ISSUE 1I1 2014 VOL 67

When Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia
and Hypotonia Intersect
By Lorraine Charbonneau, Davis Facilitator
in Mason, Ohio, United States


. ecently I had a 13-year-old male client. school, none of the personnel at the school

He had been diagnosed with a writing
disorder (dysgraphia), and by a physical
therapist as having a coordination disorder
and hypotonia (dyspraxia). His school in
Kentucky told his parents that since the
boy was older than 10 years of age, there
was no use in providing intervention.
The occupational therapist at school also
believed that since the boy could manipulate
Lego blocks quite well, he was just
choosing not to write and not to participate
in gym class.
I gave the boy’s mother the following
information (gathered from a number of
internet sites) in the hope that she could
inform and enlighten the staff at the school
about the issues her child was facing and the
reasons why he was experiencing them. The
mom found that the information described
her son accurately in every way. Despite
having read the terms in a report from the





had articulated to her how the two issues
impacted one another.
My client had motor planning issues and
was severely disoriented. His improvement
with a Davis Dyslexia Correction Program
was nothing short of miraculous. His
handwriting has improved dramatically.
Before he began his Davis Program, his
balance was so poor, he could not stand on
one foot; now he can catch and throw the
Koosh balls while balancing on one foot.
Orientation Counseling, Auditory
Orientation, the Koosh ball exercise,
Release and Dial were precisely the tools my
client needed in order to make progress with
his dysgraphia and dyspraxia. Just as the
information below mentions, at this client’s
school, when visual-perceptual issues were
found in this child, the standard protocol
was to work around them, rather than to
provide effective intervention. Essentially,







this school, like many others, did not
address these challenges, probably because
they don't know how to. Davis Facilitators
receive instruction in addressing the root
causes of such issues. That is what makes us
different, and allows the Davis Method to
help our clients become so successful.
(continued on page 3)

Counseling, Auditory
Orientation, the
Koosh ball exercise,
Release and Dial were
precisely the tools my
client needed in order
to make progress with
his dysgraphia and


By Carolyn Tyler, Davis Facilitator in Fairhaven, Massachusetts

comprehensive “Learning Style Profile”,
carefully detailed in the book, separation
of ‘instructor’ and ‘instructed’ learning
By Mariaemma Willis, M.S. and Victoria Kindle Hodson, M.A.
style preferences are apparent and
Paperback: 325 pages Publisher: Three Rivers Press, New York
clarified. Once the student’s learning style
ISBN 0-7615-2013-9
is clearly identified, the authors provide
distinct ways to introduce information.
The book champions individuality and
offers insights not often considered by a
ith the increasing momentum
child’s academic productivity and learning struggling learner. For instance, certain
towards homeschooling, Discover
success by providing them with point-to- types of background music and tempo
Your Child’s Learning Style, by
point details of how to properly assess
may enhance the learning environment
Mariaemma Willis, M.S., and Victoria
their child’s optimum learning channels.
for some subjects but not for all with the
Kindle Hodson, M.A., is a must read
‘Instructors’ tend to teach to their own
same student. “Noise might be helpful
for parents. The book equips parents
learning style which is not always the
when working on math problems but not
with the tools they need to increase their
best for the ‘instructed.’ By taking the

Discover Your Child’s Learning Style

(continued on page 4)

Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia and Hypotonia.........1, 3
Discover Your Child’s Learning Style..............1, 4
Making Sense of What’s On The Page.............5
What’s Really Wrong With School................ 6-8

Weird Words..........................................................9
Names Removed to Protect The Courageous....13
In The News................................................... 16-19

In the Mail...............................................................2
Famous Dyslexics Remember............................4
Lazy Reader Book Club.................................14-15



In The Mail
Dear DDAI:
I want to write a special note of
gratitude to Ron Davis, and say with
totally heart felt sincerity, “Thank You.”
I first met Ron in Ann Arbor, Michigan
in the early 1990s, when he was giving a
presentation to promote his (at the time),
new book The Gift of Dyslexia. I’m not
sure if the book was even on the shelf at
that point. However, he had a few copies
with him. This encounter was quite an eye
opening experience for me. My youngest
son was diagnosed with dyslexia and I
had no clue what that meant, but wanted
to learn more. I have never forgotten the
personal story Ron shared. I purchased an
autographed copy of the book.
My son’s mother and I had gotten a
divorce a few years earlier and I wanted
to share with her some of what it was all
about. So I gave the book to her to read
and I think it helped her as well. Although
she never returned it, I haven’t forgotten
the message from a man with the deepest
and best personal understanding of the
subject, that anyone could have, and over
the years I’ve recommended the book to
lots of people.
From time to time I have looked up The
Reading Research Council and followed
it’s progress. I was thrilled to see the
creation of the Davis Dyslexia Correction
Center. The training and licensing of
so many Davis Facilitators is awesome.
Although it has been quite some time since
I last looked to see what is happening in
the world of dyslexia, I am really happy
to see that the organization has grown
As for an update on my son, he, too,
has been blessed with the gift, which
is now starting to blossom as his genes

At home I have the History Channel, Discovery Channel,
Smithsonian Channel, Science Channel, Biography Channel,
Animal Planet and PBS. School is interfering with my education!

dictate. He is now 28 and a paramedic
with certification as a medical assistant. He
works for a sheriff’s department. He is selftaught in guitar and the blessings continue
to grow. All that was once backwards,
upside down and all mixed up, is now
starting to fall in place. Seriously, I am
grateful to Ron for opening my eyes to a
totally new perspective on what I say was
“once considered” a problem.
Ron, if you are reading this please
understand that I am simply a fan. Your
impact on me has lasted for decades. I am
grateful beyond words. And so I really feel
compelled to say “Thank You” to you.
And I do mean it when I say, “Thanks, and
keep up the good work.”
To you, your family and staff,
Stay Well, Stay Safe! Don
Constance Chua, Davis Facilitator in
Singapore sent us this letter she received
from the very satisfied parents of one of
her clients.
Dear Constance,
Gordon has settled into school. He has
shown tremendous improvement after
completing his Davis Dyslexia Correction
Program with you, and is still constantly
improving. We are glad we sent him to

you for the program. As you know, he was
only able to read very short words before
completing his program.
Now he has more confidence in English
and has even shown an interest in reading
story books! His reading ability also helps
him with Math and other subjects taught
in English, and so far he has passed all
the tests given by his school. Gordon even
has scored high marks on all his spelling
tests and is able to recognize most of the
words he studied before. He makes fewer
mistakes with letters like b and d, which he
used to confuse, and this issue
is gradually disappearing.
We are very happy with Gordon’s
improvement and progress. The Davis
Program has really helped him a lot and
we are still amazed at how this simple
program and the tools are helping him
ever since he completed the program.
Thank you very much for your help and
your patience with Gordon, even though
at first he was resistant and reluctant to do
the program.
Mr. and Mrs. Kay
If you’d like to know more about Davis
Dyslexia Correction with Constance Chua,
you can visit her website at http://www.

The Dyslexic Reader is periodic publication of Davis Dyslexia Association International (DDAI)
1601 Bayshore Hwy., Suite 260, 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 people’s abilities
and talents should be recognized and valued, and that learning problems can be corrected.
EDITORIAL BOARD: Laura Zink de Díaz, Alice Davis and Abigail Marshall DESIGN: Michael Troller Design
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: editor@dyslexia.com INTERNET: www.dyslexia.com
The opinions and views expressed in articles and letters are not necessarily those of DDAI. Davis®, Davis Dyslexia Correction®, Davis Symbol Mastery®,
Davis Orientation Counseling®, Davis Autism Approach®, Seed of Genius®, and Davis Learning Strategies® are trademarks
of Ronald D. Davis. Copyright © 2014 by DDAI, unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.



Dyspraxia, Dysgraphia and Hypotonia – from page 1

Before Davis Program

After Davis Program

Dyspraxia, also called Developmental
Coordination Disorder (DCD), is a disorder
associated with motor skill development,
yet it is not really a single disorder with
a known cause, typical developmental
pathway, or known outcome. About
70% of dyspraxia sufferers are male. It
is believed that approximately 8% of the
population is affected by dyspraxia.
When a child has DCD or is dyspraxic,
a whole gamut of co-occurring difficulties
can be present. Dyspraxia affects movement
and coordination. The main problem
is that messages from the brain are not
reliably perceived and transmitted to the
body. This not only affects movement and
coordination, but also learning ability in the
areas of language, perception and thought.
The dyspraxic child can be seen as
clumsy because he has difficulty with motor
planning and knowing where his body
is in space. Dyspraxia can hinder one’s
physical ability by causing the individual
to have chronically low muscle tone, low
muscle strength, poor core strength, poor
balance, endurance and coordination. Even
the simplest physical activities may quickly
cause soreness and fatigue.

Many children identified with decreased
resting muscle tone are said to have
hypotonia. Since hypotonia affects muscle
tone and strength, motor nerves and the
brain, it can be recognized by pediatricians,
occupational and physical therapists.
While dyspraxia is formally recognized
by the World Health Organization, the
lack of formal wide-spread criteria has not
been established for consistent diagnosis of
DCD or dyspraxia. This lack of standard
criteria causes many school authorities not
to recognize the condition even if the term
is used. Just as the specific medical reason
for dyspraxia is unknown, the cause of
hypotonia is not easily identified.
Children with Benign Congenital
Hypotonia can lag behind in acquiring
fine and gross motor skills and can also
have problems with mobility and posture.
Children with dyspraxia have trouble
playing ball, participating in age appropriate
activities which require balance such as
riding a bicycle, sports, assembling puzzles,
cutting a circle with scissors and even
dressing when tying, buttoning or zippering
is involved.

Dyspraxia can affect a child’s writing and
show up as dysgraphia. The task of writing
depends on fine motor skill as well as visualperceptual skill. A child with motor problems
would be able to see clearly the details of
each form he was asked to draw, but could
not physically control the pencil to make
accurate lines to replicate the forms. The lines
would be wobbly or wavy. Motor planning
issues make it difficult to figure out what
direction to move the pencil to make curves
and angles that the child can see.
Children with hypotonia and dyspraxia
can also have sensory integration issues.
Motor planning is the process of taking in
sensory information about one’s environment
as well as one’s own place in space, movement,
and force, to successfully imagine and
complete a motor task. A child could have
difficulties in motor output – seeing what
he wants to do, but making errors in the
timing, force or range of motion.
A child with visual-perceptual difficulties
would be able to trace lines with accuracy
but not see the details of the form. A student
might copy a triangle as a lumpy circle, make
letters all different sizes and with no spacing
between words. The student might also claim
he cannot see the lines on writing paper.
While a child might be able to hold an image
of a real thing in his mind’s eye and retrieve
it when needed, he can have trouble doing so
with a printed symbol.
Occupational therapists work with
children having motor skill issues because
weak muscles in the hand can be strengthened;
pencil grip and poor habits can be addressed
by practice with accuracy. But motor planning
difficulties are more complex. It is interesting
to note that the usual approach to visualperceptual problems is to work around them,
not to improve them.
Dysgraphia is considered a specific
learning disability and under the DSM-IV
was called a writing disorder. Although
federal law specifies written expression as one
of the areas in which students with learning
disabilities may be affected, it does not clearly
identify the transcription problems that are
the causal factors in dysgraphia – impaired
handwriting and spelling – for problems with
the written expression of ideas. Dyspraxia
can hinder one’s thought process by
shortening one’s attention span and impeding
one’s concentration as well as causing
difficulties with planning and organizing
one’s thoughts. v


Davis Dyslexia
The Davis Dyslexia Correction
program is available from more
than 450 Facilitators around
the world. For updates, call:
(888) 805-7216 Toll Free or
(650) 692-7141 o r visit
The following is a current list of all
Davis Facilitators, some Facilitators
may also offer other Davis services.

v Argentina
Silvana Ines Rossi
Buenos Aires +54 (114) 865 3898
v Australia
Linda Alexander
Coomera, Queensland
+61 (459) 171 270
Brenda Baird
Brisbane +61 (07) 3299 3994
Sally Beulke
Melbourne +61 (03) 572 51752
Suzanne Buchauer
Kew, Victoria
+61 (03) 9817 4886
Anne Cupitt
Hervey Bay, Queensland
+61 (074) 128-2470
Mary Davie
Sydney NSW
+61 (02) 9521 3685
Amanda Du Toit
Beaumont Hills NSW
+61 (405) 565 338
Jan Gorman
+61 (02) 9874 7498
Bets Gregory
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Gordon NSW
+61 (4) 1401 3490
Gail Hallinan
+61 (02) 9405 2800
Barbara Hoi
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+61 (02) 9968 1093
Annette Johnston
Rockingham WA
+61 (8) 9591 3482
Eileen McCarthy
+61 (02) 9977 2061
Marianne Mullally
Crows Nest, Sydney
+61 (02) 9436 3766
Janette Padinis
Aspendale Gardens, Victoria
+61 0412 021 604
Jayne Pivac
Parkdale Victoria/Melbourne
+61 (0) 420 305 405
John Reilly
+61 (02) 9649 4299
Heidi Rose
Pennington, S.A.
+61 (8) 8240 1834
Jan Stead
Gladstone, S.A.
+61 (4) 048 839 8788
v Austria
Annette Dietrich
Wien +43 (01) 888 90 25
Jacinta Fennessy
Wien +43 (01) 774 98 22
Marika Kaufmann
Lochau +43 (05574) 446 98

Discover Your Child’s Learning Style – from page 1

when reading history. Use of rhyming songs might
be the only way for a particular type of auditory
learner to memorize math facts. Books on tape
could be helpful for someone who has trouble
comprehending when reading silently.” Even the
timing of snacks and learning schedules structured
to individual preferences can be powerful features.
The authors consider such features as the
person’s disposition, talents, and interests when
designing the optimum modality and environment
for learning. They encourage parents to familiarize
students with their unique learning channels so
they can become independent advocates for their
own learning modes.
A significant help to parents is the way the
authors identify five specific dispositions and
the traits accompanying them. There is always
overlap, and no assessment is all-inclusive, but
validating individual preferences enhances a
student’s self-esteem and confidence tremendously,
and guides the parents toward greater
understanding and, if need be, tolerance.
Learning style preferences, likewise, powerfully
influence family dynamics. With administration
of the Profile to all family members, ‘aha’

moments surface. Information highlighted from
Profile results may have a powerful impact on
planning family activities and vacation events.
Consideration of the dispositions, talents, and
interests of all family members can contribute
immensely to favorable outcomes and reveal why
certain approaches tried in the past ‘just didn’t
work.’ “Knowing about disposition differences
can have the welcome effect of turning an
argument into a problem solving session.”
“Discovering Your Child’s Learning Style” is
especially efficacious for the homeschooled child
because homeschooling allows for latitude with
individual preferences. However, with forethought
and design, the information can also be helpful in
traditional educational settings.
Willis, Mariaemma; Hodson, Victoria Kindle;
Discover Your Child’s Learning Style
(Three Rivers, 1999)
Carolyn Tyler has been a Davis Facilitator since
2005. Her Launch into Learning is located in
Fairhaven, Massachusetts. You can visit her
website at http://www.launchlive.net. v

