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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions, please click to reveal. If you have any further enquiries please contact Margot.

What can I or my child expect to gain?

The basic tools of literacy, including:

  • The ability to recognize and correct perceptual distortions at will.
  • The ability to focus attention.
  • The knowledge and skills for how to eliminate confusions in words and symbols.
  • Increased self-confidence and ability in reading, writing, math or physical skills.
  • A successful and effective method of learning and studying that can be used throughout a lifetime.

What is the success rate?

97% of Davis clients achieve their goals. Our success rate is largely based on the Results Assessment interview done at the end of the program and anecdotal reports. Many of the most significant changes experienced by our clients are impossible to measure, especially their increased or renewed self-confidence.

The long term results of our program with regard to reading largely depend on how much follow-through the client does mastering the small words. This can take up to about a year. How much they improve really depends on where they were when they started and how motivated they are to continue to improve. Certified Davis Facilitators include in their programs follow-up visits and phone consultations in order to help with this process after the intensive 5-day program.

The 3% that we could not help were for various reasons. These include prior psychological conditions such as schizophrenia, manic depression and drug dependency. A hostile unsupportive environment filled with emotional, physical or verbal abuse can sometimes be a factor. There have been cases where we have accepted clients who had no motivation to improve - it was largely a parent's idea that they do the program - we failed - in which case we refunded the fee.

Today, we screen carefully to maintain our high success rate. One could not expect this type of success rate in a school or mandated environment where the candidates are not selected by motivation to improve. The Davis methods do not work when forced.

In 1982, we did obtain permission from McGraw-Hill to use their achievement tests untimed with our clients. A brief summary of the results:

  • A study to measure the effectiveness of the Davis procedures was conducted by the Reading Research Council between 1982 and 1984, utilizing the McGraw-Hill Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills. The study group consisted of 110 cases, 24 female and 86 males ages 6 to 61. Untimed testing was done before and after 30-40 hours of individualized counselling and instruction.
  • Results showed an average increase of 21 percentile points in reading scores, and 17 percentile points in language scores. Grade equivalents in both areas also increased an average of 1.8, almost two grade levels.

We believe these results were largely due to what the client already knew but could not demonstrate previously because of disorientation and confusions. Continued progress and improvement in reading would depend on the client's follow through with Davis Symbol Mastery. ~ Alice Davis, DDAI.

How does the Davis Programme differ from other programmes for learning difficulties?

The Davis methods address the root cause of learning disabilities. The student learns how to control disorientation at will. This programme corrects the learning disability using the natural strengths and talents of the individual's personal thinking and learning style. It is fun. Many other programs address only the symptoms and involve a lot of repetition (which dyslexics often find boring and tedious).

What happens during the Davis Programme?

These are the basic procedures:

  • Davis Perceptual Ability Assessment. A screening to determine the ability to perceive multi-dimensionally and tailor the programme to the student.
  • Davis Orientation Counseling®. The client learns to perceive accurately and correct perceptions at will. This is done through the perceptual and kinesthetic exercises described in The Gift of Dyslexia.
    For an online article that describes disorientation, click here.
  • Davis Symbol Mastery®. Picture thinkers learn best through a visual/spatial approach. Our clients learn the basic symbols of reading and writing by creating the alphabet and other symbols as clay models. Abstract words are mastered by creating the concept of each meaning in clay along with the word. You will see some examples used as illustrations on this web site.

Is there any research on the effectiveness of the Davis methods?

Yes, there is a list of all the studies into the Davis methods at http://www.dyslexia.com/science/researchlist.htm which includes the Engelbrecht Controlled Study from South Africa and also researchers from the University of Blomfontein here - www.dyslexia.com/science/freestate.

Can a Davis programme help solve other learning problems?

Yes. Here are a few examples:

  • Dysgraphia (handwriting difficulties).
  • Dyscalculia (math difficulties).
  • ADD/ADHD (attention deficit [hyperactive] disorder).
  • Auditory perception deficits.
  • Motor coordination difficulties (dyspraxia).
  • Problems with time and order.

These stem from the same cause as dyslexia, so they too can be corrected.

Why do you say correct instead of cure?

There is no cure for dyslexia but you can learn to control the symptoms and the effect it has on your life. Cure implies a malady or ill health (mental or physical). Correct means to remove errors and mistakes, to make right.

How does the programme affect a person's self-esteem?

Self-esteem is always improved and is usually seen in the first few days of the programme as the person begins to experience success with learning for the first time.

Who can benefit from the Davis Programme?

Adults and children eight years and older who are gifted with dyslexia. Each client must be willing and motivated to pursue the programme for self-improvement, not because someone else insists. Self-motivation is not a pre-requisite for students aged 5-7 years doing the Reading Programme for Young Learners.

How much improvement can be expected by the end of a 5 day programme?

Typically, at least a one to two year grade level of improvement can be expected in reading or some other basic skill. The age of the client and initial motivation are factors in how much improvement occurs. Future progress is determined by the individual's motivation, and continued use of Symbol Mastery after the programme.

Can someone lose their natural abilities after your programme?

No. The Davis approach emphasizes and utilizes the natural strengths and talents of the dyslexic thinking and learning style. It unleashes and validates the ability of visual-spatial- kinestethic learners. In fact, any natural abilities are usually enhanced.

What happens after the programme?

The client must master a list of 219 trigger words which limit reading comprehension and skill. This can be completed in short tutoring sessions over several months after the basic programme. At the rate of five words per week, this can be accomplished within one year. Follow-up support is also included as part of the programme. This consists of:

  • Student Symbol Mastery Kit (includes manual, dictionary, grammar book, clay and other study aids).
  • Training for a tutor, teacher, and family members.
  • Telephone consultations.
  • Up to three return visits to review the basic Davis tools, if needed.

