires and spoke with them again. I took my now 9 year old daughter to Minneapolis in March for their one week program. It is really difficult to explain the perceptual process that they use. I explained her processing difficulties to her facilitator and explained if she gave her to much information she would lose her in the process. She took that information and implemented the perceptual process with my daughter moving very quickly so as not to lose her. She said that she was able to move through this very quickly with her and that she was right with her the entire time. Now, here we are 3 months later. My daughter just received her first B+ in reading for the 4th quarter of third grade. A major accomplishment for a child who has never gotten a grade above a C- in reading. The thing that amazed me the most was her ability to read words I never thought she would be able to, or at least not during the week of her program. It was like she had always known all those 3rd and even 4th grade words but could never get far enough to show me because of stumbling over all the sight words. To this day I truely believe that she continues to check her orientation, because about once a week when we are doing something she will say, " maybe I should check my point". We still have a long way to go.........but we are really starting to make progress.
we have tried so many things to help her and so far this has been the only one that has beneficial. She was taught during her program that she is not suppose to sound out words. If she comes across a word that she doesn't know then she spells the word and we just tell her what it is. It seems to alleviate a lot of stress and she remembers this new word the next time she comes across it. No one at Davis will tell you that this is a quick fix, because it is not. But it is a lot better than things have ever been for my daughter and she now realizes that she learns differently than the way most schools teach and it is always going to take a lot more effort than most kids. She now knows that she is not stupid and is very pleased with the progress she has made. As far as summer school goes........well, I can't say that I have ever met a child who struggles with school that wants to go to summer school. But, who can blame them. They are most likely thinking, why should I bother, what can they possibly do different during these 6 weeks than what I did for the last 9 months. I hope this helps you in your search to help your son.

Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2002 - 05:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, Sarah and Abigail. Davis sounds right for us but I am still wondering if vision therapy should be ruled out first or would that come after orientation is learned? My son is 15. Fabulous imaginative storyteller, actor and gymnast but severe LD/ADHD--reading poor, writing and spelling even worse.. He says he has a movie camera in his head that he is continually filming with and can even look through other peoples eyes to see what they see. His Dad and older brother,19, have similiar traits. Mechanical "genius", artistic types with high IQ's but great difficulty with reading, writing and spelling.
Dad failed grades 2 to 7, then they tested him and found he was deaf in one ear, very high spatial and mechanical ability but not reading. With 2 summers of tutoring- he was able to function in high school and play football. He spent 6 yrs. part time in JR college and did not finish the 2yr. degree but was student body president and won the high student achievement award.
Brother had difficulty with handwriting and was a slow reader. He taught himself guitar, art, photography, and can do back flips on a snowboard. As a highschool junior he had difficulties copying in accounting, finishing tests on time and typing. The resource teacher that tested him said he had visual processing difficulties and recommended PACE -cognitive therapy. He was very angry and did not want to believe anything was "amiss" with his brain and refused.
Older sis (23) is a college grad with honors going into medical school. Younger sis (11) and brother (8) are well rounded and good readers. So my middle guy in comparison has been both a delight and a real trial. Intensive phonics programs and tutoring (O-G) along the way may have confused him more.
At first thought cognitive training might be the way to go (like older brother) but I can see from Abigail's post that the Davis approach would be more all encompassing and that at his age it would probably be too slow/frustrating (Although they claim with the PACE program they can give anyone "an edge".) We have been doing Audiblox already at home but infrequently with so much else going. It has helped his concentration and even handwriting some.
My only other question would be with vision therapy. Will our Davis provider be able to recognize whether a developmental vision evaluation would be worthwhile? When I did this with my oldest daughter the behavioral vision therapist in my town said we both could "throw away our glasses" if we did the program for 2 years (hard sell) So you see, I am skeptical. Each provider seems to recommend THEIR program as the one needed. I am grateful that the people here on this board are so honest and welcoming. You all seem to have each child's best interests at heart.