Famous Dyslexics Remember
Robert Toth

Robert Toth repeated the fourth grade three times. As a
child he often felt awkward. He didn’t learn to read until he
was twelve, and he was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD.
Fortunately, his parents were very supportive, and his mother,
an artist, particularly so. Toth recalls, “My mom was the
making of me. She gave me clay at age five and said, ‘You
can make many toys with clay and when you get tired of one,
squish it around and make another.’ That was the beginning
of divergent thinking for me, which continues to this day.”
By his mid-teens, Toth began to realize that although he
struggled in school, he had artistic talent, and that focussing on that talent was very important for him.
“I found I didn’t have an attention disorder when I could focus my attention on what I liked most, and
with that came the enthusiasm to hyperfocus.” Toth is in fact a highly talented sculptor and painter.
His works of art sit in private and public collections around the world – the Smithsonian Institute
National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy, the Royal Scottish
Museum in Edinburgh, The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. His works are
in far too many prestigious locations to list here.
Toth contacted Ronald Davis earlier this year, to let him know that he’s read The Gift of Dyslexia
and appreciates his work: “I pulled out your book, and it compelled me to write and share my story,
which you have been very much a part of for many years. My dyslexia was the gift that you describe
in your book, and I have that gift. People like you, your devotion and research, getting the message out
there, have helped me. Many thanks to you for the work you do.”
Toth has often been interviewed about his childhood challenges over the years. He tells parents and
schools, “The whole point is, in the educational system, we have to look at kids in a new way and say,
hey, they have different learning styles. They’re visual people, maybe; or they have scientific brains.
Some of them excel in sports, some of them in art – like me – some in math.”
Toth wisely says, “If people look at their own lives, when there is disruption, and you stay with that
disruption for a little while, you’ll find something of value there. That’s why a pile of junk can be an
inspiration, and how creative imagination can see opportunity.”



Making Sense of What’s On The Page

v Belgium

By Laura Zink de Díaz,
Davis Facilitator in Cajicá, Colombia

Ann Devloo-Delva
Veurne +32 (058) 31 63 52

Dr. Brian Cambourne, education researcher
at Wollongong University in New South Wales,
Australia, published an article in May of this year
synthesizing the most effective practices of the best
reading teachers in his region. He references Marie
Clay, late New Zealand researcher, who wrote
about students who “despite having no condition
that potentially affected their ability to learn, didn’t
seem to benefit from reading instruction.” Dr. Clay
hypothesized that they “had tangled the teaching in
a web of distorted learning which blocked school
progress.” I know Dr. Clay worked tirelessly to
find ways to help struggling readers with early
intervention, but this sounds like blaming the child.
I suspect that tangled teaching is the more likely
cause of their blocked learning.
Dr. Cambourne has observed many reading
teachers in action. He, like they, recognize that
reading is really about making sense of what’s on
the page. He lists seven ’messages’ he’s observed in
use by truly excellent reading teachers. Here they
are, for your consideration.

1. The teacher’s message is that the focus of every

reader should be on meaning. This is communicated
by asking questions like, “What would make sense
here?” What else might make sense? Does that
sound like real language? If someone said that to
you would it make sense? Why? Why not?”

2. Effective readers draw on all sources of

information in the text. Teachers may suggest the
child look again at the title (semantic information)
because titles sometimes give us an idea about what
might make sense. Or they might ask, “Does that
sound right? Does it sound like English?” to help
children use their sense of the language (syntactic
information) to decide what makes the most sense.
Or they might suggest a child use knowledge of the
shapes and sounds of letters to determine if a word
makes sense (graphophonic information).

Goedele Decuypere
Oostkamp (Near Brugge)
+32 (4) 75 81 71 92

Chantal Guyot
Bruxelles +32 (04) 77 55 97 66

3. Effective readers are always predicting, from the
title and the illustrations in the text. “What do you
think might happen?”

Marie Louise Habran
Liege +32 (4) 99 29 43 72
Inge Lanneau
Beernem +32 (050) 33 29 92

4. Effective readers self-correct. This is a logical

Juana Lopez Le Jeune
Bruxelles +32 (498) 720 250

by-product when teachers do item 1.

Peggy Poppe
Antwerpen +32 (474) 50 23 32

5. Effective readers have a range of strategies.

Bethisabea Rossitto
Bruxelles +32 (477) 68 56 06

Teachers might suggest reading ahead when
children encounter a word they don’t know, to
see if there might be clues farther along. Or that
the reader finish the story, and come back to the
word later. (I do that often!) Or that the child ask
someone what the word is and what it means.
And teachers also suggest that students not spend
too much time trying to decode words, because it
might slow them down and cause them to forget
what they’ve already read and understood.

6. Effective readers know how they read. Effective
teachers draw students’ attention to the metacognitive aspects of reading – noticing how you
read, how you figure things out.

7. Effective readers love to read. Teachers are

’book whisperers’ sharing enthusiastically the
books they’ve read, stories about their own
learning-to-read experiences, and immersing
children in good children’s literature by reading
aloud to them every day.
I’m particularly taken by number five, which
deemphasizes decoding in favor of other strategies.
As Dr. Cambourne says, teachers whose teaching
focuses around these seven messages, “seem to
know intuitively that making meaning is the core
business of learning how to read. In this they are
like parents teaching children how to talk.”
You can find the original article at: http://tinyurl.
com/p8lpdx6 v

Chantal Wyseur
Waterloo +32 (486) 11 65 82
v Bolivia
Veronica Kaune
La Paz
+591 (2) 278 9031
v Brazil
Ana Lima
Rio De Janeiro
+55 (021) 2295-1505
v Bulgaria
Daniela Boneva
+35 (988) 531 95 06
v Canada
Carol Taljeh Ariss
North Vancouver, BC
+1 (788)706-8595
Rocky Point Academy
Stacey Borger-Smith
also Autism Training Supervisor
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Supervisor Specialist
Lawrence Smith, Jr.
also Autism Training Supervisor
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Workshop Presenter
Calgary +1 (403) 685-0067
+1 (866) 685-0067 (Toll-Free)
Paddy Carson
Edmonton, Alberta
+1 (780) 489-6225
Marcia Code
Kanata, Ontario
+1 (613) 284-6315
Dyslexia Resources Canada
Shelley Cotton
Sharon Roberts
Brantford, Ontario
+1 (519) 304-0535
+1 (800) 981-6433 (Toll-Free)
Janet Currie Richards
Boutiliers Point, Nova Scotia
+1 (902) 826-1512
Elizabeth Currie Shier
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Oakville (Near Toronto)
+1 (905) 829-4084
Brenda Davies
Rosedale Station, Alberta
+1 (403) 823-6680
Cathy Dodge Smith
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (905) 844-4144
+1 (888) 569-1113 toll-free
Sandy Farrell
Hudson, Quebec
+1 (450) 458-4777
Renée Figlarz
Montreal, Quebec
+1 (514) 815-7827
Carole Ford
Ladysmith, BC
+1 (250) 245-8412

v Canada (continued)
Sher Goerzen
Maple Ridge, BC
+1 (604) 290-5063
Corinne Graumans
Medicine Hat, Alberta
+1 (403) 528-9848
Sue Hall
West Vancouver
+1 (604) 921-1084
Chelan Hermanson
Wainwright Alberta
+1 (780) 209-2525
D’vorah Hoffman
Toronto +1 (416) 398-6779
Sue Jutson
Vancouver, B.C. +1 (604) 732-1516
Mary Ann Kettlewell
London, Ontario
+1 (519) 652-0252
Kathy Mahoney
Ottawa Ontario
+1 (613) 794-1756
Colleen Malone
Newmarket Ontario
+ 1 (905) 252-7426
Helen McGilivray
+1 (905) 464-4798
Carl Nigi
Kanata, Ontario
+1 (613) 558-7797
Maureen O’Sullivan
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Newmarket, Ontario
+1 (905) 853-3363
Joanna Pellegrino
Thunder Bay Ontario
+1 (807) 708-4754
Rachel Pihrag
Calgary Alberta
+1 (866) 685-0067 (Toll Free)
Desmond Smith
Oakville, Ontario
+1 (905) 844-4144
Tracy Trudell
London, Ontario
+1 (519) 494-9884
Kim J. Willson-Rymer
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Mississauga, Ontario
+1 (905) 825-3153




By Laura Zink de Díaz
Davis Facilitator in Cajicá, Colombia

I’ve been following the writing of Marion
Brady for about ten years. Brady has been
a teacher, school administrator, newspaper
columnist who writes on education issues,
consultant to states, foundations and publishers
of educational books and materials, contributor
to academic journals, author of courses of study,
textbooks and professional books… It would be
hard to find very many people with more or more
varied experience in education. The title of his
most recent book is What’s Worth Learning?
I’m reading it now.
He recently published an article about the
Common Core State Standards and education in
general. The title is Ten Things Wrong With What
Kids Learn In School. His ten things go straight to
the heart of the matter, and are not motivated by
the usual underlying desire to privatize education.
In fact, he’s a staunch supporter of public
education, but that doesn’t mean he can’t see
that the system needs significant changes. Here’s
a summary of Brady’s criticisms of our current
system of public schools:

1. The core curriculum is outdated. It was defined

long as we continue assessing student and school
performance with standardized, multiple choice
tests, what gets taught will continue to be what’s
easiest for machines to score. Yet in today’s
world, students need to learn to “infer, generalize,
hypothesize, relate, synthesize, value....” I agree
with Brady when he says that “Limiting what’s
taught to what machines can measure … [is] a
recipe for societal disaster.”

4. The core curriculum ignores a tremendous

amount of important stuff. As Brady points out,
a lot of the conflict we read about in the news,
results when very different belief systems – or
world views – come into contact. Yet in school,
we generally don’t examine our own world view,
much less those of other cultures. Students rarely
study group dynamics either, and many other
issues that affect our society. Brady mentions just
a few, like societal responses to loss of autonomy;
the relationship of economies and group stability;
the effects of technological change on human
relationships; the dynamics of social change.
All of us could name others.

5. The organization of knowledge into separate

Yvonne Wong Ho Hing
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Hong Kong +852-6302-5630

in the late 19th century, and based on what was
considered the great innovation of the time:
standardization, factory style schools, centralized
decision making, and passive compliance on
the part of students. Society has since changed
dramatically and continues to change rapidly.
As Brady says, “Change requires adaptation,
and adaptation requires creativity, autonomy,
exploitation of differing perspectives, and
continuous questioning of authority.”

Livia Wong
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Hong Kong +852-2756-6603

2. The core curriculum is inefficient and

6. Our focus on ‘informational’ reading means

v Chile
Ximena Hidalgo Pirotte
Santiago +56 (02) 243 0860
v China
Twiggy Chan
Hong Kong +852-6175-8439

v Colombia
Laura Zink de Díaz
Bogotá +57 (1) 704-4399
v Costa Rica
Maria Elena Guth Blanco
San Jose +506 296-4078
Marcela Rodriguez
Alajuela +506 442-8090
Ana Gabriela Vargas Morales
San Jose Escazu
+ 506 2288 0980
v Cyprus
Alexis Mouzouris
+357 25 382 090
v Denmark
Moniek Geven
also DLS Mentor
Bryrup +45 7575 7105

doesn’t leave time for ‘learning by doing’, such
as apprenticeships, internships, and other real
world ways of learning. Brady makes the point
that “given the inevitable obsolescence of much
existing knowledge, and… our ignorance about
what the future holds, stuffing kids’ heads with
what today’s adults happen to know is less
important than helping them develop knowledgeevaluating and generating skills.”

3. Since most learning is currently a question

of ‘stuffing kids’ heads, any type of learning,
other than recall, is mostly ignored. We’ve been
talking for years about encouraging ‘higher
order thinking’ in our students, however, as

disciplines and subject matters ignores the
connectedness of all knowledge. The ability to
make connections among issues and events that at
first glance appear unrelated, is essential if we are
to solve the many complex problems that modern
societies are faced with. We can’t effectively
encourage multidisciplinary thinking when we
keep most subject matters separate, and leave
others out of the curriculum entirely.
we’re focused on second hand knowledge instead
of first hand knowledge. Reading is important,
but reading isn’t the only way to learn, and in
some cases it’s definitely not the best way to learn!
Yet we treat other kinds of learning as inferior or
as ‘frills’, and continue building schools with fixed
rooms instead of flexible spaces, in spite of what
we know about the many ways human beings



7. The core curriculum is outrageously expensive, based on systems theory would actually work.
and getting more costly all the time. Many schools
force teachers to use commercially-produced
instructional materials instead of local resources.
Much of the new standardized testing requires
the purchase of new computers to handle the online tests. Ultimately, billions are being spent on
unnecessary testing, test prep, machine scoring,
and the purchase of untried instructional materials
supposedly ‘aligned’ to the curriculum and the
tests. There is no evidence that the new tests and
new aligned materials will improve learning,
yet school districts are investing vast amounts
of money in them. If we ‘follow the money’
we’d find most of it in the accounts of for-profit
corporations that mass produce all of these
materials and technology.