Are there alternatives to the programme?

Yes. We suggest you:

  • Read The Gift of Dyslexia and follow the steps.
  • Use instructional videos that will assist you in applying these methods.
  • Attend a workshop and learn how to use the Davis methods with your child or student. For workshop information, or if you want to find a provider in another part of the world, visit the Davis Dyslexia Association International web site.

Can I speak to others who have been through the programme?

Certainly. We can email, fax or mail you a list of people who have said they would be happy to share their experiences with others.

What is my next step?

By now, you probably have a few questions of your own.
e-mail Margot YoungMargot Young or call Margot on:

Land line 04 478 2208

Mobile 021 673 119

How can you know whether or not to discontinue phonics instruction with a dyslexic child?

The most significant sign that phonics instruction is not working is frustration. If the child regularly shows sign of frustration with any method - such as anger, tears, or unwillingness to proceed -- the attempts to teach by that approach should cease, and another approach should be tried. The biggest mistake is to pursue a course relying on repetition and drill with an unwilling child. Most dyslexic children are very quick to grasp concepts that they easily understand; if a child is slow to learn pre-reading or reading skills, it is a sure sign that the approach is not working. Intensifying the instruction will not help.

Some dyslexic children find it easy to learn to work with phonics and enjoy word puzzles and games involving phonics. If the child is relaxed and enjoying the activity, then it will not do any harm and the child is probably learning. However, a common pattern seen in these types of children is that they will seem to do well in early primary years, but will get "stuck" and not be able to transition from decoding of words to reading fluency. At this point, these children do not need more phonics, but rather they need to learn the visual whole word recognition skills that will bridge the gap between sounding-out words and recognizing and comprehending words by sight. Children like this often make extremely rapid progress with Davis methods, as they already have good foundational skills for reading, and the Davis tools provide the missing link they need to become strong and competent readers.

See the research that brain scans show that dyslexics read better with alternative strategies http://www.dyslexia.com/science/different_pathways.htm

After the Davis programme should you continue with phonics instruction as this will probably be taught in school?

Learning phonics and phonetic decoding skills is a primary level reading or pre-reading skill. A child over the age of 8 or 9 should not need more instruction in phonics after the Davis programme; emphasis on phonics may cause the child to regress or become confused, and in any event will tend to slow down reading. See the research that brain scans show that dyslexics read better with alternative strategies http://www.dyslexia.com/science/different_pathways.htm

Children from ages 5-7 should probably be exposed to both phonetic sounding-out strategies, and to the visual methods taught with Davis Learning Strategies. The teacher or parent should explain that these are different tools to help learn to read, and through observation, help guide the child to use the combination of strategies that work best for him.

Why are Davis methods drug free?

One of the main goals of the Davis Programme is to enable a person to correct their perceptions and control their attention on their own without the use of medication. A person under the influence of certain medications is not able to experience the contrast and improvement that voluntary control of orientation has on their learning ability as well as their creativity.

Medicines such as antihistamines, codeine-based cough syrups, stimulants (Ritalin, Concerta, Strattera, etc.), and antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) should be avoided.

These medications inhibit a person’s ability to use creative thought, or to visualize or picture things using imagination. This becomes significant when doing a Davis Programme. During the Programme, clients are asked to use multi-dimensional thought and perceptual abilities that are quite natural for them. Psychoactive drugs inhibit the individual’s ability to use these talents.

In many cases, our clients have travelled a great distance. We want to ensure that they receive the full benefits of the Davis Programme when they arrive. Thus we ask for a full disclosure of current medications being taken (including non-prescription medications or natural, herbal remedies), and whenever possible, to refrain from certain medications for at least one week prior to starting a Programme. However, no prescribed medication should ever be discontinued without seeking the advice and permission of the doctor who prescribed it.

This doesn’t mean that it is impossible for a medicated person to do the Davis procedures. Medications such as antibiotics and aspirin, when necessary to treat a temporary physical problem, are acceptable. Also acceptable are medications for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma.

How much does it cost?

Even though each programme is tailored to meet the specific needs of each client, the cost is generally around $3,105 including GST. This price includes:

  • 30 hours of one-on-one facilitation.
  • Student kit containing student manual, clay, dictionary, grammar book, Koosh® balls, procedure charts and bag.
  • Support training for all persons who will assist in supporting the client after the programme.
  • Teacher meetings (if required).
  • Three 1-2 hour post-programme visits (if necessary).
  • Unlimited telephone and email support.

A deposit of $690 is required to secure a booking. Payment of the balance is typically due on the first day of the programme; however, payment plans can be requested. In extreme cases, partial scholarships may be available.

Extended programmes which take 8 days (Maths Mastery, Dyslexia correction including Attention Mastery) are $4000 + GST ($4600 incl GST). If Maths Mastery is undertaken after Dyslexia Correction or Attention Mastery, this is usually 3 days and is $1495 incl GST.

Why does it cost so much?

The standard programme fee covers 30 hours of one-on-one tuition (extended programmes are 48 hours of one-on-one tuition), plus 3 follow-up sessions of 1-2 hours, teacher meetings if required, and unlimited telephone and email conversations.

Although the initial investment is relatively high, this equates to about 18 (or 24) months of SPELD tuition and it does give the student an intensive learning period, which kick-starts their learning using their picture thinking strengths.

As an hourly rate it is not much more than a mechanic, but is significantly cheaper than the rate you might pay an Educational Psychologist to diagnose any learning difficulties.

For an online assessment, click here.

Answers to FAQs derived from material originally published by Davis Dyslexia Association International and the Davis Dyslexia Correction Center and used with permission.