the dyslexic reader 2006 - issue 41

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The Engelbrecht Controlled Study of Davis Methods in South Africa; Dyscalculia: Lifting the Lid


Dyslex ic Read er The



Davis Dyslexia Association International

ISSUE 1 & 2 2006

In 2004, for her masters degree in psychology, South African educator Ren Engelbrecht conducted a controlled study of the efficacy of Davis methods for children with reading problems. The purpose of the study was to scientifically test the claims of the Davis Dyslexia Association International, that the Davis programme, and especially the Orientation Counseling and Symbol Mastery techniques, can improve the reading ability and psychological well-being of individuals with dyslexia. In the introduction to her thesis, Englebrecht describes her motivation

The Engelbrecht Controlled Study of Davis Methods in South Africaand purpose in choosing to research the Davis method. Since a reading disorder can have such a negative influence on an individuals reading ability, academic performance and psychological functioningand in many instances phonic instruction, which is mostly used as form of intervention, does not always deliver successful results, scientific research of the Davis programme seemed founded. Positive results would mean that individuals with a learning problem as well as learners at risk would at least have an

The motivation for this study was not to belittle other methods of intervention regarding individuals with a reading disorder but to determine whether the Davis programme is a significant and scientifically valid alternative form of intervention.

(Contd on p. 10)

In This Double IssueNews & Feature ArticlesThe Engelbrecht Controlled Study of Davis Methods in South Africa . . . . .1 Dyscalculia: Lifting the Lid . . . . . . . . . .1 The Story of Happy Horace . . . . . . . . .3 Visual-Experiential Home Schooling Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 More on Foreign Language Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Why Education is Important to Me . .14 The Quilts of Education . . . . . . . . .15 Dyslexic in English . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Have ToolsWill Time Travel . . . . . . . .18

Dyscalculia: Lifting the defines the term Dyscalculia as: Impairment of the ability to solve mathematical problems, usually resulting from brain dysfunction. It is probably as widespread as dyslexia and yet, curiously, is far less in the public awareness than its literacy cousin. Sometimes, the same person can have both dyslexic and dyscalculic symptoms. Other learners may, by contrast, have highly developed literacy but poor numeracy skills, or vice versa. Like dyslexics, dyscalculics often develop survival strategies such as rote learning techniques, do-it-for-me strategies and, of course, the pocket calculator. These serve to mask their learning difficulty from prying eyes. Generally speaking, there are fewer eyes prying at dyscalculic difficulties by Richard Whitehead, DDA-UK Director

Regular FeaturesIn the Mail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 New Facilitators . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24-29 Davis Workshops . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30-31

than at dyslexic difficulties, so the strategies tend to work. Dyscalculics often have a related difficulty with telling the time, using a calendar, and therefore also with time management. Alongside the Davis Dyslexia(Contd on p. 12)



I sit down to do my spell reading like a first grader but age 57 and am flooded with frustration and joy at the same time. Frustrationrecognizing 50 years of struggle, tightness, fear I am able to release now and the tears begin to flow. This is truly the most important process in my life right now. I want it to rush for some reason. I want to be done with Dear DDAI: it. I don't know why, because each step, each word reveals so I am writing to thank you for the great work you did much to me. I guess it's because I feel like a little girl again this summer with one of my students. She was struggling having to sit here and work but I really want to go out and last year in third grade, but this year I wouldnt have know play. But here I am with these words going through one letter there had been a problem because she is so able to read at a time. Sitting in this beautiful house there are so many and understand what shes reading. We just had a meeting today about her special needs things to play with but yet I sit. I guess it's that feeling of sitting and reading and not getting anywhere, but now its and your workshop was brought to my attention by the different. Its time to cry the tears and let go. parent. Obviously, we were all very interested in the I can sit with the words now and actually see them information she shared as there are so many others that the way they are and remember how to spell them, and I could be helping by using some of these strategies. comprehend. I have the power now and it can be fun. I can This little one is so precious to me! She loves read all the wonderful books that have been written, the school now and especially loves reading! So again, classics that I hear everyone referring to. I can do it, but first thank you so much for all you did for her this summer! I have to go letter by letter, word by word, tear by tear. Please share!

In the Mail:

Sharon Tatman, Fourth Grade TeacherCopyright 2001 Randy Glasbergen.

Janine Miller, 57, artist

Give a hungry man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a hungry man how to fish and he eats for a lifetime.

Confucius 551 479 b.c.

The Dyslexic Reader is published quarterly by Davis Dyslexia Association International (DDAI), 1601 Bayshore Hwy., Suite 245, Burlingame, CA 94010 USA. Tel. +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 & Dee White. DESIGN: Gideon Kramer. SUBSCRIPTIONS: one year $25 in US, add $5 in Canada; add $10 elsewhere. BACK ISSUES: send $8.00 to DDAI. SUBMISSIONS & LETTERS: We welcome letters, comments and articles. Mail to DDAI at the above address. VIA FAX: +1(650) 692-7075 VIA E-MAIL: INTERNET: www.dyslexia.comThe 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 2004 by DDAI, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.



The Story of Happy HoraceOnce upon a time there was a little boy called Horace. All of Horaces friends called him Happy Horace because he was so joyful in his world. He loved all the things in the world. Toddling about he would come across stuff and things. He found them all very interesting. Horace would find that a door for instance would swing. He could see how the door hung on hinges and swung round and how the latch latched into the door frame to keep it shut. He could see how the wheels of his bicycle came on and off their frame, how the chain made the wheel go around, and how that made the bike go along. Horace loved stuff because he understood stuff. Imagine how excited Horace was when he found out that he was going to school! A place to do Ian Richardson, Sculptor, Storyteller and Davis Facilitator in Blaisdon Longhope, UK

Ian Richardsons sculptures

used his imagination to work out how things worked was fantastic for learning about things and stuff in the world, but it didnt seem to work at all with letters and spelling. Just as soon as he thought he understood bits of the meaning of these strange squiggles and dots and lines, their meaning seemed to change and nothing made any sense. Horace got very confused and sad because everyone else seemed to find it all so easy. He thought to himself, I must be a bit, sort of broken in my head. I must have a bit that doesnt work properly. What Horace decided to do was to carry on with the bits of life he was good at and to accept that he would never be able to do writing and stuff like that. This was OK for a while, but as Horace grew up and wanted to join in and be the same as others, the more he needed to do writing. But he couldnt. Horace ended up in all sorts of trouble because he didnt fill in the forms to pay the tax man. He didnt understand he had to pay money to drive a car on the road so the police wanted to talk to him about that. Oh dear, thought Horace, not only am I half stupid but Im a bad person too. I hate this bit of me that doesnt work properly. I have to do something. This just isnt good enough. I want to be a whole person, a good person. I want to work properly. What can I do? Just as soon as Horace had determined to make a change in his Wow thought Horace, all that stuff life he started to talk to people and he found out that lots of people were to learn about and a school to teach like him. This made him feel a bit me about it. What could be better? better and soon he met with a kind When Horace got to school his teachers tried to teach him about letters, and wise teacher who explained the the alphabet and spelling. Horace tried truth to him. Perhaps its like this, said and tried, but he tried to see these the teacher, this bit of you that you things and understand them in the hate, the bit that causes you to be sad same way that he understood door because you think it doesnt work hinges or bicycle wheels. properly, well, what if that same bit This way of thinking, where Horace made pictures in his h