How is the Davis method for reading, math or attention different from other methods?

Davis facilitators address the root cause of learning struggles with the positive, multisensory and creative Davis programs designed specifically for the visual- spatial learner. Three dimensional thinking is valued and the Davis programs provide the bridge to the two dimensional world of symbols.

Phonics vs whole word. Picture thinkers have difficulty thinking with the sounds of words. Reading by breaking words down into component sounds is hard. Whole word recognition works and is developed during the program.

It does not rely on repetition or drill. Doing more of what is frustrating or hard is not productive. The Davis activities use natural talents and are therefore effective.

The Davis method does not rely on medications or herbal treatments. It is important for dyslexic students to take control of their own learning. Since dyslexia is not a disease or a psychiatric ailment, medications are not appropriate, and will only hinder the students learning.

What can my child expect to gain from the Davis program?

Students leave the program with the tools of basic literacy—including:

• Reading strategies that eliminate guessing, re-reading and promote comprehension
• The ability to creatively eliminate confusions in letters, words, numerals and other symbols
• Increased self-confidence and ability in reading, writing, or math
• Improved balance and co-ordination
• The ability to recognize and correct disorientations at will
• The ability to focus attention, without the use of medication
• Awareness and control of energy, matching to situations appropriately
• Simple stress relief techniques.

How much improvement can we expect?

The Davis Dyslexia Correction program has a 97% success rate! A typical program will provide for a significant improvement by the last day of the program. This is a literacy jumpstart…future progress is determined by the clients motivation, continued use of tools, and completion of Symbol Mastery after the program.

Have any studies been done to prove reading improves with the Davis program?

The reading level at the beginning and end of the basic five-day program was measured using the Ekwall-Shanker Reading Inventory during oral and silent passage reading.

Data shows an average improvement of almost 4 full grade levels in reading. More than one-third of the group showed improvement of 5 or more grade levels; more than three-quarters improved their reading skills by at least 3 grade levels.

When the level of improvement is correlated to the age of the student, a clear pattern of steadily rising results emerges. Children age 8 through 12 had average gains of slightly above 3 grade levels. Teenagers, age 13-18, averaged almost 5 grade levels of improvement during the one week program. Adults, ranging in age from 19 through 57, experienced an average improvement in ability of 6 grade levels.

Read more: Link

Cite as:

Marshall, A., Smith, L., & Borger-Smith, S. (2009). Davis Program Average Reading Gains.

What are the main components of the Davis Dyslexia Correction program?

The two major components of the Davis Dyslexia Correction program are Orientation Counseling and Symbol Mastery. Davis Dyslexia Correction always includes both of these components.

Davis Orientation Counseling teaches dyslexic students how to recognize and control the mental state that leads to distorted and confused perceptions of letters, words and numerals. Through a simple mental technique, the students learn to turn off the thought processes that cause misperceptions. Instead, they are able to restore their minds to a relaxed and focused state, suitable for reading and other studies. Once Orientation is learned, the student is ready to build the conceptual skills that will allow them to overcome problems stemming from dyslexia.

Davis Symbol Mastery gives dyslexic students the ability to think with symbols and words, so they can learn to read easily and with full comprehension. Using clay, students first work with the alphabet, numerals, and punctuation marks, to make sure that they have an accurate perception and understanding of these symbols. Students then use clay to model the trigger words–the short abstract words, frequently encountered in reading, such as and, the, to, or it. These words cause problems when dyslexic students cannot form a mental picture to go along with them. Through Symbol Mastery, the student makes a three-dimensional clay model of the meaning of each word, together with a model of the letters of the words. With this approach, learning is permanent.

(used with permission)

What is involved in the “follow-up” portion of the program?

The follow up is very important if continued progress is to be made. Orientation Counselling corrects perception. Symbol Mastery corrects Dyslexia. The follow-up includes reading activities, Koosh ball practice, and Symbol Mastery. The schedule is set and agreed upon by the client, who will fully understand their responsibility for completion.

What about medication?

We do not recommend the Davis program for individuals using medication to control the symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or hyperactivity.

Some medicines (particularly those that affect the central nervous system) hamper a person’s ability to use creative thought, or to visualize or picture things using imagination. This becomes significant when doing Davis Orientation Counseling as well as the Fine Tuning sections of our program. During these times, individuals are using multi-dimensional thought and perceptual abilities that are quite natural for them. Psychoactive drugs will inhibit the individual from using these talents.

Doing the Davis program will not harm an individual who is taking such medications. It’s just that the full benefits of the Davis program often cannot be obtained in such a situation.

If you are considering the Davis program with a licensed provider, it is important that you discuss all medications with the provider prior to beginning the program. This will help you and the provider decide whether the program is right for you.

Why is clay used?

For the dyslexic, creativity is an essential part of the learning process. Mastery requires creativity.
We (dyslexics) only learn those things which we, ourselves create. If we create something in the form of memorization, that is what we have – something memorized. If we create something in the form of understanding, that’s what we have – understanding. But, if we create something in the form of mastery, it becomes a part of us, it becomes a part of our intellect. When something is mastered, it becomes a part of our thinking process.

When we memorize something, or when we understand something, we have created it mentally. In other words we have created mental pictures or mental sounds for the thing. When something is mastered, it isn’t just created mentally, it must also be created in the real world. Creating mentally, inside ourselves, the best we can come up with is understanding; it requires creating it outside of ourselves to master it.

No matter how thoroughly we understand riding a bicycle, the understanding of it won’t keep us from tipping over the first time we get on the bike. Mastering riding the bike requires that we get on the bike and ride it. We have to create it in the real world in order to master it.

The question is: how can we master a word? We can’t get on it and ride it around. But we can create it in the real world.

When we make the concept of the word in clay, what we are doing is creating that concept in the real world.

When we create the concept of the word in clay, and then add what the word looks like and what the word sounds like, we have created that word in the real world. That word is mastered

(Used with permission)