Dyslexia program fills in the blanks

A SUTHERLAND woman whose son has dyslexia was spurred by his plight to adopt a program developed in California.

Helping hand: Mary Davie has shown how clay letters help people read . Picture: Lisa McMahon

Helping hand: Mary Davie has shown how clay letters help people read . Picture: Lisa McMahon

Already with her own formal teaching qualifications behind her, the challenge of her son’s difficulties led Mary Davie to learn about the Davis dyslexia correction program.

So impressed by the method’s success — her son at 22 is is studying at a US university — Ms Davie went further and became a teacher of the program.

She has been teaching the program for eight years at her own business, Shire Learning Strategies.

The program was devised in 1982 by Ron Davis, an American who has dyslexia.

Ms Davie described the program as essentially a week of one-to-one tuition with follow-up work to do at home.

She said it had been found people with dyslexia mainly thought in three-dimensional pictures rather than words.

They could not picture abstract words such as ‘‘was’’ or ‘‘for’’. These presented as mental blanks. Once learners were able to stay focused they worked through the alphabet in three dimensions, making each letter in clay. Images replaced the disorienting blanks.

‘‘Davis is like complementary therapy, in that we tackle the causes of dyslexia,’’ Ms Davie said.

‘‘The program has an impact not just on the mind, but on the emotions too.’’

‘‘Dyslexia can involve horrendous frustration and lack of self-esteem.

‘‘And while the Davis program can be a literacy ‘jump start’, it can involve changes in confidence and self-esteem as much as in spelling and writing.’’

Details: http://shirelearning.com.au/  or 9521 3685.


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