I hope to learn more as I read What’s Worth
Learning? Nonetheless, twenty years teaching
and observing my students has taught me a
thing or two.
First, standardization is indeed anathema to
good teaching. It’s a great idea for the production
of all kinds of manufactured goods, but does not
produce desirable results with children, who all
come from different worlds, and possess different
talents, challenges, learning styles and needs.
Since so many variables – even the time of day
– affect how well a lesson will work with any
group of children, teachers must constantly adapt
their teaching to the changing needs not only of
individual students, but of the group.
Second, Brady is absolutely right about how
out of sync much of the traditional curriculum
and methodologies are with today’s society. At
8. The standard curriculum has no system for
my old school, we tried to create linked courses
deciding what new knowledge to integrate and
which old knowledge to discard. As Brady points across disciplines to help students recognize the
connections between different fields of study.
out, “Today’s reforms have us obsessing about
It was extremely difficult to do, because the
the contents of school subjects, when the real
design of the school building, the classrooms,
challenge is figuring out how to use …[new]
and scheduling requirements worked against
tools (and subjects not now taught) to produce
admirable people, thoughtful citizens, individuals us; as did the inflexible definitions for assigning
able to capitalize on the potentials of humanness.” credit within and across subject matters. Our
administration actively sought creative solutions,
9. The core curriculum fails to take into account but the system is so monolithic, deep change can
be nearly impossible to implement, and creating it
the brain’s need for “order, organization and
thoroughly exhausting for those engaged in it.
pattern.” Having studied the research into how
Third, technologizing everything is no
our brains learn, Brady knows that “School
guarantee of quality. Davis Facilitators prove this
subjects organize information, but each one does
every day. Look what our clients can achieve with
so differently, and kids – lacking a “master”
a few Davis Tools, their own imagination, and a
organizer to logically relate new knowledge
couple of pounds of clay! With no workbooks,
to existing knowledge – store it in short-term
no on-line tests – with no tests at all! I am in no
memory, then erase it when the threat of testing
way against technology. Although I taught world
no longer looms.” I know I’ve experienced this
languages, I required that my students create
and I suspect everyone has.
projects on our computers in the language they
were studying. My students also learned using
10. Complex ethical and moral questions are
clay, colored markers, water colors, scissors, glue,
rarely touched upon. This is a thorny issue, but
construction paper, and even food. It’s absolutely
Brady considers that precisely for that reason,
advisable for youngsters today to learn to use new
the core curriculum must not ignore it.
technologies as they become available. However,
we can improve teaching and learning using
So what would Brady have us do? He and
simple materials, and hands-on activities. It’s a
many others have been trying for years – with
mistake to believe that the only way to improve
little success – to get the attention of the policy
is to buy reams of mass-produced instructional
makers in education and government. Among
materials, test-prep materials and tests, all
other things, he’d tell those who would listen
designed to require that we constantly upgrade
that standardization leads to stagnation.
every computer in every school every year.
Brady says, “What policymakers and
During the twenty years I taught, reform
administrators need to understand and accept
was constant. Much of it was productive and
is that standards keyed to a fundamentally
promoted learning. The new CCSS standards
flawed curriculum are fundamentally flawed (as,
are an example of what I call tinkering around
inevitably, are tests keyed to the standards).”
the edges, without ever zeroing in on the root
He believes that we can dramatically improve
of the problem. I expect the corporate reforms
instruction by applying systems theory to the
entire curriculum. The result would be truly brain- to provide no real solutions, and instead, to
continue to undermine public education and
based and reality-based instruction, that would
drive us towards a two-tiered system in which
lead to much less disorganized and disconnected
private schools are supported and public schools
thinking in our students (and in teachers too).
I suspect he’s right. Unfortunately, as a product are increasingly underfunded, their students
essentially abandoned to mediocrity.
of the same system I used to teach in, I have a
pretty vague understanding of how a curriculum
(continued on the next page)

v Ecuador
Ana Magdalena Espin Vargas
Ambato +593 (2) 854 281
Santiago Fernandez
Cumbaya Quito
+593 (09) 308 9646
Nora Cristina Garza Díaz
+593 (3) 282 5998
Germania Jissela Ramos Ramos
Ambato +593 (3) 242 4723
Inés Gimena Paredes Ríos
Ambato +593 (08) 418 5779
v Estonia
Olga Knut
Tallinn +372-56-509-840
v Finland
Elisabeth Helenelund
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Borga +358 400 79 54 97
v France
Johanna de Barmon
Arras +33 (6) 1588 1995
Sophie Bellavoir-Misciasci
Noiseau +33 (6) 04 02 99 21
Christine Bleus
Saint Jean de Gonville/Genève
+33 450 56 40 48
Isabelle Charbon
Bordeaux +33 (06) 3022 1603
Meriel Chehab
Brest +33 (06) 12 55 71 88
Claudine Clergeat
Brunoy + 33 (06) 78 69 79 56
Jayne Cooke
Barr +33 (0) 3 88 74 06 01
Corinne Couelle
Lyon +33 (04) 78 88 65 52
Patrick Courtois
Juvignac +33 (6) 37 40 49 67
Jennifer Delrieu
Auffargis +33 (01) 34 84 88 30
Ginette Donnet
Le Havre +33 (699) 3882 05
Nancy Dosseh
Brest +33 (06) 17 70 72 84
Claudine Garderes
Fontenay-Le-Fleury (near Paris)
+33 (642) 15 99 27
Virginie Goleret
Grenoble +33 (67) 898 6217
Karen Gondet
Bordeaux +33 (6) 52 60 39 10
Lisa Henry
Bordeaux +33 (15) 57 87 19 63
Sophie Flaux Lasnon
Riec Sur Belon +33 (61) 457 0338
Emmanuelle Leibovitz-Schurdevin
Tours +33 (613) 02 48 85
Françoise Magarian
Legny/Lyon +33 (0474) 72 43 13
Chantal Marot-Vannini
Arfeuilles +33 (06) 14 24 26 33
Carol Nelson
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+33 (09) 52 63 02 05
Marie Pasquier
Marseille +33 (06) 09 86 24 03
Odile Puget
+33 (0) 450 418 267
Annette Meunier Rivet
Becheresse +33 (64) 374 4134
Virginie Texier
Irodouer +33 (06) 63 03 46 63
Isabelle Thomas
Solaize +33 (065) 1066994
Carol Valet
+33 (6) 73 54 63 34


v Germany/Deutschland
Theresia Adler
Bannewitz +49 (0351) 40 34 224
Doris Birkner
Garbsen +49 (5131) 701 866
Claudia Boeden
Timmendorfer Stranel
+49 (160) 710 6891
Ellen Ebert
Ammern +49 (03601) 813-660
Gabriele Doetsch
Bad Windsheim
+49 (098 41) 688 18 18
Cornelia Garbe
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Berlin +49 (0151) 5420 8728
Astrid Grosse-Mönch
Buxtehude +49 (04161) 702 90 70
Christine Heinrich
Remseck +49 (0)7146 284 65 60
Sonja Heinrich
also Supervisor-Specialist
also DDA-DACH Director
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Davis Autism Approach
Workshop Presenter
Hamburg +49 (40) 25 17 86 23
Kirsten Hohage
Nürnberg +49 (0911) 54 85 234
Ingrid Huth
Berlin +49 (030) 28 38 78 71
Rita Jarrar
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
München +49 (089) 821 20 30
Inge Koch-Gassmann
Buggingen +49 (07631) 23 29
Marianne Kranzer
Königsfeld +49 (07725) 72 26
Anneliese Kunz-Danhauser
Rosenheim +49 (08031) 632 29
Sabine La Due
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Stuttgart +49 (711) 722 2635
Anne Moeller
Gröbenzell BRD +49 (081) 4251955
Andrea Paluch
Flensburg +49 (461) 6757 5595
Markus Rauch
Freiburg +49 (761) 290 8146
Colette Reimann
Landshut +49 (0871) 770 994
Brigitte Reinhardt
Offenberg +49 (78109) 919 268
Ursula Rittler
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Stuttgart +49 (0711) 47 18 50
Christiane Rosendahl
Dortmund +49 0(231) 75 81 53 02
Phoebe Schafschetzy
Hamburg +49 (040) 392 589
Margarethe Schlauch-Agostini
Volklingen +49 (0689) 844 10 40
Gabriela Scholter
also Supervisor-Specialist
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Autism Training Supervisor
Stuttgart +49 (0711) 578 28 33
Sylvia Schurak
Garlipp +49 (0) 39 32 44 82
Carmen Stappenbacher
Bamberg +49 (09547) 431 921
Birgit Thun
Hamburg +49 (040) 4135 5015
Beate Tiletzek
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Waldkraiburg +49 (08638) 88 17 89
Andrea Toloczyki
+49 (02507) 57 04 84
Ioannis Tzivanakis
also Specialist Trainer
also Workshop Presenter
also DDA-DACH Director
Berlin +49 (030) 66 30 63 17

What's Really Wrong With School – continued from page 7

I live in Colombia, where many years ago
society instituted just such a system, pitting
private schools against public, persuaded by the
corporate sector that private entities can provide
a better service than the public schools. Almost
all of the Dyslexia Correction clients I work
with study at private schools, and their parents’
greatest fear is that their children will eventually
be forced to leave. Children whose standardized
test scores pull down the overall average of their
private school are gradually forced out, because
private schools are allowed to pick and choose
their clientele. When a child is forced out of
his school, where does he go to continue his
education? Perhaps to a less prestigious private
that again pushes him out after a year. Then
perhaps to a fly-by-night private, eager to suck a
year’s worth of tuition out of his parents, before
it, also, pushes him out. And eventually, unwanted
students end up in (horrors!) the underfunded,
and unappreciated public system. Many children
receive an excellent education in the Colombian
public schools, in spite of its shoestring budgets.
But its successes are ignored by a society
persuaded that all things public are inferior
to all things privatized.
The people have so long accepted the idea
that the best education is to be had in the private
school system, that it has grown to majority
status, while the public system serves the poorest,
those who are pushed out of the private system,
and a few who realize the value of a good public
education. Yet on the 2012 international PISA
test, Colombia dropped in rank to 62 (Math), 60
(Science) and 57(Reading) out of 65 countries.
Reading was the most egregious drop. Some here

are so outraged by the poor showing, they’re
calling for the country to crack down on most
of the privatized school system, which has made
a lot of money for its founders, but has never
performed as promised. They call for a return
to a majority public school system, supported
by taxes and government investment, and where
everyone will be guaranteed a quality education.
But the old factory-style model of schooling is still
the standard in Colombia. It would undoubtedly
require a very different vision to create a truly
equitable and high quality school system. Perhaps
something based on systems theory…
In Colombia we have an example of a country
that has already taken the road corporate
reformers have in mind for the USA. Must we
continue tinkering around the edges, only to
repeat Colombia’s mistake? Might we not be
better off to zero in on the deficiencies Brady
and others have identified, and give really
radical reform a try?
You can download Brady’s entire article (which
originally appeared in the Washington Post) at:
You will find on that site many other articles by
Marion Brady on matters relating to education. v

Quotable Quotes
“Inspiration usually
comes during work,
rather than before it.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
American writer

“The louder he talked
of his honor, the faster
we counted our spoons.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
American essayist,
lecturer, and poet

“Children learn more
from what you are,
than what you teach.”
– W.E.B. Dubois
American sociologist,
historian, civil rights
activist, author and editor

“Feel the power that comes
from focusing on what
excites you.”
– Oprah Winfrey,
American media mogul
and philanthropist


A Gator By Any Other Name…

Alligators were unknown in Europe until
Spanish explorers discovered them in what now is
called Florida. They referred to them as ‘el lagarto’
(the lizard). English speaking settlers, heard that
term as a single word, ‘elagarto’ and over time
anglicized it to alligator. Meanwhile, Spanish
speakers stopped calling them lizards ages ago.
These days the word in Spanish is ‘caimán’. That
word is thought to have come from native tribes in
Pease Porridge Hot
the Caribbean, but it’s also possible the word was
Remember that old nursery rhyme, “Pease
brought to the New World by African slaves.
porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge American alligators can grow up to 20 feet
in the pot, nine days old”? I always wondered
long and weigh as much as half a ton. There’s
about that one: was the porridge actually made of also a Chinese alligator, called Yow-lung or T’o,
peas? Wouldn’t you get sick if you ate it after
which is Chinese for ‘dragon’. But the dragons
it sat around for nine days? And what was
are considerably smaller than their American
porridge anyway?
cousins. They average just four and a half to five
Well, porridge came into the language almost
feet long and mostly live in the Yangtze River.
500 years ago, from the French word, ‘pottage’,
Along with crocodiles, there are alligators in
meaning soup made with vegetables and meat.
Central and South America, but they are
And that word in turn came from the even older
mostly “dwarf alligators”, three to four
French word for leek soup, “porrie.” But in
feet long and weighing only 13 to
England porridge came to mean an oatmeal like

15 pounds.
dish, cooked until thick with water or milk.
The original word for ‘pea’ in English was
‘pease’. Since that word sounded like it was
plural, by the 1600s, people began to speak of
‘one pea’. The final ‘e’ in ‘pease’ was dropped
and peas became plural of pea.
In the middle ages people used to make a
porridge from peas that was also called pease
pottage or pease pudding.
The nursery rhyme was first written down in
1760, but was probably around for quite some
New word!
time before that. Many nursery rhymes are part
A ‘paraprosdokian’ is a figure of speech in
of an oral tradition and weren’t written down
which the end of the sentence is a surprise, or
until long after they’d become popular.
confusing, and causes the reader to reframe
In Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Little House
the first part. (It comes from Greek, meaning
on the Prairie, Laura remembers singing “Bean
‘against expectation.’) Often a paraprosdokian
Porridge Hot” – but although she says she liked it is used for humorous effect.
hot or cold, in her house, it never lasted nine days.
Frankly, anything nine days old in my fridge
Here are a few examples:
gets tossed in the garbage!
I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening,
but this wasn’t it.
(Groucho Marx)
If I could just say a few words…
I'd be a better public speaker.
(Homer Simpson)

That’s Tough!

