the dyslexic reader 2003 - issue 33

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Brain Scans Show Dyslexics Read Better with Alternative Strategies


Dyslex ic Read er ~Vol. 33


Davis Dyslexia Association International

Issue 4 2003

Brain Scans Show Dyslexics Read Better with Alternative StrategiesBy Abigail Marshall

Scientists studying the brain have found that dyslexic adults who become capable readers use different neural pathways than nondyslexics. This research shows that there are two independent systems for reading: one that is typical for the majority of readers, and another that is more effective for the dyslexic thinker. NIMH Study of Dyslexic Adults Researchers Judith Rumsey and Barry Horwitz at the National Institute of Mental Health used positron emission tomography (PET) to compare regional cerebral blood

flow (rCBF) among dyslexic and nondyslexic men. The dyslexic subjects had childhood histories of dyslexia and continued to show some symptoms related to reading, but their overall reading ability varied. For some word recognition and comprehension tasks, the dyslexic men scored as well as or better than controls. The men in the study were asked to perform several single-word reading and decision making tasks. They were asked to perform some tasks that relied on their ability to sound out words (such as pronouncing a pseudo-word such as cazot) and some tasks that relied on their ability to recognize irregular,

nonphonetic spellings of real words (such as reading aloud words like pharoah or choir). When brain activity was correlated with reading ability, the researchers observed an intriguing inverse relationship between reading ability and cerebral blood flow patterns. For nondyslexic controls,continued on page 4

Dreams Coming True in Icelandby Alice Davis, DDAI Director

In This IssueNews & Feature Articles:Brain Scans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 Dreams Coming True in Iceland . . . . . . .1 Back to School Tips for Teachers . . . . .3 Word Master According to Humpty Dumpty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Das PhnomenWiderstand in der Davis-Beratung . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Es ist nicht alles Gold was glnzt 11 In Memory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Her Sparkle Has Returned . . . . . . . . . . .16 Movies In My Head . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 The Gift of Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Ron and I visited Iceland in August to help Axel Gudmundsson and launch the Icelandic edition of The Gift of Dyslexia and to participate in the first presentations of the Davis Learning Strategies and Fundamentals Workshops in Iceland. The country and its people are fantastic. Iceland has natural beauty everywhere in the form of sea, fjords, mountains, glaciers, lava formations, waterfalls, and lakes. The air is crystal clear and clean. The people are warm, friendly and

extremely interested in our work. The Team of Axel, rn, Hilder, Judith Shaw and Laura Shone have done an incredible job of introducing The Gift of Dyslexia and Davis Dyslexia Correction to Iceland. One measure of their success is that the English edition of Rons book has been the #2 bestseller at in Iceland for the past several months, just behind Harry Potter! To meet the demand Axel generated in February, 2003 with lectures and press coverage, several Facilitators have had the opportunity to travel there to docontinued on page 14

Regular Features:

In The Mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Famous Dyslexics Remember . . . . . . .18 Q & A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 New Facilitators & Specialists . . . . .20-22 Workshops . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23



IN THE MAILWeek One Report from Two Icelandic TeachersAugust 28, 2003 Dear friends and fellow teachers, I have been using the Davis Learning Strategies now for one week with my first grade students and I have already made one discovery. One of my students is very active even though he hasnt been diagnosed with hyperactivity or anything like that. I couldnt get him to do the Release or the Focusing, he was just all over the classroom. So I decided to use the Dial-Setting, and guess what? He told me that his Dial was at a 9! I asked him if he could put it down to 5 or 6 and he said that he would try. In the next lesson he sat still for almost 20 minutes, and he tried the Release but didnt quite get the Focusing. Today he was like another person, he sat still the whole time and did what I asked of him. Im so pleased and I have to say if your students are having a hard time calming, do the Dial before anything else, because at least for my classroom it made the rest possible. I wonder how everybody else is getting on with this? Hope to hear from you all soon. Bye, Sigrn Baldurdttir Hellissandi Hello all you wonderful people!! How very exciting Sigrn! This was just what I needed to hear, as I will meet my Special Needs students tomorrow. They are 3rd graders and have many problems I am told. Dora and Steinunn and me have been preparing letter boards, buying clay and cardboard boxes from the pizza place. Dora has already begun applying the program to maths for the young ones by making circles, triangles and squares, then the signs and numbers later on. Its so clever of her; the signs are a real trouble in maths for some pupils. I have already given my 7th graders Release and after the first giggling and peeping, they have relaxed about it and I look forward to seeing the rest work for them! Love, slaug

