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General Program FAQs
Do you do Testing?Learning Tools provides pedagogical (learning) assessments not official educational testing. The pedagogical assessment is 90 minutes and costs $300. The assessments have the student do some reading, math, and writing. It is often seen by the student as "testing" but it is less of a test but an observation of how the students follow directions, and their skills and abilities. The goal is to see how they think and learn and where they are struggling. The testing includes the following: Student and Coach time:
- Questionnaire rating strengths and abilities
- Reading - San Diego Quick Assessment (SDQA)*
- Reading aloud for 5-10 minutes at SDQA instructional level*
- Comprehension questions*
- Math - 2 equations for adding, subtracting, multiplication, and division*
- Writing - 2-3 sentences, if the student writes in cursive in both print and cursive
- Dominance evaluation - ie. left/right handedness, as well as eye, ears, feet
- Tossing of bean bags or other midline crossing activity
* Adjustments are made for 5-7-year-old children in amounts/levels based on a conversation with parents.Report to parent/student via email the following day:
- Written pedagogical assessment review including:
- dominance profile
- thinking style
- SDQA results
- motivation remarks
- program recommendations (if a program is advised).
- Written pedagogical assessment review including:
What can I expect the student to gain in a program ?
What can I expect in a program:
- The Student will learn tools to focus and correct perception and disorientation will be taught.
- Student will learn how to master the basic symbols for reading and writing by creating the alphabet and abstract words using clay.
- The student will learn to master words that have previously given them troubles and have triggered disorientations.
- They will learn skills and exercises along the way to help them in their studies.
- The program is intensive, but fun, and presented in (typically) 5 consecutive days.
- Students resolve numerous confusions before the week’s end, allowing them to return to classroom the following week with new strategies and skills to better achieve academic success.
- Student will apply the skills at home based on activity schedule determined in Support Training.
- Students leave the program with the ability to focus attention at will, to regulate their energy, to recognize and eliminate disorientations as well as increased self-confidence and ability in reading, writing, or math.
- A typical program will provide for a significant improvement by the last day of the program.
- After the program the student will implement the tools into everyday life, as well as do Davis Symbol Mastery® follow-up on trigger words, which is necessary to ensure continued success with the program.
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How Does the Davis Programs Compare to Other Dyslexia Programs?
How long does a program take?The Davis Dyslexia Correction program is 30 hours of one on one work with a Facilitator. Follow-up work, which includes symbol mastery of all remaining trigger words, is done at home at the students pace. Attention Mastery (for ADD or ADHD) program is 30-35 hours of one on one work with the facilitator. Follow-up work varies on the needs of the client. Math Mastery program is 36-48 hours of one on one work with the facilitator. Follow-up work, which includes symbol mastery of all remaining story problem trigger words, is done at home at the students pace. A Young Learners Program is 30-36 hours working with the facilitator and a parent. Follow-up work, which includes symbol mastery of all remaining trigger words, is done at home at the students pace.
Can I do this program on my own, just by reading the book?A parent working at home can NOT replicate the comprehensive program that is offered by experienced Davis Facilitators. However, the book The Gift of Dyslexia contains enough basic information about the Davis approach, and the theory behind it, to enable parents, tutors, or teachers to begin working with students on their own. A dyslexic teenager or adult cannot work entirely by themselves to use the methods explained by the book, but they may be able to work successfully with the help of a friend or family member. Some people have experienced success just from following the steps laid out in the book. The degree of success varies depending on the abilities and level of motivation of the students and their helpers. *Used with permission from Dyslexia the Gift website, www.Dyslexia.com © 1995-2006 Davis Dyslexia Association International Reprinted with Permission
What happens after the program, is there follow-up work?For all programs follow-up work is needed, the amount depends on the client needs and program completed. Each client will work together with the facilitator and their main support person to come up with an individual plan of action to ensure improve his/her skills. Follow-up support is also included as part of the program and consists of a Student Symbol Mastery Kit, Support Training for client helper(s), telephone consultations, and up to three two-hour return visits, as needed. The student will need less and less help along the way, as the new skills gradually become independent tools. For the reading program, the client should master the entire list of 217 trigger words. The math program has 35 math story problem trigger words to complete while the attention program clay modeling is done around behaviors desired to be worked with. All clay and support work can be completed over several months or longer depending on the motivation and goals of the student and availability of support persons.
