Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Davis Dyslexia Therapy

So, last week we went to Stuttgart for Indy's dyslexia therapy.  I researched for a long time to find something that I thought would work for him and after reading The Gift of Dyslexia, I decided the Davis method was the way to go.  Finding a provider in Germany proved a bit more difficult, but we were fortunate enough to find someone who offers it in English (very important) and who could fit us in.  Actually, we could only get 3 days this time and will finish it up in Sept.  In just 3 days though, we saw amazing results.

One of the big things for picture thinking dyslexics (which both Indy and Mr. HH James Bond are) is that letters don't really mean much and "trigger" words like a, the, and, in, with, etc. have no no meaning to them.  Think about it, can you picture "the?"  Part of the therapy involves making the alphabet out of clay so he can hold the letter, flip it over, and see it in 3D.  Here he is making his upper case letters.

After making both upper and lower case, he starts to work on making models of trigger words.  The idea is that they look up the word to get a definition, then make something in clay that to them represents the definition (for children we simplify the definition).  The word "make" is defined as creating or building something from other materials.  He then has to come up with at least 5 sentences using the word.  Once the model is built, the word is then made out of clay and an arrow points from the word to the model.  Here is Indy's MAKE:

It's 2 boys making a wall out of blocks.  He points to the model and says "You are MAKE, meaning something created or built from other materials."  He then points to the word and says "You say MAKE."  He spells the word, touching each letter, then closes his eyes and spells is forwards and backwards (again touching each letter) and describes the model.

Here is MADE:

He used the same original model, but put a thought bubble around it with a person thinking about MAKE in the past tense.

Here is MAKES:

The idea here is that two figures talk about someone else, as in "He makes a good wall."

 There was more to the therapy, including setting the "mind's eye" which I did not get at all, but James Bond totally understood.  Indy really got the most out of defining trigger words with pictures.  He was reading the first night of his own volitionReading!  I almost cried.  The next day he begged to bring the book he had been reading to lunch.  Sure it was a Spongebob graphic novel (like a comic, but in book form and longer), but still, he was reading the word bubbles! Out loud to me and James Bond.  It was amazing.  This is an expensive therapy, but thus far it has been worth every penny.
We have exercises to do every day and he's super excited about reading now.  I can't tell you what a relief this is.  Hopefully this will make school a whole lot easier.


Janet Lynn said...

You responded to my post at WTMF. Thank you. I'm going to get that book.

I'm considering this program for my DS. I will be watching your blog to see how it turns out. I found that someone I know from our church is a Davis Facilitator. Right now we are considering outside testing first. Which is going to take FOREVER! And I'm trying to decide if their methods would be helpful for my DS8.

Anyway, I wouldn't mind a pen pal. ;) jannylynnb at hotmail dot com. It's been frustrating homeschooling this past week. I realized the nature of the problem and need to move forward.

Holly said...

It is so nice to find someone else who is going thru the same stuff we are going thru...My son was diagnosis 2 years ago with dyslexia and a friend gave me the book "The Gift of Dyslexia" and is has changed our lives...My son still struggles with comprehension but we are getting there...He now knows about 80% of his trigger words...I am definitely saving your blog to desktop...Do you talk much about this program on your blog and about your sons progression??
Thanks for bloging,

Holly said...

We did go thru to program about a year ago and his spelling grades went from B and C's to A's over night....This program does work!!!

bets said...

My daughter undertook the Davis program many years ago now. I was amazing.
I since trained in the methods and currently run Davis programs in Sydney Australia. My website is
ot the internationl website is to find a facilitator near you.
Keep up the follow up work to continue the improvement, and best of luck to you.