In English the combination “ough” has
eight possible pronunciations, and I can prove
it with this sentence: “A rough-coated, doughfaced ploughman strode through the streets
of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing
thoughtfully.” Now, say that five times fast!
And speaking of speaking fast, try this tongue
twister, said to be the toughest one in English:
“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”

I don’t belong to an organized political party.
I’m a Democrat.
(Will Rogers)
If I’m reading this graph correctly,
I’d be surprised.
(Stephen Colbert)

v Germany/Deutschland
Ulrike von Kutzleben-Hausen
Deisslingen +49 (07420) 33 46
Gabriele Wirtz
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Stuttgart +49 (711) 55 17 18
Elvira Woelki
Mindelheim +33 (082) 61 76 36 38
v Greece
Evagelia Apostolopoulou-Armaos
Patras +30 (261) 062 21 22
Pagona Gkogkou
Athens +30 (697)748 6254
Theano Panagiotopoulou
Athens +30 (21) 111 953 50 ­
Traute Lutz
Marausi +30 (210) 804 3889
Konstatinos Polychronis
Athens +30 (215) 550 8228
Irma Vierstra-Vourvachakis
+30 283105 8201 or 69766 40292
v Iceland
Áslaug Ásgeirsdóttir
+354 861-2537
Gigja Baldursdottir
Reykjavik +354 562 2840
Sigrún Jónina Baldursdóttir
Snaefellsbae +354 586 8180
Gudrún Benediktsdóttir
+354 545 0103 or +354 822 0910
Gudbjörg Emilsdóttir
also DLS Mentor
Kópavogur +354 554 3452
Hólmfridur Gudmundsdóttir
Gardabae +354 895-0252
Sigurborg Svala Gudmundsdóttir
+(354) 867-1928
Jon Einar Haraldsson Lambi
Akureyri +354-867-1875
Ingibjörg Ingolfsdóttir
Mosfellsbaer +354 899-2747
Sigrún Jensdóttir
Mosfellsbaer +354 897 4437
Valgerdur Jónsdóttir
Kópavogur +354 863 2005
Sturla Kristjansson
Hafnarfjordur +354 862 0872
Ásta Olafsdóttir
Vopnafjordur +354 473-1164
Thorbjörg Sigurdardóttir
Reykjavík +354 698 7213
Kolbeinn Sigurjonsson
Mosfellsbaer +354 566 6664
Hugrún Svavarsdóttir
Mosfellsbær +354 698-6465
v India
Veera Gupta
New Delhi
+91 (11) 986 828 0240
Smrati Mehta
Powai Mumbai
+91 (989) 277 2795
Kalpita Patel
Rajkot, Gujarat
+91 (281) 244 2071
Carol Ann Rodrigues
+91 (22) 2667 3649 or
+91 (22) 2665 0174
v Ireland

I sleep eight hours a day, and at least
ten at night.
(Bill Hicks)

Veronica Bayly
Dublin +353 (86) 226 354
Paula Horan
+353 44 934 1613
Sister Antoinette Keelan
+353 (01) 884 4996



talents. Observe your children as they grow and try
to consider their individual learning styles when
it comes time to choose a pre-school or school

v Israel
Luba Elibash
Ramat Hasharon
+972 (9) 772 9888
Angela Frenkel
Beer Sheva
+972 (52) 655 8485

Teaching That Fits

Goldie Gilad
Kfar Saba/Tel Aviv
+972 (09) 765 1185
Judith Schwarcz
Ra’anana/Tel Aviv
+972 (09) 772 9888
v Italy

by Abigail Marshall

Stefania Bruno
Nuoro, Sardinia
+39 (388) 933 2486
Elisa De Felice
Roma +39 (06) 507 3570
Antonella Deriu
Nuoro, Sardinia
+32 059 32 96
Catherine Day Geraci
Murano Province of Venice
+39 (041) 739 527
Piera Angiola Maglioli
Occhieppo Inferiore/Biella
+39 (015) 259 3080
Laura Mazzocchitti
+39 338 151 1295
Cordelia Migliorini
+39 347 900 5972
Alessandro Taiocchi
Settimo Milanese
+39 (333) 443 7368
Silvia Walter
+39 (055) 22 86 481
v Kenya
Manisha Shah
+254 (721) 492-217
v Lebanon
Samar Riad Saab, MA
+961 (3) 700 206
v Luxembourg
Anne Guignard
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+352 (27) 767 872
Nadine Roeder
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+352 691 30 0296
Eugenie Schares
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+352 (621) 625 626
v Malaysia
Hilary Craig
Kuala Lumpur
+60 (36) 201 55 95
v Mexico
Magarita Saucedo Alvarez Icaza
San José Insurgentes DF
+52 (55) 35 38 52 40
Katharine Aranda Vollmer
Ciudad de México
04 45532 007153
Silvia B. Arana García
Mexico, D.F.
+52 (55) 5135-5457
Cathy Calderón de la Barca
also Davis Workshop Presenter
México D.F.
+52 (55) 5540-7205
María Silvia Flores Salinas
also DDA Director
also Supervisor – Specialist
Garza García Monterrey NL
+52 (81) 8378 61 75

Wait And See
Q: My partner has dyslexia, as do several of his

relatives on his father’s side. No one in my family
has dyslexia. I have a 2 year-old daughter and a
4 month-old son, and wonder what the chances
are that they may inherit this condition?

How Each Child Learns
Q: My son went through the Davis Dyslexia

Correction Program about 10 years ago. He
was a classic case as described in The Gift of
Dyslexia. Now that my kids are grown, I am
getting my teaching certificate in special education
and am currently taking a class called “Reading
for Struggling Learners”. I’m trying to reconcile
your approach with the International Dyslexia
Association’s definition of dyslexia, which includes
the words: these difficulties typically result from a
deficit in the phonological component of language.
It seems to me that Davis has a very different
definition of the term dyslexia. I am teaching
reading in a high school special needs class, and
I believe one of the girls with Down’s Syndrome
doesn’t fit the IDA definition, so I’m using Davis
methods with her. I am always being asked to
justify what I am doing, and this issue has been
bothering me!

A: Historically, many professionals have considered

dyslexia from a deficit perspective: that is, that
something is wrong with the learning process of the
inheriting dyslexia. Dyslexia is not something that is dyslexic individual. Perhaps this is because most
caused by a single gene, but rather it is an inherited psychologists and educators are not themselves
tendency influenced by multiple genes. Some
dyslexic, and because they have focused on
genes are more strongly associated with certain
remediation rather than considering the strengths
manifestations of dyslexia. Although scientific
that are part of the overall dyslexic learning style.
researchers have identified a dozen or more genetic Most dyslexic children will experience difficulties
factors that seem to be associated with dyslexia,
in learning to read with teaching methods based
they do not have clear evidence of how strong the
on phonetics. Since it is generally believed that
association is with any particular gene, and it’s
teaching phonics is the most effective approach
likely that other genes are involved that have not
for teaching typically developing children to read,
yet been discovered.
most educators and researchers have not questioned
So although you are right to be aware of the
their own methodology. Instead, they view the
possibility that your children may turn out to be
child’s failure to become a reader in spite of phonics
dyslexic, the only way to know is to wait and see.
instruction to be an indication of a brain-based
Even the early signs of dyslexia can be extremely
deficit. They reason that when children do not learn
variable. I think the most important thing that
to read, there must be something wrong with their
you can do as a parent is to be responsive to your
mental ability to sort out the sounds of words and
children when they start school. If either child seems connect those sounds to language symbols. That
to struggle or experience significant frustration at
characteristic pattern has been branded a “phonetic
school, do not hesitate to seek help.
deficit.” That term is just a formal way of saying
Of course, school is still several years off.
Right now I would simply encourage you to read
regularly to your children to help them develop
Davis came up with reading
a love of books and become familiar with the
that focus on looking
patterns of written language and the flow of story
for meaning first, through the
telling in books. Here’s a blog post with some
ability to visually recognize
information and links about techniques you
common letter patterns, and
can use while reading aloud to help develop
your children’s readiness to become readers:
connect those patterns of
symbols to mental images
Do also keep in mind that dyslexia is a learning
tied to word meaning.
pattern that is associated with many gifts and

A: There is no way to calculate the chances of

that there must be something wrong with the
brain of a person who doesn’t learn well with the
methods the teachers prefer to use.
As you probably know, Ron Davis was severely
dyslexic, so he looked for an explanation that fit
his own internal experience. The Davis methods
were developed initially through working with
adult dyslexics. The common denominator seems
to be a pattern of non-verbal thinking - processing
that relies on mental images or other sensory
impressions rather than words.
If a person thinks in pictures, rather than words,
deciphering the sounds of letters is not enough
to gain meaning from the words. The next step
is mental translation: the dyslexic reader must
translate the sounds into something meaningful.
So Davis came up with reading strategies that
focus on looking for meaning first, through the
ability to visually recognize common letter patterns,
and connect those patterns of symbols to mental
images tied to word meaning. Our experience has
been that when these are combined with strategies
for recognizing and controlling disorientation,
dyslexic children and adults can become capable
and confident readers. From our perspective, the
problem is not the result of a phonetic deficit, but
simply a different pattern of thinking that also
requires a different style of teaching.
In a sense both Davis and traditional educators
see the same problem – a difficulty making sense of
phonetic representations – but have approached it
from different perspectives.
I can’t tell you whether or not Davis methods
will help in teaching the student with Down’s
Syndrome. Davis methods work well with dyslexics
in part because dyslexics tend to excel at creative
problem-solving. The meaning-based approach with
clay modeling is geared to dyslexic strengths. Davis
methods have been used with children with Down’s,
but of course with those children we don’t see
such rapid progress as often occurs with dyslexic
students. I think that in your case, it is most
important to focus on the underlying philosophy
of Davis: you need to find a way to teach that fits
the way your student learns. The Davis approach
is inexpensive and easy to implement. Perhaps the
best way to justify your work is simply to point out
that other methods haven’t worked, and therefore it
makes sense to try something different and see how
the student responds.

Diagnosing Dyslexia
Q: In the media there has been much debate

about dyslexia and what Professor Julian Elliot
(author of The Dyslexia Debate) has to say about
it. He has been quoted as saying that dyslexia is a
“meaningless label” which should be abandoned.
I would be very grateful to read your opinion
about this.

A: Here is a brief summary of my thoughts, which
are informed by my 20 years’ association with the
Davis organization.

v Mexico (continued)
Hilda Fabiola Herrera Cantu
Culiacan, Sinaloa
+52 81 6677 15 01 19
Elaine Lions Ramirez
+52 (229) 152 1763
Maria Cristina Lopez-Araiza
Gonzalez México, D.F.
+52 (55) 5536 5889
Ana Menéndez Porrero
+52 (222) 750 76 42
Lucero Palafox de Martin
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+52 (229) 935 1302

I believe that “dyslexia” is very real, and is
tied to a specific learning style and set of cognitive
strengths that are not well-matched to the way
that reading is typically taught in schools. Dyslexic
children are generally very capable, but both the
methods used in schools and the timing of schoolbased reading instruction are a poor match for
their abilities.

The problem with formalized
testing is that it is just a
complicated and often very
expensive way of revealing
what the parents and teachers
already know – and it delays
implementation of teaching
methods that are likely to
help the child.

I agree that the system of “diagnosis”
of dyslexia is a mess. There is no uniform
agreement as to diagnostic criteria and a formal
diagnosis is neither necessary to nor determinative
of a specific course of treatment. A good deal
of time and money is wasted when educators
insist on a “diagnosis” before offering help or
accommodations. I believe that subjecting children
to a battery of tests to diagnose a condition based
on the extent that they fail those tests can be
demoralizing as well as unneeded. However, that
is a problem with the way we go about defining
dyslexia, not with the idea of dyslexia itself.
I feel that it should be easy to determine whether
or not a child’s (or adult’s) learning style fits the
dyslexic profile through simple observation or
use of very simple screening questionnaires. The
problem with formalized testing is that it is just
a complicated and often very expensive way of
revealing what the parents and teachers already
know – and it delays implementation of teaching
methods that are likely to help the child.
I think that one problem within traditional
schools is that even with the label of dyslexia, the
educational system persists in using methods that
do not meet the needs of dyslexic children. So I
can see how educators who rely on such methods
would assume that the label makes no difference.
(continued on the next page)

M. Sylvia Salinas Gonzalez
Garza Garcia, NL
Lydia Gloria Vargas
Garza García Monterrey NL
+52 (81) 8242 0666
Mauro Salvador Villagomez Santana
Celaya Guanajuato
+52 (461) 614 9892
v Netherlands
Lloyd Christopher Blake
+31 (10) 262 1664
Manja Bloemendal
Den Haag
+31 (70) 345 5252
Lot Blom
+31 (030) 271 0005
Trudy Borst
Best (Near Eindhoven)
+31 (0499) 471 198
Gerda Bosma-Kooistra
Ens +31 (6) 1334 6196
Jeannette Bruinsma
+31 (63) 914 8188
Lieneke Charpentier
+31 (030) 60 41 539
Hester Cnossen
+31 (495) 641 920
Aline de Bruijn
+31 (18) 441 5341
Judith de Haan
Heiloo (Near Alkmaar)
+31 (63) 078 6483
Mine de Ranitz
+31 (0343) 521 348
Nicole Dirksen-van de Bunt
+31 62 133 8868
Marijke Eelkman Rooda-Bos
+31 (0182) 517-316
Jolien Fokkens
Beilen +31 (0593) 540 141
Petra Franssen-Avramidis
+31 (0478) 511 837
Ina Gaus
+31 (023) 538-3927
Jola Geldermans
+31 (0251) 210 607
Perola Goncalves
María Hoop +31 (06) 33 79 63 44
Jan Gubbels
Maastricht +31 (043) 36 39 999
Darryl Hoefdraad
Amsterdam +31 (06) 460 17 929
Judith Holzapfel
+31 (0570) 619 553


v Netherlands (continued)

Q & A – continued from page 11

Trudy Joling
+31 (035) 531 00 66
Marie Koopman
+31 (030) 228 4014
Geertruida Kornman
+31 (62) 000 6857
Carry Kuling
+31 (0235) 287 782
Edith Kweekel-Göldi
+31 (035) 601 0611
Imelda Lamaker
+31 (035) 621 7309
Irma Lammers
also DLS Mentor, Autism
Facilitator Coach
Boxtel +31 (411) 68 56 83
Manon Meijer
Delft +31 (06) 1223 1062
Sjan Melsen
Arnhem +31 (026) 442 69 98
Els Neele
Utrecht +31 6 253 5060
Marianne Oosterbaan
Zeist +31 (030) 691 7309
Fleur van de Polder-Paton
Schiedam +31 (010) 471 58 67
Tjalliena Ponjée
+31 06 12 888 365
Petra Pouw-Legêne
also DLS Mentor-Trainer
also Mentor-Presenter
Beek +31 (046) 437 4907
Karin Rietberg
Holten +31 (548) 364 286
Lydia Rogowski Wijnberg
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Helmond +31 (0492) 513 169
Hanneke Schoemaker
+31 (0317) 412 437
Silvia Jolanda Sikkema
also DLS Mentor
+31 (0512) 538 815
Suzan Sintemaartensdijk
+31 (25) 131-26 62
Marja Steijger
also Davis Supervisor-Specialist
+31 (020) 496 52 53
Robin Temple
also Specialist Trainer
also Workshop Presenter
also DDA Director
Maria Hoop
+31 (0475) 302 203
Kirsten Theeuwen
+31 (545) 286 828
Romina Toroz
Utrecht +31 (61) 280-1821
Jeannet Uiterwijk-Booij
Almere +31 (61) 148 0885
Mieke van Delden
Leek +31 (059) 4514985
Agnes van den Homberg-Jacobs
America Limburg
+31 (077) 464 23 22
Annette van der Baan
+31 (020) 420-5501
Annemarie van Hof
Utrecht +31 (030) 65 86 700
Hilde van Westrhenen
Delft +31 (610) 681 605