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Copyright 1996 Randy Glasbergen.

Bertrand Russell

The Dyslexic Reader is published quarterly by Davis Dyslexia Association International (DDAI), 1601 Bayshore Hwy., Suite 245, Burlingame, CA 94010 USA 1(650) 692-7141. OUR GOALS are to increase worldwide awareness about the positive aspects of dyslexia and related learning styles; and to present methods for improving literacy, education and academic success. We believe that all peoples abilities and talents should be recognized and valued, and that learning problems can be corrected. EDITORIAL BOARD: Alice Davis, Abigail Marshall, Maria Fagioli and Dee White. DESIGN: Julia Gaskill. SUBSCRIPTIONS: one year $25 in US, add $5 in Canada; add $10 elsewhere. BACK ISSUES: send $8.00 to DDAI. SUBMISSIONS AND LETTERS: We welcome letters, comments and articles. Mail to DDAI at the above address. VIA FAX: 1(650) 692-7075 VIA E-MAIL: INTERNET: The opinions and views expressed in articles and letters are not necessarily those of DDAI. Davis Dyslexia Correction, Davis Symbol Mastery, Davis Orientation Counseling, and Davis Learning Strategies are registered trademarks of Ronald D. Davis. Copyright 1999 by DDAI, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.



Back to School Tips for TeachersHow to create a positive experience in the classroom for dyslexic studentsby Mary Ellen Schutz (originally posted to the Davis Dyslexia Discussion Board,

I have two highly-intelligent, artistic, athletic, kind-hearted, sociable children...both of whom happen to be dyslexic...both of whom experienced dramatic, sustainable improvements in reading, writing, and math using Davis techniques. What follows is some base information that I now give all my childrens general classroom teachers at the beginning of each year. Even without specialized training, each and every teacher can make it possible for dyslexic children to have a positive experience in the classroom. takes a little thought and planning... takes a little understanding... But the pay off is 1,000 fold... What can a teacher expect to see in dyslexic students? Deep thought My children think primarily with meaning of language (as opposed to the sound of language). They can offer deep insight and complex analysis of topics. Intuitive thought Picture thinking occurs at the rate of 32 ideas or concepts per second, inside the subliminal band. It is anywhere from 400 to 2,000 times faster than verbal/sequential thought, which occurs at the rate of speech (with an upper intelligible limit of 4 to 5 words per second). My children often come to the right conclusion, but require assistance in slowing their thoughts down to a rate that allows them to view the process they used to reach the conclusion. Verbal discussion of the linear, sequential process for reaching the conclusion and written outlines often helps. Discussion helps my children to transition to verbal

conceptualization, the mode of thinking required to present their thoughts in coherent, written form. When writing, checking in with an adult every few paragraphs and prompts for intermediary punctuation, help slow their thinking down, improving the overall written piece. Curiosity My childrens rapid rate of thought allows them to consider more options and pose more questions in a given period of time. The flip side of this coin is boredom and difficulty transitioning. If a topic is of interest to them, my children will delve deeper into the idea. If the topic is not of interest or confusing, they will find something else more interesting to think about and/or do. In either case, this trait often triggers (consciously or unconsciously) their ability to distort perception. On the plus side, the distortion blocks out distractions. On the minus side, those blocked distractions may include movement of the class to the next task or topic. A quick check to see if they are with you at transition times (and attracting their attention if they are not) usually ensures that they get the next piece of information and follow yo