Can a person lose his/her natural abilities after the program?No, the Davis Methods utilize the client’s strengths and teaches them how to use their natural abilities to learn more quickly and thoroughly. This can actually strengthen their natural abilities.
Do I have to have an official diagnosis of Dyslexia?No diagnosis of dyslexia is needed. The first step is to schedule an initial consultation. There will be an assessment done at this time to determine if a Davis Program would be a good fit. The assessment looks at the following:
- ability to perceive multi-dimensionally
- skills & abilities - challenges & strengths
- level of motivation, and
- the appropriateness of the program for the client
How does this program work for home-schooled children?Davis works well with home-schooled children. The Davis® Program integrates nicely into the homeschool setting. The final afternoon of the last day of the program is for support training. During this time the facilitator will provide for you an overview of how to proceed for the next 4-6 months using the materials that you will be provided with.
What is Davis Symbol Mastery® and do all programs use it?Picture thinkers learn best through a visual/spatial approach. Clients learn the basic symbols of reading and writing by creating the alphabet and other symbols as clay models. Clients then use clay to create the concept of word’s that do not have natural mental pictures, we call these“trigger words”. An example of a few trigger words that have multiple means are on, in, at, and too. All programs use symbol mastery as a tool to bring meaning to symbols, words, and/or concepts.
What is the Support Training?Support training is done during the afternoon on the last day of the program. This essential part of the program is for the client, their main support person, as well as anyone who will be helping the client is encouraged to attend. During this session, the student and facilitator will share what they have learned, best ways to continue the student's follow-up work and communicate any other needed information to the support persons. The support persons will also be taught the basic Symbol Mastery methods and briefed on how to act as a coach for the client after the program.
How much will reading improve after the one-week Davis Dyslexia Correction program?The level of reading improvement with a Davis program is variable, depending on the age of the client, the degree to which the child or adult was struggling before commencing the program, and individual factors, which influence the rate of progress. However, it is very common that a child who completes a Davis Dyslexia Correction program will be able to read at or near expected level for their age at the end of a five-day program. In many cases, the student will be reading above grade level, even if the child was many years behind grade level at the outset. In almost all cases there will be a noticeable improvement over the course of the program week. Because of the individualized nature of our program, results can vary dramatically from person to person. Some people come to us with coordination difficulties, some with speech deficits, some with dyscalculia or dysgraphia, some with attention focus problems. We’ve worked with adults who can’t read at all who come up to a fifth-grade level or more within a week. There have been fifth graders who are reading in a struggling fashion who start at about 2-3 grade level and come up to about 5th grade. There have been both adults and children who cannot catch a ball who do so by the end of the week. Many people experience improvement in handwriting immediately, some within 6 months. Some who cannot hear or pronounce speech sounds suddenly are able to – some need to continue speech therapy but with an increased rate of improvement. Long-term results of our program largely depend on how much follow-through the client does with the Davis reading exercises and Symbol Mastery of small words. The results seen in the course of a one-week program working with a licensed Facilitator need to be sustained through at-home practice.
How is this program different from others?Davis Methods are different from other dyslexia programs because the Davis® Programs are meaning based programs. The methods used address the root cause of learning disabilities. This positive, creative-based program is designed for the learning style of the visual-spatial person. It uses the natural strengths and talents of the client’s personal learning style. Clients will learn, how they learn and leave with the ability to implement the knowledge obtained during the program into daily life. The program does not use teaching methods based on phonics, colored-overlays, rote memorization, or repetitive drill, which address only the symptoms, not the root cause.