Most educators these days advocate phoneticas well as some hurdles to overcome. Without the
based instruction to teach reading, and the inability descriptive label, children feel stupid and inadequate
of children to integrate the phonetic rules is seen
when they struggle with tasks that their same age
as a hallmark symptom of dyslexia. What do the
peers seem to do easily. Unfortunately their teachers
educators do? They respond by intensifying the
and parents may say things which reinforce that
phonics instruction – it is as if we tried to treat
view, exhorting the child to “try harder.” when of
children with lactose intolerance by feeding more
course the child already knows that he is trying as
milk products in the hope that their bodies would
hard as he possibly can. For children and parents
then learn to tolerate milk.
alike, it is often a great relief to have a name to put
Because my experience is with Davis methods,
to the child’s struggles, especially when they realize
and because our approach does not teach or
that the dyslexic cognitive profile also provides an
encourage phonetic decoding strategies, I have a
explanation for issues other than reading, such as
different view. I would agree with Dr. Elliot that
a child’s difficulty with physical coordination, or
the “diagnosis” part is unnecessary, primarily
poor organizational skills.
because the Davis techniques are so simple to
But the most important thing is to keep in mind
teach and implement. If the child is struggling
is that there is a flip side: dyslexia also comes with
or falling behind with reading, writing, or spelling
a set of gifts and talents that should be recognized
in school – then it should be a simple matter to
and developed. Very often when parents write to
try a different approach with that child, with or
me listing all of the problems their children have,
without a formal diagnosis.
I simply ask: “What is your child good at?” The
Our experience has been that children who
answer typically gives me all the information I
struggle tremendously with the phonics-based
need to know whether that child will do well
teaching and remediation they are given at school,
with the Davis approach.
tend to do quite well with the methods we use,
My own son was exceptionally strong in any
often exceptionally well: it is not uncommon for
tasks involving spatial reasoning, like building
us to see improvements
structures with Lego
of several reading grade
blocks, or assembling
levels within the course
jigsaw puzzles. I was
If we simply took all children
of a week. If we simply
at a loss to understand
who were not progressing with
took all children who
how to help him read
the standard instruction and
were not progressing
until I heard Ron Davis
sent them to classrooms using
with the standard
speaking on radio about
Davis-based instruction, I
instruction and sent
the connection between
believe that the vast majority
them to classrooms
that set of talents and
would do quite well.
using Davis-based
his reading problems.
instruction, I believe
So I am very glad that
that the vast majority
someone was there
would do quite well.
to help me make the
Of course there might be some who still struggled,
connection between the “gift” and the apparent
perhaps because they need an altogether different
“disability,” who also offered a solution that
approach, or perhaps because their problems stem
came to us in time to change my son’s educational
from a different underlying cause. But a path of
experience and give him the tools he needed to
experimenting with varied forms of instruction
excel. v
seems to make more sense than one based on
labeling. Over time, teachers who have experience
with multiple approaches will also probably
develop a better ability to provide each child with
the tools that are best tailored to individual needs.
So in the end I do agree that viewing dyslexia as
something to be “diagnosed” is a problem. Rather,
it should be seen as a very useful description of a
common learning profile, and teachers should be
trained in ways to recognize that pattern.
At the same time I believe that it is valuable to
keep the label, along with the understanding that
it describes a distinctive pattern of thinking and
learning that comes with characteristic strengths

Davis Dyslexia Association Bookstore
Books & Tools for Doing it on Your Own

The Gift of Dyslexia:
Why Some of the Smartest
People Can’t Read and How
They Can Learn

Davis Young Learner
Kit for Home-Use

Provides parents with the
instructions and materials needed
to provide 5-7 year olds with
effective and fun learning
strategies for improving prereading and language arts skills.
Young Learner Kit for
Home-Use $129.95

(Revised and Updated 2010 edition)

Features a new Foreword by Dr. Linda
Silverman and two new chapters on
Davis methods for
correcting Dyslexia.
$15.95 Softcover

I Can Do It – The Confidence to Learn

Dyslexia – The Gift

I Can Do It – The Confidence to Learn
Teachers, parents, school administrators, and
students speak about the many benefits of
using Davis Learning Strategies at Vale
Elementary School in Oregon.
DVD $9.00 (running time: 12 minutes)

This documentary introduces
the concepts and methods in
The Gift of Dyslexia.
Viewers of all ages will find
the interviews and animated
sequences highly informative
and entertaining.

DVD $39.95

Gift of Dyslexia Audio CD Set
This 4 CD set contains full narration
of The Gift of Dyslexia,
read by author Ron Davis.
4-CD Set $29.95

Unlocking the Power of Dyslexia
A brief look at the life of Ronald Davis and the impact of his remarkable discoveries. DVD: $8.00 (Run time: 15 minutes)
The Davis Dyslexia Correction Program
This documentary film provides an excellent overview of Facilitators at work with Davis clients,explains how dyslexics think
and perceive, what causes dyslexia, and what occurs during and after a Davis Program. DVD: $8.00 (Run time: 18 minutes)
Davis Dyslexia Correction Orientation Procedures
This detailed instructional DVD provides demonstrations of each of the Davis® procedures for assessment and orientation
described in The Gift of Dyslexia and The Gift of Learning. These methods help focus attention, eliminate perceptual
confusion, improve physical coordination, and control energy levels. DVD: $85.00
Davis Symbol Mastery and Reading Exercises
Features 27 examples of Facilitators and clients using the Davis Symbol Mastery Kit and practicing the Davis Reading
Exercises. Included are mastering the alphabet, punctuation marks, pronunciation, and words; and reading exercises
to build visual tracking and whole word recognition skills, and to improve reading fluency and comprehension.
(This DVD is included with Davis Symbol Mastery Kit) DVD: $85.00

Davis Orientation and Symbol
Mastery Home Kit

Already have a copy of the
The Gift of Dyslexia? If you already
have the 2010 edition of the book
(blue cover), you can choose to
substitute another book!

Each kit comes with a sturdy nylon shoulder bag
and includes:
Davis® Dyslexia Correction is a comprehensive • Ron Davis' book, The Gift of Dyslexia
• Davis Dyslexia Correction Orientation Procedures DVD
approach to dyslexia, which simultaneously
• Davis Symbol Mastery Manual and Checklist
provides tools for attention focus, resolving
• Davis Symbol Mastery & Reading Exercises DVD
perceptual confusion, and building reading
• Reusable Modeling Clay (2 lbs.)
skills. That Davis Orientation tools give
• Children's Dictionary - (Hardcover)
students the ability to sustain attention in
• Checking Your Grammar (Softcover Book)
a relaxed and natural way. Davis Symbol
• Laminated Alphabet Strip
Mastery is a visual-spatial learning process
• Stop Signs for Reading Chart
that improves anyone's basic literacy skills.
• Punctuation Marks and Styles Booklet
The Davis approach is fun and engaging,
• Letter Recognition Cards
even for young children.
• Pronunciation Key Cards
• Set of 2 Koosh Balls
Deluxe Kit $249.95 NEW!



The Gift of Learning
by Ronald D. Davis,
Eldon M. Braun

Expands the Davis Methods
with theories and correction
procedures that address
the three basic areas of
learning disability other than
reading, which children and
adults experience.
Softcover $13.95

El Don de la Dislexia
The Gift of Dyslexia
in Spanish.
Newly revised with
additional chapters,
illustrations and
Published in Spain
by Editex
Softcover $28.95

Picture It!

by Betty Maxwell
and Crystal Punch
This 250-page illustrated book is
full of practical tips and advice
for working with students who
learn best through visual or
hands-on activities.
Softcover $19.95

Gabby's Wordspeller

by Diane Frank
How do you find a word in the dictionary
if you have no idea how to spell it? With
this book! Lets you look up words by their
phonetic spelling to find its correct
Softcover $25.95

The Everything Parent's
Guide to Children with
Dyslexia: Learn the Key
Signs of Dyslexia and
Find the Best Treatment
Options for Your Child
by Abigail Marshall
A “must read” for every parent
who knows or suspects their
child has dyslexia.
Second Edition
Softcover $15.95

Barron’s Mathematics
Study Dictionary
by Frank Tapson
Comprehensive definitions
and explanations of
mathematical terms,
organized by concept.
Geared to ages 10 to adult.
Softcover $14.99

DK Math Dictionary

by Carol Vorderman
Ages 7 to 12. More than 300
entries on words, phrases,
and concepts used by gradeschool students in math class
and in their lives.
Hardcover $14.99

Controversial Therapies
For Children with
Autism, ADD and Other
Learning Disabilities
by Lisa Kurtz
A comprehensive guide to
just about every outsidethe-box therapy you might
run across, and then some.
An absolutely essential
reference for anyone
who wants to know and
explore available options.
Softcover: $17.95 $19.95


The Everything Parents
Guide to Children with
Autism: Know What to
Expect, Find the Help
You Need, and Get
Through the Day
by Adelle Jameson Tilton
From finding support groups
to planning for their child's
future, this book provides
parents with all the
information they need to
ensure that their child’s – and
their families’ – needs are met.
Softcover: $13.45 $14.95

Ten Things Every Child With
Autism Wishes You Knew

by Ellen Notbohm
A must have for parents to read
and share. Provides the insight needed
to better understand, love and support
an autistic family member.
Softcover $19.95

A Parents Guide to
Asperger Syndrome
& High Functioning
by Sally Ozonoff,
Geraldine Dawson and
James McPartland
An indispensable guide
packed with real-life
success stories, practical
problem-solving ideas,
and matter-of-fact advice.
$13.25 $14.95

Born on a Blue Day

by Daniel Tammet
First-person account
of living with synesthesia
and savantism, a rare
form of Asperger’s
Softcover $9.80 $14.00

Achieving Full Participation
in Life with the Davis
Autism Approach
by Abigail Marshall, with Ronald D. Davis
An in-depth look at a revolutionary
approach to empower individuals with
autism, and provide the understanding
and tools needed to achieve their full
potential. The Davis Autism Approach
is uniquely geared to the autistic
perspective, and enables each person
to make sense of their world and the
motivations and behaviors of others
around them.
This book explores the history of
development of the Davis method,
explores its connections to emerging
scientific research, and takes the
reader on a guided journey through
the three phases of the program:
Individuation, Identity Development,
and Social Integration.
Softcover $17.95

Charlie's Challenge

by Ann Root & Linda Gladden
This richly illustrated story offers
a positive view and encouraging
news for youngsters struggling in
school. Geared to ages 5-9.
Softcover $13.45 $14.95

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Unlocking the Power of Dyslexia DVD............................$8.00
Davis Dyslexia Correction Program DVD.........................$8.00
Davis Orientation Procedures DVD.............................. $85.00
Symbol Mastery & Reading Exercises DVD.................. $85.00
I Can Do It—The Confidence to Learn DVD....................$9.00
The Gift of Dyslexia 2010 Edition................................. $15.95
The Gift of Learning..................................................... $13.95
Dyslexia-the Gift DVD.................................................. $39.95
Gift of Dyslexia Audio CD Set...................................... $29.95
Gift of Dyslexia - Spanish Edition................................. $28.95
Davis Orientation and Symbol Mastery Home Kit....... $249.95
NEW! $17.95
Autism and the Seeds of Change.................................
Barron’s Math Dictionary............................................. $14.99
Born on a Blue Day.......................................... $9.80 $14.00
Charlie’s Challenge ....................................... $13.45 $14.95
Checking Your Grammar.................................................$8.99
Children’s Dictionary.................................................... $22.95
Everything Parent’s Guide To Autism.............. $13.45 $14.95
NEW! $15.95
Everything Parent’s Guide To Dyslexia.........................
Gabby's Wordspeller.................................................... $25.95
DK Math Dictionary......................................................$14.99
Parents Guide to Asperger Autism................. $13.25 $18.95
Picture It!......................................................................$19.95
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes................. $19.95
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“Intellectual freedom is gone. My best judgment
(and degrees and 32 years of classroom
experience) are no longer trusted. I have to just
show blind obedience to my administrator or her
wrath is upon me. It’s crushing. Because I am a
veteran teacher, I speak my mind, and she cannot
live with that – calls me “insubordinate” on a
regular basis. Her motto is Believe or Leave.”

Names Removed to Protect
The Courageous
By Laura Zink de Díaz
and some very brave teachers around the US

I belong to an internet group where teachers,
parents, and a few brave school administrators
talk about what’s been happening to the teaching
profession. It can be a pretty depressing place
to hang out, although occasionally – when
teachers push back against the destruction of
their profession – there are cheers. For example,
recently, there were a few cheers when a large
number of parents opted their children out of
taking ANOTHER standardized test, in a long
series of such tests. And here and there, now and
then, teachers stand up and refuse to administer
a particularly useless test.
Not long ago, a college student majoring in
education, submitted a question to the group.
He was beginning to wonder whether he’d
chosen the right career, whether the Common
Core State Standards (CCSS), No Child Left
Behind, Race to the Top and other major changes
in public education had truly had an effect on his
future profession. Here are a few of the responses
to his post, with names removed, to protect the
participants. (Because, as you’ll see, these days,
in some places, speaking out can be costly.)
“My advice: don’t become a teacher. Common
Core and the tests are destroying public education.
Teachers are being driven out of their jobs, thanks
to the new evaluations. The level of stress and
disrespect you’ll experience as a teacher will blow
your mind.”
“Classrooms have become the same, no creativity
hangs on the walls because it’s not allowed. Only
posters with rubrics are allowed on walls. There’s
no time for anything fun, teachers in the same
grade must be teaching the same thing each day,
using the same assessments.”
“It doesn’t matter which rubric is used: we are
being scored on things that should not be scored.
I’m all for accountability, but being graded for
things completely beyond my control is cruel and
unusual punishment. The kids are being used in a
sadistic experiment.”

v Netherlands (continued)
Mieke Verhallen
Mierlo +31 (492) 43 05 04
Lia Vermeulen
Huizen +31 (062) 3671530
Christien Vos
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Tolbert +31 (0594) 511 607
Gerda Witte-Kuijs
+31 (072) 571 3163

“NCLB and RTTT placed high stakes on what
should be diagnostic tools. My schedule is ruled
by making sure English Language Arts and Math
(but mostly ELA) are taught for a specific number
of minutes per day. We are being forced to teach
to horribly written tests that we cannot see before
or after the kids take them, that most kids cannot
pass, and that will never inform our teaching.”