DDAI Webmaster (Abigail)
Posted on Sunday, June 23, 2002 - 07:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carylin -
Orientation first - vision therapy while disoriented doesn't work, whereas Davis Orientation combined with reading exercises (like Spell-Reading) tends to reinforce tracking skills. Also, Orientation has immediate results - vision therapy takes time to see results, and it won't prevent or address perceptual problems that are a result of disorientation.

Your post really doesn't indicate any particular reason to suspect that your son needs vision therapy - vision therapy corrects vision problems, NOT reading or dyslexia.

Vision therapy definitely has its place, but probably isn't going to be the answer for a 15 year old.

Your son's statement that he looks through other people's eyes to see what they see shows that he DEFINITELY has a roving mind's eye. He should find Davis Orientation very easy and natural.

I know it is frustrating when everyone sounds as if they are pushing their own agenda, but I really don't know of any other program that can begin to do as much for a motivated 15-year-old. Also, from your son's own description of how his mind works, I think that he will find that the Davis approach fits his own self-conception best. Just about every other approach is based, at some level, on trying to teach a student to use his mind differently than what is natural -- Davis is the only one that emphasizes using the natural gifts to address the problems, rather than skill building in areas that are supposedly "deficient".

Your other son's reaction to being told to do the PACE program illustrates what is wrong with the skill-building approaches -- he is not the only person who simply would like to say, "there is nothing wrong with my brain, thank you - I just want to be able to use it the way it is."

Building up underlying skills does not necessarily translate into helping a student to read or learn.

To use gymnastics as an analogy (since your son is talented in that area) -- all coaches will have their students do conditioning exercises such as push-ups or pull-ups to build muscle strength. No one would quarrel with the need to do those exercises, but doing those exercises alone will not turn a young person into a capable gymnast. The gymnast needs to spend most of his time focusing on learning and practicing the actual gymnastics skills. When my daughter did gymnastics, the coaches always did warm-ups first, then practice with skills and apparatus, and conditioning exercises came last, at the end of class.

I can really see a value in focusing on the cognitive skills with young children, but I think with older kids, you need to address the problem head on. If the student has trouble reading, he needs help that is directed at reading, not subsidiary skills. I think the cognitive skill-building can be done as a supplementary exercise - but at 15, there really isn't time for focusing extensively on preparatory skills.

Best wishes,


Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 02:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My eight year old just completed the week long Davis Dyslexia program. He has all of the symptoms of dyslexia, but there has been none of the dramatic changes that other people have reported as a result of the therapy. He now says he doesn't even see pictures although before the therapy he claimed that he did. He says orienting himself does nothing for him. We have begun to do the word mastery and hope that it will make a difference. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Does it take longer for some people to experience results or does the lack of immediate results indicate that this approach is not the right one for my son?

Lisa Wendell (Zelco)
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 03:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Our 10 yr old son did the Davis Program in November. He too makes these very same claims now and then - but then when I see the results I don't believe him. ;)

He says the orientation, "getting on point" is silly and he does not need it but then I just remind him that I've seen the results of his not being on point while reading and being on point - in other words I call his bluff! Our son only says these things when he doesn't want to do the work - when he wants to do something else that day.

I'm sure Abigail can answer you better in a more technical way but then we also had great results with the program. From what I've read it seams to me that the older the person and the farther behind they were the greater results. Our son is 10 and was reading on a 2nd grade level and now reads on a 6th grade level and he is in 5th grade. But my truest joy is that he is spontaneously reading things in the environment. Like billboards or signs in a store - these are the times I really notice and just sail along with a huge smile on my face. The more words we do the more I notice! We have finished almost 40 words already. I promised him a celebration last night when we hit 100 words!

Also something we came up with - take pictures of each clay modeling & word. We just thought of this and had already done about 25 words - wish we'd thought of it in the beginning!

Lisa W.