Other Learning Challenges
Can Davis methods help children with attention focus problems or hyperactivity?Yes. Davis Facilitators have training in specialized methods designed to help students who have attention focus problems or hyperactivity. The methods allow the student to gain self-control over their energy level. Through a Davis Attention Mastery program, students learn to use Davis tools to maintain focus and control their own energy levels, and master life concepts such as time, sequence, consequence, order, and disorder *Used with permission from Dyslexia the Gift website, Www.Dyslexia.Com © 1995-2006 Davis Dyslexia Association International Reprinted with Permission
Will these programs help a child who is taking Ritalin for ADHD?The Davis Program is not recommended for children who are on medications to treat attention focusing problems at the time of the program. I will be happy to consult with families whose children are on medication but typically will not provide the Davis Dyslexia Correction program to a child while on Ritalin or similar medications. Stimulant medications such as Ritalin will tend to interfere with the student’s ability to learn the control of their mind’s eye, and techniques such as dial-setting, which are a significant element of Davis methods. Sometimes parents elect to have their child do a program during a school break when they can also take a Ritalin “vacation” However, the decision to interrupt medication can only be made by the parent along with the treating physician. *Used with permission from Dyslexia the Gift website, www.Dyslexia.com © 1995-2006 Davis Dyslexia Association International Reprinted with Permission
How can Davis methods help a child who reads well, but has problems with writing?Davis facilitators view dyslexia as being a manifestation of a nonverbal thinking style. Most dyslexics can be described as visual-spatial thinkers. They think well using mental imagery but have difficulty with some aspect of symbolic thinking, such as working with words and numbers. We can give these problems another name – dysgraphia for the writing problem, dyscalculia for the math problem. Some educators prefer to label each problem differently and simply treat the symptoms, through tutoring or occupational therapy. The Davis approach is different: we look at the underlying learning style and focus on eliminating the barriers. We find that some of the underlying barriers are the same for kids who can read well but have problems with writing as they are for kids who can’t read at all. When we look at the underlying thought process, we can understand how a child can have a dyslexic thinking style but also be a good reader. Being able to recognize written words in a book is a different matter than being able to produce them on your own, and people who think in pictures can have a very hard time putting their thoughts into words. When a person fits that category, a Davis program will help overcome writing difficulties. The Davis Symbol Mastery will give the person words to connect to mental pictures, and Davis Orientation will help with perceptual/motor skills related to writing.
Will Davis methods help with Central Auditory Processing Disorder?Our experience has been that individuals age 7 and over with symptoms of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), or “auditory dyslexia” do well with Davis methods. The ‘diagnosis’ of C.A.P.D. is becoming more common for children and adults who seem to have problems with listening, either because they do not seem to be able to readily distinguish sounds in language, or have difficulty understanding what has been said to them. These individuals do not have any physical problem affecting their hearing but seem to have difficulty in interpreting the words that they hear. Symptoms of C.A.P.D. include:
- Difficulty understanding verbal instructions/directions;
- Delay in responding;
- Says “Huh” / “What” a lot;
- Forgetting what was said;
- Speech problems (Confusing R & L sounds);
- Problems with blending sounds and discriminating sounds;
- Daydreamers/behavior problems;
- Frequent need for repetition of directions and information;
- Use of gestures rather than verbal expression;
- Inability to discriminate between words that sound alike;
- Distractibility by outside noises;
- Difficulty remembering names and places;
- Difficulty repeating sounds, letters, & numbers in sequence;
- Possible speech and language delays;
- Possible history of ear infections.
What is dyspraxia and what can be done about it?Dyspraxia is sometimes called ‘clumsy child syndrome.’ The child (or adult) with dyspraxia may be chronically clumsy or accident-prone. The dyspraxic individual also has poor motor skills. For example, a child may have great difficulty holding a pencil and struggle tremendously with writing. Because of poor motor coordination, the child may also find it virtually impossible to learn to ride a bike or to catch a ball. We have found Davis Orientation, as described in The Gift of Dyslexia, to be very helpful with dyspraxia. The ‘koosh ball’ exercise that accompanies Fine Tuning is particularly helpful to the individual with problems with large motor skills, balance, or hand/eye coordination. Orientation resolves the perceptual problems which underly many symptoms of dyspraxia. Many individuals report after doing Orientation that it is the first time in their lives they have felt ‘in balance’ rather than somehow being off-center. More information about using Davis Orientation for dyspraxia is in Chapter 11 (Clumsiness) and Chapter 30 (Coordination) of the revised edition of The Gift of Dyslexia. *Used with permission from Dyslexia the Gift website, www.Dyslexia.com © 1995-2006 Davis Dyslexia Association International Reprinted with Permission