Elisabeth Weterings-Gaaikema
Al Harkstede
+ 31 (623) 045 369

“Young people going into teaching should assume
that they will only be allowed to teach 10 to 20
years before they’re kicked to the curb as obsolete,
or too expensive. You’ll probably need a new
career by the time you’re 40. Don’t buy a house,
or you could find yourself stuck.”

Vivienne Carson
+64 (09) 520-3270

“What has really changed is that I had one hour
to ‘teach’ long division to fourth graders last year.
ONE HOUR. Lock step.”
“This is my 5th year teaching and I would say
I have less freedom/time to teach; everything
is more prescribed and scripted, meaning there
is less freedom/time for students to think and
inquire. I’m also horrified how teachers are
treated, like we are the enemies and the cause of
“failure” and not as highly educated, passionate
professionals in our field.”

v New Zealand
Rochelle Booth
+64 (027) 306-6743
Kirsteen Britten
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+64 (3) 348 1665

Catherine Churton
also Supervisor-Specialist
+64 (09) 360 7377
Maria Copson
+64 (03) 479 0510
Ann Cook
+64 (0) 9 422 0042
Melanie Curry
+64 (03) 322-1726
Angi Edwards
+64 (07) 308 6882
Martine Falconer
+64 (03) 383-1988
Wendy Haddon
Mosgiel +64 (03) 489-8572

“I retired in 2008. I still have nightmares.”

Sandra Hartnett
+64 (6) 308 6618

That’s a pretty sad comment! And this one is too:

Margot Hewitt
Kaiapoi +64 (27) 455-7724

“Don’t do it – in five years, you’ll find yourself
making just enough money and caring just enough
about the kids to make it too difficult to leave.”
Finally, here’s a comment from a parent:
“As a parent, may I say that both my kids used
to LOVE math, now they both hate it. Kids are
being taught three different ways to subtract
and add. I believe we are on the fourth or fifth
way to decompose fractions. A lesson is taught,
another one, and another one, then the Exit Test
for the first lesson is given and kids are confused.
A Language Arts reading assignment was a poem
about how all the fun in life ends when you turn
ten. No more dreaming, no more unicorns,etc.
This is for 4th graders. The CCCS is sucking the
desire to learn out of MANY students.” v

Alma Holden
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+64 (027) 485-6798
Glenys Knopp
+64 (03) 317-9072
Carolyn Marshall
+64 (4) 380 6006
Leila Martin
Hawera Taranaki
+64 (027) 721-3273
Raewyn Matheson
Westown New Plymouth
+64 (06) 753 3957
Christine McCarthy
Waikanae Beach Kapiti Coast
+64 (2) 173 4795
Tania McGrath
+64 (03) 322 41 73
Shelley McMeeken
also DDA Director
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Autism Training Supervisor
also Supervisor-Specialist
Dunedin +64 0274 399 020
Linda McNaughten
+64 (6) 374 1575
Colleen Morton
Gore +64 (03) 208 6308


v New Zealand (continued)
Jocasta Oliver
Paraparaumu Beach
+64 (4) 904 4162
Wendy Person
+64 (06) 870 4243
Janet Pirie
Raumati Beach Wellington
+ 64 (04) 298 1626
Alison Syme
+64 (03) 318-8480
Lorna Timms
also Davis Workshop Presenter
also Supervisor-Specialist
also Autism Facilitator/Coach,
Training Supervisor &
Workshop Presenter
+64 (03) 363 9358
Cherone Wilson
Howick Auckland
+64 (21) 184 5047
Margot Young
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+64 (04) 478-2208
v Norway

Maria Olaisen
+47 (9) 027 6251
Ragnhild Slettevold

also Autism Facilitator/Coach

+47 413 12 509
Heida Karen Vidarsdottir
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+47 450 82 557
v Philippines
Maria Catherine (Maricar)
Rivera Dizon
Pasig City
+63 (2) 475 6284
v Poland
Agnieszka £ubkowska
+48 (46) 855 77 02
v Portugal
Sofia Vassalo Santos
+35 (191) 911-2565
v Republic of Singapore
Phaik Sue Chin
+65 6773 4070
Constance Chua
+65 6873 3873
v Russia
Mira Ashush
+972 (3) 635 0973
Nina Gekhman
+7 (495) 788 8386
Luba Niazov
+972 54 476 6203 (Israel)
Nadezhda Popova
+7 (495) 683 3182
Kalina Potyak
+ 972 (52) 257 2783
Oxana Stein
+972 (52) 223 5015
Maria Stulova
+7 (916) 223 2727

from The
Lazy Reader
Book Club
By Danny Brassell and Laura Zink de Diaz
Every month at Danny Brassell’s website,
The Lazy Readers’ Book Club, you’ll find
a list of books he recommends for reluctant
readers or for those who just don’t have time
for much reading. (He knows we’re not lazy,
just busy or in need of encouragement!)
Danny’s recommendations are always
organized into categories: AD, for adults;
YA, for young adults; CH, for children’s
books. He always lists a page count and
some brief comments, as below. Danny
usually posts about 10 recommendations
per month, three or four per category.
Here’s a sampling of Danny’s most recent
recommendations in all three categories.
You can read more recommendations at
the website, www.lazyreaders.com. There
you’ll not only find Danny’s current picks,
but the archives of past selections by month,
reading level, and page count – enough
recommendations for a lifetime of reading!
You can also sign up for monthly book
alerts, while you’re browsing.
If you purchase books at Amazon.com
through links at the Lazy Readers’ website,
Bookends (www. bookends.org) will receive
a donation. (Bookends is a nonprofit
organization devoted to increasing children’s
access to books, as well as community
service awareness.)

The Power of Un

by Nancy Etchemendy
Young Adult
160 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, 2002
ISBN-10: 0439313317
ISBN-13: 978-0439313315
Every now and then I stumble upon a hidden
treasure. If you have not read this book,
go out and get it NOW! Middle schoolers
eat this up, and UNlike the typical fare for
middle schoolers, this book UNderscores the
importance of our decisions. Students will
UNderstand that actions have consequences,
which makes this a perfect book for
provocative discussions.

Mrs. McTats and
Her Houseful of Cats
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
32 pages
Publisher: Aladdin, 2004
ISBN-10: 0689869916
ISBN-13: 978-0689869914

Looking for sweet AND a fun way to teach
the alphabet? This is your book. Beautifully
illustrated by Joan Rankin.


v Russia (continued)
Lora Zakon-Oran
Moscow +7 495-7888386
v Serbia
Jelena Radosavljevic
Kraljevo +381 (063) 76 28 792
v Spain
Silvia Bou Ysás
Sabadell Barcelona
+34 (63) 770 9813
v South Africa
Axel Gudmundsson
also Fundamentals Workshop
Western Cape
+27 (021) 783 2722
v Switzerland/CH

Running Out of Time

by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Young Adults
192 pages
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0689812361
ISBN-13: 978-0689812361
Ever see M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village?
This book is everything that movie wasn’t:
interesting, involving and invigorating.
Margaret Peterson Haddix is a superb


by Edith Hope Fine
48 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press (September 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 1582460620
ISBN-13: 978-1582460628
Any book that makes vocabulary fun for
kids earns raves from me. This is an
entertaining and informative story that
teaches kids how to find clues into meanings
based on word affixes and roots.

Tinka Altwegg-Scheffmacher
St. Gallen
+41 (071) 222 07 79
Monika Amrein
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+41 (01) 341 8264
Regula Bacchetta-Bischofberger
+41 (041) 340 2136
Priska Baumgartner
+41 (056) 426 28 88
Renata Blum
+41 (079) 501 52 71
Susi Fassler
St. Gallen
+41 (071) 244 5754
Ursula Fischbacher
+41 (032) 355 23 26
Antoinette Fluckiger
+ 41 (61) 854 4760
Heidi Gander-Belz
+41 (44) 948 14 10
Katharina Grenacher
Liebefeld (near Bern)
+41(31) 382 00 29
Doris Rubli Huber
St. Gallen
+41 (071) 245 5690
Christa Jaeger
+41 (061) 643 2326

Anya’s Ghost

by Vera Brosgol
Young Adult
224 pages
Publisher: First Second (June 7, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1596435526
SBN-13: 978-1596435520
One of the best ways I know to attract
adolescents to reading is by feeding them
graphic novels, and none other than Neil
Gaiman says it best about this book: “a
masterpiece of YA literature and comics.”

Life Doesn’t
Frighten Me

by Maya Angelou
32 pages
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang;
First edition (February 6, 1993)
ISBN-10: 1556702884
ISBN-13: 978-1556702884
We lost a giant in literature in June of this
year. Angelou’s beautiful voice is captured
on each page of this terrific entry into
children’s literature, with illustrations
by Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Consuelo Lang
+41 (091) 829 05 36
Claudia Lendi
St. Gallen
+41 (071) 288 41 85
Beatrice Leutert
Stein am Rhein
+41 (052) 232 03 83
Erika Meier-Schmid
+41 (043) 536 1038
Yvonne Meili
+41 (77) 415 69 46
Christine Noiset
Av. Floréal, 11
1006 Lausanne
+41 (79) 332 27 75
Véronique Pfeiffer
+41 (01) 342 22 61
Regine Roth-Gloor
+41 (061) 851 2685
Benita Ruckli
+41 (041) 495 04 09
or (079) 719 31 18


v Switzerland/CH (continued)
Lotti Salivisberg
+41 (061) 263 33 44
Sonja Sartor
+41 (052) 242 41 70





Commentary by Laura Zink de Diaz

Beatrix Vetterli
+41 (52) 720 1017
Andreas Villain
+41 (71) 977 26 12
Margrit Zahnd
+41 (079) 256 86 65 or
(032) 396 19 20
Judith Zapata Prange
+41 (061) 721 7501
Claudia Ziegler-Fessler
Hamikon (Near Zurich)
+41 (041) 917 1315
v United Arab Emirates
Linda Rademan
+9714 348 1687
v United Kingdom
Joy Allan-Baker
+44 (0757) 821 8959
Nicky Bennett-Baggs
Little Gaddesden, Herts
+44 (01442) 252 517
Amanda Bergstrom
+44 (161) 256 3209
Lisa Cartwright
+44 (0773) 890-6500
Sarah Dixon
Ranmore Common, Surrey
+44 (01483) 283 088
Susan Duguid
+44 (0154) 853 1264
Dyslexia Correction Centre
Georgina Dunlop
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Autism Training Supervisor
Jane E.M. Heywood
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
– Training Supervisor
also DLS Mentor & Presenter
Ascot, Berkshire
+44 (01344) 622 115
Nichola Farnum MA
+44 (020) 8977 6699
Maureen Florido
Harleston, Norfolk
+44 (01379) 853 810
Carol Forster
+44 (1452) 331 573
Ines Graefin Grote
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
+ 44 (1493) 393 208
Achsa Griffiths
Sandwich, Kent
+44 (01304) 611 650
Tessa Halliwell
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Tugby, Leicestershire
+44 (0116) 259 8068
Phyllida Howlett
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+44 (01437) 766 806
Angela James
Reading, Berkshire
+44 (0118) 947 6545

Just A Little Bit

Montie Koehn, school administrator in
Norman, Oklahoma has published her list of eight
expectations, designed to foster respect among
school staff and students. They aren’t particularly
novel. Included are things like not making fun
of others, not resorting to sarcasm, celebrating
everyone’s successes, being helpful, recognizing
effort, using courteous phrases, like please,
thank you and you’re welcome, and emphasizing
empathy and good character.
Many schools have similar expectations,
although they’re usually written with a focus
on student behavior. Koehn’s expectations are
directed not just at students, but at teachers as
well, in the hope of creating a school community
that fosters mutual respect among teachers, staff
and students. They seem to have worked for her:
Koehn was named District Administrator of the
Year, National Distinguised Principal of the Year,
and Oklahoma Elementary Principal of the Year
during the period 2009 to 2011.
As a person who follows school and school
reform news, I consider the issue of respect in
schools to be a huge issue, and one that school
reform has almost completely ignored. I was
fortunate to have worked in schools where
respect among colleagues and towards students
was generally high. I have never understood how
teachers can expect students to be respectful, if
their own behavior towards children isn’t. Nor
can school administrators expect respect from
teachers they treat with derision. And how
can school reformers expect teachers or school
administrators to respond positively to their
ideas when they almost universally refuse to
give a place at the table to those with expertise
and experience in education?
You can read Koehn’s eight expectations in
full at: http://tinyurl.com/n39zqah




Taking Their Time



Although delaying a child’s entrance into
kindergarten or college has been considered an
acceptable way to ensure his or her academic
success, recently, parents have begun to take
a second look at middle school. Some have
insisted that their children repeat eighth grade
in order to give them time to catch up with (or
gain an advantage over) their peers.
One reason for this strategy is that executive
functioning skills that allow us to organize,
plan, schedule, and self-regulate, are developed
in the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain
is among the last to develop, yet its skills are
basic to academic success in middle and high
school and beyond.
Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making,
says, “Executive-function skills predict children’s
success in life and school” since “they enable
us to control ourselves, to reflect deeply, and to
consider things from multiple points of view.” The
increased academic stress and pressure of middle
school can actually slow down the development of
executive functioning skills, so it’s thought that an
extra year at that level can be beneficial to many
Some object to students voluntarily repeating
a grade, because of the cost involved. And some
students worry that there will be a social price to
pay, staying behind while their peers move on.
Others, particularly those with summer birthdays,
who are younger than their grade level peers all
though school, recognize that they may need more
time to develop solid skills before high school. And
some who are still physically small by the end of
eighth grade, appreciate the extra time for their
bodies to mature.
You can read more about this issue at:


v United Kingdom (continued)
Liz Jolly
Fareham, Hants
+44 (01329) 235 420

3. Young children learn best when their cognitive,
social, emotional and physical selves become
highly engaged in the learning process.
4. Assessments of young children should be
observational in nature, ongoing, and connnected
to curriculum and teaching. They should take
into account the broad based nature of young
children’s learning, not isolated skills, and the
natural developmental variation in all areas of
young children’s growth and development.

