yslexia is often thought of as difficulty with literacy experienced by intelligent people; however it is not limited to literacy issues. It is not a disability, but an alternative way of thinking, primarily using pictures or images that enable individuals to view the world from many different perspectives and in creative ways.
It can affect a range of areas including literacy and numeracy (dyscalculia); motor skills (dyspraxia); organisation, focus, time and processing difficulties as well as behaviour challenges (ADD / ADHD). They have a significant impact on a person’s life.
Picture thinkers become confused by things that do not make sense to their non-verbal picture thinking style, so they try to look at it from a different angle to see if that solves the confusion. That works incredibly well with real life objects (a cat looks like a cat no matter which way you look at it), but when the dyslexic person applies the same technique to two dimensional symbols like letters or numbers, they’ll end up even more confused.
With this learning to read and write becomes difficult and frustrating, as incorrect information leads to mistakes and eventually a loss in self-esteem. The dyslexic thinker will put coping tactics in place to ‘survive’ the daily grind (daydreaming, avoidance, bad behaviour) which all hinders the learning progress. Because the root of the cause is often misunderstood by non-dyslexic educators they are often treated as though they are being difficult and are often labelled as being dumb, uncooperative and lazy.
High frequency words such as ‘a’, ‘the’ and ‘it’ have no mental picture; so they do come up ‘blank’ when the dyslexic picture thinker is reading or writing. These words are called ‘trigger words’ and they make up 75% of the English language.
When sufficiently confused, perception become distorted and the brain no longer receives accurate messages. This may show itself with messy handwriting, letter and word substitutions and reversals and omissions while reading or writing. The dyslexic’s internal sense of time can also become distorted and they may appear slow or clumsy.
The Davis approach differs from many other dyslexia programmes as it recognises that the dyslexic’s strength and weaknesses share the same root – the dyslexic non-verbal thinking style.
Some educators still focus on what people with dyslexia can’t do – process sounds of letters and words and try to get them to do it through repetition and drill.
Davis facilitators focus on what people with dyslexia can do – think in three dimensional images and use this natural talent to help them learn.
“Dyslexia is not a complexity; it is a compound of simple factors which can be dealt with step by step.” – Ronald D. Davis