DDAI Webmaster (Abigail)
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 10:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Lynn, results generally are much more gradual with an 8 year old; the more dramatic improvement typically occurs with children 10 or over. Your son is still very young, and even if he were reading at normal grade level - at age 8 that is still only 2nd or 3rd grade level, so you certainly couldn't expect a leap of several levels, as we often see with older kids.

Lisa is correct - the older the child, the more dramatic the potential results. This is because Davis removes the barriers that were preventing very bright, dyslexic children from using the knowledge and education they already had for reading ... so it is very typical for the child to move rapidly to a point very close to the expected grade level for his age.

Also, older children are simply more self-aware and able to use and apply the tools on their own - they also tend to be more highly motivated, after enduring years of frustration. A 10 or 12 year old is acutely aware of the way dyslexia is holding him back -- an 8 year old may not be as aware of how far behind he is in comparison to his classmates. Of course - that is not something any parent wants their child to endure -- so it is better in the long run for the child's self-esteem to get help earlier, rather than later.

Please contact the Facilitator to discuss the problems you are having. It sounds like your son may be pushing you away right now - sometimes it takes a while for a kid to digest the new tools and everything that has happened in the week with the Facilitator - so it is very typical for the child to be reluctant to work or practice the first week or so after the program. However, the best thing to do is to discuss with the Facilitator how he did with the program, and any problems or issues she/he may have observed -- as well as to get suggestions for what you should do now.

Best wishes,


Lisa Wendell (Zelco)
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 06:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

:) This was really kinda funny in light of your post yesterday - as we were doing our reading last night (after my post) I could tell Zac was not on point - He was skipping trigger words and reading very unsmoothly - I stopped him and asked him if he could please get on point as I could tell he was not. He started in with that smirky attitude about how silly it is. I informed him that I would enjoy listening to him read if he was on point. Then I also informed him that it was silly not to use a tool that helps us do something easier. He just looked at me then started reading on point !

Gotta love 'em!

Lisa W.

daniel3306 (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, December 03, 2007 - 11:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i was wondering if i may have some form of dyslexia.i sometimes hear words that weren't said, for instance i work at a new car dealershipa t work my boss said "go to classic chevrolet and pick up this truck."i went to another dealership across town because i thought he said danny beck chevrolet.i also mis pell words sometimes like blockbuster, the other day i spelled it block bust er. and sometimes there is almost no way i can read some words at all. itds very frustating. and letters move around also sometimes.i read somewhere dyslexics are intuitive and i found out that you instinctivly know how something works. i sometimes find that i have never seen the inner guts of something but knew hoiw it worked without seeing the inside of it

Vanessa Kendrick (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 03:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am thinking of putting my 10 year old son through the Davies programme as he has classic characterisctics of dyslexia, but predominantly in maths - Elliot can read although slowly, he doesn't tend to miss out words and does try to read all of them, his recollection of a story is limited, but in his maths he really struggles to understand basic principles, some days he can do simple times tables or add ons and other days he is just lost, by his own admission in tests he forgets even things he knows he knows (if that makes sense). Is the Davies programme the right porgramme for him, as thus far all reports seem directed at literacy/reading than maths.
Many thanks


Username: Abigail

Post Number: 787
Registered: 04-1998
Posted on Friday, December 07, 2007 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Vanessa, the Davis program does include a math component, but from your description your son needs the reading program (Davis Dyslexia Correction) first. The fact that he reads slowly and has poor recollection means that he really needs to master the triggers words and build fluency skills, as well as to find and address triggers. If he is forgetting what he knows during tests, he is disorienting then as well.

We sometimes find that math issues clear up on their own after a student has done the basic program -- so when there are reading issues of any sort, it is always best to address those first. However, even if your son needs to do the Davis Math Mastery program, that program will go much faster if he has Davis Dyslexia Correction first.

That being said, there is no substituted for a consultation and assessment of a Facilitator - so your first step is to contact a Davis provider and arrange for assessment of your son.

Let us know how it goes. :-)
Abigail Marshall
Webmaster: www.dyslexia.com

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