6 Reasons to Reject
Common Core State
Standards for K – Grade 3

Defending the Early Years, a non-profit project
of the Survival Education Fund, Inc., has issued a
document to help teachers and parents understand
why the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
are inappropriate for kindergarten through third
grade, so they can advocate against them and
promote classroom practices more appropriate for
children in those grades.
The document asserts that many of the
standards for early childhood education are
“not based on well-researched child development
knowledge about how young children learn.”
For instance, the CCSS requires that kindergarteners “read emergent reader texts with
purpose and understanding” although many
five-year-olds are not developmentally ready to
read by kindergarten and “there is no research
showing long-term advantages to reading at
5 compared to reading at 6 or 7.”
Likewise, the document points out that the
CCSS operates on the mistaken assumption that
“all children develop and learn skills at the same
rate and in the same way.” Research has shown
that although on average, children begin to read
independently at 6.5 years, it is normal that some
learn to read at 4 and others at 7 years of age
or later.
It’s well known that early childhood educators
were not included in the groups who developed
the standards. “The CCSS do not comply with
the internationally and nationally recognized
protocol for writing professional standards. They
were written without due process, transparency or
participation by knowledgeable parties.” Likewise,
the standards were never pilot tested, nor is there
any “provision for ongoing research or review to
determine their impact on children and on early
childhood education.”
Defending the Early Years suggests six
principles to guide early education policy:
1. Young children learn through active, direct
experiences and play.
2. Children learn skills and concepts at different
times, rates, and paces. Every child is unique.

5. The problems of inequality and child poverty
need to be addressed directly.
6. Quality early childhood education with wellprepared teachers is the best investment a society
can make in its future.
I’m not a specialist in early childhood education,
but these appear to be very sound principles, and
I applaud them! You can read the entire document
at: http://tinyurl.com/k589k7t

Sara Kramer
+44 (0208) 251 7920
Marilyn Lane
Reigate Surrey
+44 078990 25401
Stuart Parsons
Lowton/Warrington, Cheshire
+44 (07754) 534 740
Fionna Pilgrim
Keighley, West Yorkshire
+44 (1535) 661 801
Maxine Piper
Carterton, Oxon
+44 (01993) 840 291
Elenica Nina Pitoska
+44 (020) 8451 4025
Ian Richardson
Longhope Gloucestershire
+44 (01452) 830 056
Janice Scholes
Liversedge, West Yorkshire
+44 (0) 8000 272657
Caroline Smith
Moggerhanger Bedfordshire
+44 (01767) 640 430
Judith Shaw
also Supervisor-Specialist
St. Leonards on Sea/Hastings,
East Sussex
+44 (01424) 447 077
Elizabeth Shepherd
Crowborough, East Sussex
+44 (1892) 661743
Drs. Renée van der Vloodt
also Supervisor-Specialist
Reigate, Surrey
+44 (01737) 240 116
Evelyn White
Walton-on-Thames, Surrey
+44 (01932) 243 083

IQ Reduced By Air

A recent study headed by Dr. Frederic Perera of
the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental
Health at the Mailman School of Public Health in
New York City suggests that reducing air pollution
in the city would increase their IQs and lead to
economic gains over the course of children’s lives.
Children exposed during infancy to higher
levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH),
created by the burning of fossil fuels, had IQ
points lower at age 5 than those exposed to lower
levels. Although their study focused on children
born to poor NYC mothers receiving Medicaid,
the researchers believe the results would apply
across the board to children living in cities with
high air pollution levels. The results are based on
a reduction of .25 nanograms per cubic meter of
air. (The current estimated annual mean of PAH in
NYC is 1 nanogram per cubic meter of air.)
Full results are published in the Journal of
Public Health Policy, but you can read more about
this at: http://tinyurl.com/mzu63xj
(continued on the next page)

The Blueberry Center
Margarita Viktorovna Whitehead
also DDA Director
Richard Whitehead, MA MPhil
(Oxon), Dip.RSA(SpLD), PGCE
also DDA Director
also Supervisor/Specialist
also Advanced Workshop Presenter
also DLS Mentor & Presenter
+44 (0)1684 574072
Great Malvern, Worcestershire
+44 (8000) 27 26 57 (Toll Free)
v United States
Dr. Edith Fritz
+1 (602) 274-7738
Nancy Kress
Gold Canyon
+1 (480) 544-5031
John Mertz
+1 (520) 797-0201
Cyndi Cantillon-Coleman
Ladera Ranch/Irvine
+1 (949) 364-5606
Reading Research Council
Dyslexia Correction Center
Ray Davis
also Autism Facilitator/Coach,
Ronald D. Davis, Founder
Burlingame/San Francisco
+1 (800) 729-8990 (Toll-Free)
+1 (650) 692-8990
Anette Fuller
Walnut Creek
+1 (925) 639-7846


v California (continued)
Angela Gonzales
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Norco +1 (951) 582-0262
Richard A. Harmel
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Marina Del Rey/Los Angeles
+1 (310) 823-8900

In The News – continued from page 17

David Hirst
also Autism Facilitator Coach
+1 (909) 241-6079
Suzanne Kisly-Coburn
Manhattan Beach
+1 (310) 947-2662
Dorothy (Dottie) Pearson
+ 1 (707) 334-7662
Cheryl Rodrigues
San Jose
+1 (408) 966-7813
David Carlos Rosen
San Rafael
+1 (415) 479-1700
Mika Seabrook
Santa Monica
+1 (310) 920-9517
Dee Weldon White
Lexie White Strain
+1 (650) 388-6808
Kelly Caramano
Fort Collins
+1 (307) 221-3081
Janet Confer
Castle Rock
+1 (720) 425-7585
Annie Garcia
Wheat Ridge/Denver
+1 (303) 423-3397
Crystal Punch
also DLS Mentor
+1 (303) 850-0581
Random (Randee) Garretson
Lutz/Tampa/St. Petersburg
+1 (813) 956-0502
Tina Kirby
+1 (850) 218-5956
Rita Von Bon
+1 (850) 934-1389
Dr. Yolanda Davis-Allen
Ft. Gordon
+ 1 (706) 772-5567
Lesa Hall
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (912) 330-8577
Martha Payne
+1 (404) 886-2720
Scott Timm
+1 (866) 255-9028 (Toll-Free)
Vickie Kozuki-Ah You
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Ewa Beach/Honolulu
+1 (808) 685-1122
Kelley Phipps
Fruitland + 1 (208) 949-7569
Carma Sutherland
Rexburg +1 (208) 356-3944
Kristi Thompson
Logan +1 (719) 529-5276

ADHD? or Symptoms
of Childhood Trauma?

While Dr. Nicole Brown was completing her
residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore,
Maryland, many of her young patients lived in
homes and neighborhoods where violence and
relentless stress were constant. Many of these
children were difficult for their parents to control;
their teachers also described them as disruptive
and inattentive, and they were diagnosed with
ADHD because of their impulsivity, hyperactivity
and inability to focus.
But Dr. Brown wondered if these symptoms
of ADHD might not also be brought on by
trauma. Hyper-vigilance and dissociation could be
mistaken for inattention; and impulsivity might
be a stress response in overdrive. At the same
time she discovered that treating these children
for ADHD did not control their symptoms. “I
began hypothesizing that perhaps a lot of what we
were seeing was more externalizing behavior as
a result of family dysfunction or other traumatic
experiences.” She tested her hypothesis analyzing
the results of a national study of the health and
well-being of over 65,000 children.
She discovered that “children diagnosed with
ADHD also experienced markedly higher levels of
poverty, divorce, violence, and family substance
abuse. Those who endured four or more adverse
childhood events were three times more likely to
use ADHD medication.”
For Dr. Brown these results are tricky.
How trauma influences ADHD diagnosis and
management isn’t yet clear; but it does seem
clear that some children may be experiencing
harm and taking medication that cannot help
them. And some may also have ADHD, without
receiving treatment designed to mitigate their
ongoing emotional difficulties. In that case, ADHD
medication may not improve their behavior. “We
need to think more carefully about screening for
trauma and designing a more trauma-informed
treatment plan,” Brown says.
You can read about this issue at: http://tinyurl.

Too Much of a
Colorful Thing

A team of psychology researchers at Carnegie
Mellon University studied how classroom displays affect
the ability of children to remain focused and learn.
Twenty-four kindergarten students underwent
six introductory science lessons on topics new to
them. Three lessons were taught in a colorfully
decorated classroom and three in a classroom
with no decorations. While the children learned
in both classrooms, they learned more in the bare
They also wondered whether, in the classroom
with bare walls, the children would find other
ways to distract themselves from the tasks at hand
(perhaps talking more to one another). This wasn’t
the case; students spent more time off task in the
highly decorated room than in the plain one.
The researchers haven’t concluded that
classrooms should be devoid of colorful
decorations. “We do not suggest by any means
that this is the answer to all educational problems.
Furthermore, additional research is needed to
know what effect the classroom visual environment
has on children’s attention and learning in real
classrooms,” said Dr Anna Fisher. “I would suggest
that instead of removing all decorations, teachers
should consider whether some of their visual
displays may be distracting to young children.”
You can read the complete article about this
experiment at: http://tinyurl.com/mgbkx7u

Laptop vs. Hand

A new study, Advantages of Longhand Over
Laptop Note Taking, looked at how well college
students process their own note-taking depending
on whether they wrote in longhand or typed on
a laptop.
The researchers suspected that when we type
notes we tend to simply transcribe rather than
process what we hear. What they found was that
in fact, those who wrote in longhand remembered
more of the lecture and did better on a quiz, than
those who took notes on a laptop. The researchers
concluded than when we take notes by hand, we
have to process the information as well as write it
down, and this leads to longer-term comprehension.
So if you have a child going off to college in the fall
with a laptop, you might want to find and print out
the article at: http://tinyurl.com/k9dsxme



More Books at Home
Libraries Are Changing
You probably picture a public library as an open
Leads to Higher Test Scores space
with lots of shelves for books, magazines and
A study at the University of Nevada-Reno
suggests that when families in 42 nations had
books in the home, the test scores of their children
improved. Research team leader, Mariah Evans
says that ‘regardless of how many books the family
already has, each addition to the home library…
enhances the academic performance of children
from families at all educational and occupational
The academic achievement of students
participating in the study (mostly fifteen-year-olds)
was determined by a standardized test “carefully
designed, comprehensive, structured to minimize
class and ethnic bias, and anonymously graded.”
The results are greatest in families with low
socio-economic status, and greater in homes with
initially very few books.
According to Evans and her research team,
“A home with books as an integral part of the
way of life encourages children to read for pleasure
and encourages discussion among family members
about what they have read, thereby providing
children with information, vocabulary, imaginative
richness, wide horizons, and skills for discovery
and play.”
If the correlation between books in the home
and academic success is indeed as strong as this
study and others suggest, book drives and programs
like Reach Out And Read (which partners with
physicians and other health care providers to
provide books for pre-school aged children
starting at six months) is probably a very good
idea. “Being read to, reading for yourself,
discussing what you’ve read – that’s the sort of
positive spiral that can lead to greater academic
achievement years down the line.”
You can read the entire article by Tom Jacobs of
The Pacific Standard at: http://tinyurl.com/ph22oko

newspapers, and videotapes that can be checked
out or read on site; tables where kids sit after
school to do homework, a few comfortable chairs
where grownups take advantage of the quiet to
read, and even a few computers.
Libraries are changing. As Aviva Rutkin, author
of Books Out, 3D Printers in for Reinvented
Libraries tells us in the July issue of New Scientist,
that at some libraries, “websites like Wikipedia
and vast online databases have largely replaced
physical copies of reference books and back issues
of journals. Other books can be offered in digital
form, or physical copies stored out of sight and
called up via an automated retrieval system.”
This opens up space for new technologies.
Ever heard of a “maker lab”? At the Fayetteville
Public Library’s maker lab, there are 3D printers,
a laser cutter, electronics kits, workshop tools,
Raspberry Pi computers and several sewing
machines. The maker lab is a cross between a
classroom and a “start-up incubator,” because
it’s a place where people can learn about and use
state-of-the-art technology.
Although it costs several thousand dollars to
set up a maker lab, they are popping up across the
country. The US government Institute of Museum
and Library Services is supportive of the effort,
and has provided $2.6 million in grants for maker
lab projects. There are already maker labs in
public libraries in cities like Chicago, Sacramento,
Pittsburg, Denver, and even in Detroit. Some
ambitious individuals have created new products
in maker labs, and then launched new businesses.
Others have used the labs to make enhancements
for already existing businesses. Libraries have
always been a great source of information for the
general public. They still are. They’re just doing
their work a little differently these days!
Read more about this at New Scientist’s Tech
page at: http://tinyurl.com/mndc5al v

Welcome Newly Licensed Davis Facilitators!
Doris Birkner

I am 39 years old and live with my family near Hauugues. I
am a speech therapist and run a private practice. I spent a
long time looking for a good dyslexia program, and eventually
stumbled upon the Davis Program. At first I was a little
skeptical but later realized how helpful the Davis Program was
for my nephew. Shortly after, my sister and I decided to become
Davis Facilitators. Ann Bergatten 9, Veustadt 3135
+49 (5131) 701 866 info.logopaedie-osterwald.de

Silvia Bou Ysàs

C/Josep Renom 74, Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain,
08206, +34 637709813 sby@silviabouysas.com

Andrea Paluch

In 1999 I received my PhD in English literature and from then
on worked as a novelist and professor for a university. When
my son overcame his dyslexia with the help of the Davis
Program I decided to share this experience with others by
becoming a Davis Facilitator. Lernberatung, Marienholzungsweg
50 c, Flensburg, Germany D-24939 +49 461 6757 5595,

Darryl Hoefdraad

Brainart, Admiraal de Ruijterweg 480 II, Amsterdam 1055 NH
Netherlands, info@brainart.nl +31 (06) 460 17 929

Isabelle Charbon

20 Rue de Soissons Bordeaux 33000 France
+33 (06) 3022 1603 isabelle.charbon@sfr.fr

Special Congratulations to Carol Nelson, France, Tina Kramer, Indiana
and Cinda Osterman, Michigan, new Davis Autism Facilitator/Coaches!

Kim Ainis
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Chicago +1 (312) 360-0805
Susan Smarjesse
+1 (217) 789-7323
Myrna Burkholder
Goshen/South Bend
+1 (574) 533-7455
Tina Kramer
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (812) 614-7614
Mary Kay Frasier
Des Moines
+1 (515) 270-0280

Karen LoGiudice
also Fundamentals Workshop
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (978) 337-7753
Carolyn Tyler
+1 (508) 997-4642
Sandra McPhall
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Grandville/Grand Rapids
+1 (616) 534-1385
Cinda Osterman, M. Ed.
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
Grand Ledge/Lansing
+1 (517) 652-5156
Molly Scoby
+1 (231) 250-7260
Caralyn Tignanelli
+1 (248) 701-1485
Cyndi Deneson
also Supervisor-Specialist
+1 (888) 890-5380 (Toll-Free)
+1 (952) 820-4673
Tracy Johnson
Big Lake +1 (763) 250-0485
Cathy Cook
+1 (573) 819-6010 or 886-8917
Elsie Johnson
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (406) 282-7416
Elaine Thoendel
+1 (402) 482-5709
Robin Mangum
+1 (775) 962-1104
New Hampshire
Glenna Giveans
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+ 1 (603) 863-7877
Michele Siegmann
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (603) 801-1247
New Jersey
Lynn Chigounis
Montclair +1 (973) 746-5037
Judith Buttram
Sewell +1 (609) 560-0289


New Mexico
Melanie Schaub
Bosque Farms
+1 (505) 321-4486
New York
Lisa Anderson
Seneca Falls
+1 (315) 576-3812
Wendy Niedermeier Russell
Byron +1 (585) 233-4364
North Carolina
Gerri W. Cox
also DLS Presenter-Mentor
+1 (910) 754-9559
Ruth Mills
+1 (704) 541-1733
Jean Moser
+1 (336) 830-2390
North Dakota
Angie Bricker-Jones
+1 (701) 660-8860
Lorraine Charbonneau
+1 (513) 850-1895
Ashley Grice
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (918) 779-7351
Rhonda Lacy
+1 (580) 323-7323

The Davis Facilitator Training Program
consists of eleven training steps, and requires
450 hours of workshop attendance, practice
meetings, and supervised field work.
The Davis Specialist Training Program
requires extensive experience providing Davis
programs and an additional 260 hours of
training. Specialists and Facilitators are subject
to annual re-licensing based upon case review
and adherence to the DDAI Standards of

The Davis Autism Approach Facilitator/Coach
Training Program is available to experienced
and licensed Davis Facilitators. It requires an
additional 200-250 hours of specialized training
and field work to become licensed to work with
autistic individuals and their families.
Davis Learning Strategies Mentors and
Workshop Presenters are experienced teachers
and trainers with 2-3 years of specialized training
and experience mentoring classroom teachers of
children 5-9 years of age.

Nicki Cates
+1 (586) 801-0772
Rhonda Erstrom
+1 (541) 881-7817
Janell Warkentin
+1 (541) 647-0841
Marcia Maust
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Autism Training Supervisor
also Supervisor Specialist
+1 (814) 267-5765
South Carolina
Angela Keifer
+1 (864) 420-1627
South Dakota
Kim Carson
also DLS Presenter-Mentor
Brookings/Sioux Falls
+1 (605) 692-1785
Kellie Antrim-Brown
Ft. Worth +1 (817) 989-0783
Success Learning Center
Rhonda Brown
also DLS Presenter-Mentor
Colleen Millslagle
also DLS Presenter-Mentor
+1 (866) 531-2446 (Toll Free)
+1 (903) 531-2446
Shari Chu
Helotes/San Antonio
+1 (210) 414-0116
Karen Hautz
+1 (281) 501-9871
Lori Johnson
Boerne/San Antonio
+1 (210) 843-8161

For more information about training and a full directory of Davis providers,
visit: www.dyslexia.com/licensing.htm or www.dyslexia.com/providers.htm
or call +1 (650) 692-7141 or +1 (888) 805-7216 toll-free in the USA.


Texas (continued)

Young Learner Kit
for Home-Use
Based on the Davis Dyslexia
Correction methods, this Kit
enables parents of children,
ages 5-7, to home-teach and
help young learners to:
• focus attention
• control energy levels
• improve eye-hand coordination
• learn the alphabet
• learn basic punctuation
• develop and strengthen pre-reading
and basic reading skills
• prevent the potential of a
learning problem
• improve sight word recognition
and comprehension
The Kit includes:
• establish life-long “how-to-learn”
• Instruction Manual
• Sturdy nylon briefcase
• Reusable modeling clay (2 pounds)
The Davis Methods
• Clay cutter
for Young Learners
• Children’s Dictionary (hardcover)
Davis Focusing Strategies provide
• Punctuation Marks & Styles Booklet
children with the self-directed ability
• Two Koosh Balls
to be physically and mentally focused • Letter Recognition Cards
on the learning task at hand.
• Laminated Alphabet Strip
• Stop Signs for Reading Chart
Davis Symbol Mastery enables
children to master the alphabet
letters, punctuation marks and
basic sight words with a simple,
easy and fun alternative to pencilpaper activities and drill.
Davis Reading Exercises improve
accuracy with word recognition
and comprehension.

Casey Linwick-Rouzer
Sugar Land/Houston
+1 (832) 724-0492
Frances Adaleen Makin
+1 (903) 268-1394
Paula Marshburn
Tyler +1 (903) 570-3427
Dorothy Owen
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (817) 919-6200
Beverly Parrish
League City
+1 (281) 638-0297
Laura Warren
+1 (806) 790-7292
Theresa Craig
St. George
+1 (435) 668-6937
Cynthia Gardner
American Fork
+1 (208) 409-9102
Donna Kouri
+1 (804) 240-0470
Angela Odom
also DLS Presenter-Mentor
+1 (804) 833-8858
Jamie Worley
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (540) 552-0603
Elizabeth (Liz) Bertran
Lake Stevens
+1 (425) 231-9705
Aleta Clark
+1 (253) 854-9377
Sophia Gomma
Bainbridge Island
+1 (206) 451-7102
West Virginia
Allison Boggess
+1 (888) 517-7830
Gale Long
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
also Autism Training Supervisor
+1 (888) 517-7830 (Toll Free)
+1 (304) 965-7400
Anne Mataczynski
also Autism Facilitator/Coach
+1 (715) 551-7144
Marla Verdone
+1 (800) 753-8147 (Toll Free)
v Uruguay

The Kit is priced at $129.95
(Shipping and Handling will be added)
To purchase a kit, use our secure
on-line ordering at:
or call our toll-free number:
1 (888) 999-3324
Note: for older children (ages 8 and up) we recommend
the Davis Orientation and Symbol Mastery Kit.

Marcela Piffaretti
+598 (2) 600-6326

This Directory is current
as of August 30th, 2014.
It is subject to change.
Between newsletter issues,
new Facilitators are added,
and occasionally, some
become inactive. However,
the Davis Providers list at
is always up to date.



Teachers, would you like to…

• Improve the reading skills of all the children in your
class regardless of their learning style?
• Manage your classroom more effectively?
• Prevent the onset of learning disabilities?
• Use research-based methods that are flexible and easily fit
into and enhance any existing curriculum?
This two-day workshop provides Primary Teachers (K-3)
with unique and innovative strategies for improving
reading instruction and classroom management, and equips
young learners with proven life long skills in “how to learn.”

Instruction includes:

Basic Workshop for
Primary Teachers
“In the forefront of what I liked most was how easily the
Davis strategies fit into many areas of Kindergarten curriculum.
It relieved me of a paper-pencil approach and gave me a
hands-on, kinesthetic approach. It helped develop the little
finger muscles to move on to coordinate paper-pencil activities.
Creating the alphabet over time also accomplished the

• Theory and Reasoning for each Strategy.
• Video demonstrations of each Strategy and classroom
implementation suggestions.
• Supervised experiential practice on each Strategy.
• Q&A and discussion about each Strategy.

development of ownership, responsibility, and a sense

Materials include:

Elementary School, Fremont, California

a pride in all the children. I believe all Kindergarten
children would benefit from Davis Learning Strategies.”
­LB, Kindergarten Teacher, Mission San Jose

• Detailed Manual with suggested year-long guides,
black-line masters, and numerous tips for each
implementing each
Strategy in various curriculum activities.
• Teacher Kit: alphabet strip, letter recognition cards,
clay, cutter, dictionary and two Koosh® balls.
(Classroom materials sold separately)


Workshop hours: 9am-4pm with one hour lunch break
Cost: $595 per person


Location Telephone

October 2 – 3

Tyler, TX

+1 (903) 531-2446


Early registration discount available (US only)

June 16 – 17

Denver, CO

+1 (719) 529-5276

Academic Units or CEUs (US and Canada only)

June 17 – 18

Richmond, VA

+1 (804) 833-8858

June 18 – 19

Shallotte, NC

+1 (910) 754-9559

June 18 – 19

Tyler, TX

+1 (903) 531-2446

July 28 – 29

Brookings, SD

+1 (605) 692-1785

Two Quarter Units are available through California State
University. Cost is $89 per unit, plus $35 administrative fee.
A written assignment, which can be completed before and
during the workshop, is required.

Would you like to bring a DLS
workshop to your school/area?

Call 1 (888) 805-7216, and ask for Paula McCarthy.

For more details and additional workshop dates please visit



The Gift of Dyslexia

Materials included with workshop

Read the book?
Take the next step in helping others
correct dyslexia. Attend this workshop!


Background and Development of the Davis Dyslexia
Correction® Procedures
• Research and discovery. The “gifts” of dyslexia. Anatomy
and developmental stages of a learning disability. Overview
of the steps for dyslexia correction.
Davis Perceptual Ability Assessment (a screening for
dyslexic learning styles)
• Demonstration and Practice Session
Symptoms Profile Interview (used to assess symptoms,
strengths and weaknesses; set goals; establish motivation)
• Demonstration and Practice Session

Orientation Review Procedure
(a method for checking orientation skills)
• Demonstration & Practice Session
Davis Symbol Mastery® (the key to correcting dyslexia)
• What is Symbol Mastery? Why clay?
Mastering Basic Language Symbols
• Demonstrations and Group Exercises
Reading Improvement Exercises
• Spell-Reading. Sweep-Sweep-Spell. Picture-at-Punctuation



Davis Orientation Counseling Procedures (methods to control,
monitor and turn off perceptual distortions)
• What is Orientation? Demonstration & Practice Session
Release Procedure (method to alleviate stress, headaches)
Alignment (an alternative to Orientation Counseling)
• What is Alignment? How is it used? Group Demonstration
Dial-Setting Procedure (a method for controlling energy levels)

Fine-Tuning Procedure (checking and adjusting orientation
using balance)
Symbol Mastery Exercises for Words
• Demonstrations
• Group Exercises
• Practice Sessions
Implementing the Davis Procedures

To register for US workshops call toll free 1 (888) 805-7216 or visit www.dyslexia.com/event.htm






United States

September 22 – 25
Calgary, Alberta
Presenter: Larry Smith, Jr.
Language: English
Telephone: +1 (888) 805-7216
Email: training@dyslexia.com

October 19 – 22
Presenter: Richard Whitehead, Olga Knut
Language: Russian/
Telephone: +372 (56) 509 840

Email: olgaknut@gmail.com

October 16 – 19
Presenter: Ioannis Tzivanakis
Language: French, English
Telephone: +33 (0) 1 82 88 32 35

Email: email@davisfrance.eu

November 1 – 4
Presenter: Ioannis Tzivanakis
Language: German
Telephone: +49 (0) 40 25 17 86 22

Email: info@dyslexia.de

September 24 – 27
Loenen-aan-de-Vecht Utrecht
Presenter: Robin Temple/Marja Steijger
Language: Dutch/English
Telephone: +31 (0) 2049 65253
Email: ddasecretariaat@gmail.com

November 19 – 22
Amesbury, MA
Presenter: Karen LoGiudice
Language: English
Telephone: +1 (888) 805-7216
Email: training@dyslexia.com

For updated workshop schedules visit: www.dyslexia.com/train.htm

24Dys • lex´• ic


Read´• er


1601 Old Bayshore Highway, Suite 260
Burlingame, CA 94010




USA Workshop Information
Toll Free: 1 (888) 805-7216
1 (650) 692-7141
email: answers@davistraining.org

The Gift of Dyslexia Workshop

Come learn and experience the Davis Dyslexia
Correction procedures first hand!

This 4-day workshop is an introduction to the basic theories, principles
and application of all the procedures described in The Gift of Dyslexia.
Training is done with a combination of lectures, demonstrations, group
practice, and question and answer sessions. Attendance is limited to
ensure the highest quality of training.

Who should attend:
• Reading Specialists & Tutors
• Parents & Homeschoolers
• Resource Specialists
• Educational Therapists
• Occupational Therapists
• Speech/Language Therapists

September 22 – 25

Calgary, Alberta


September 24 – 27



October 16 – 19



October 19 – 22



November 1 – 4



November 19 – 22

Amesbury, MA


Participants will learn:
• How the Davis procedures were developed
• How to assess for the “gift of dyslexia.”
• How to help dyslexics eliminate mistakes and focus attention.
• The Davis Symbol Mastery tools for mastering reading.
• How to incorporate and use proven methods for improving
reading, spelling, and motor coordination into a teaching,
home school, tutoring, or therapeutic setting.

USA Workshop Fees
• $1175 per person • Academic units and CEUs available

See page 23 for more workshop details and discounts.

Call 1 (888) 805-7216 for US and Canadian
special discounts and early bird rates!

For a detailed brochure on enrollment, prices, group rates, discounts, location, and further information, contact the DDA in your country.
DDAI-Int’l, Canada & USA
1601 Bayshore Highway, Ste 260
Burlingame, CA 94010
Tel: 1 (888) 805-7216
Fax: 1 (650) 692-7075
E-mail: ddai@dyslexia.com

Wandsbecker Chausee 132
D-22089 Hamburg
Tel: 49 (040) 25 17 86 22
Fax: 49 (040) 25 17 86 24
E-mail: germany@dyslexia.com
Tel: 41 (061) 273 81 85
E-mail: ch@dyslexia.com

DDA-Latin America
Calzada del Valle #400 Local 8
Colonia del Valle
Garza García, Monterrey
Nuevo León
México, CP 66220
Tel: 52 (81) 8335-9435
Email: spanish@dyslexia.com
Jacques Schreursstraat 25
6074 CR Melick
Tel: 31 (475) 520 433
E-mail: info@davisdyslexie.nl

Davis Learning Foundation
47-49 Church Street
Great Malvern
Worcestershire WR14 2AA
Tel: +44 (0) 330 011 0680
E-mail: uk@dyslexia.com
295 Rattray Street
Dunedin, New Zealand 9016
Tel: 64 (0274) 399 020
Fax: 0064 3 456 2028
Email: pacific@dyslexia.com

Enrollment limited v Classes fill Early v Call 1 (888) 805-7216 or 1 (650) 692-7141
For updated workshop schedules visit http://www.dyslexia.com/train.htm
For a full description of the Davis Facilitator Certification Program, ask for our booklet.