Issue No.



Dys•lex´ ic Read´ er • •˜
Book Reviews:

Davis Dyslexia Association International

Spring 1996

Getting Ready for School

Head Start Activities for the Home, by Sharon Pfeiffer The Myth of the A.D.D. Child
Directory of Facilities and Services for the Learning Disabled

by Thomas Armstrong

Also in this Issue:

from Academic Therapy Publications

Koosh Ball Therapy!

Become a Certified Davis Orientation Counselor Directory of DDAI Certified Specialists

Ron Davis is Keynote Speaker at Annual British Adult Dyslexia Organisation Conference Workshop Schedule Worldwide

Page 2

Issue No. 5

The Dyslexic Reader

Getting on Point

n this issue, we explore two approaches to helping children succeed in school. Sharon Pfeiffer’s article on preparing children is based on 20 years’ experience as an elementary school teacher. Ron Davis also reviews a new book by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., who points out that many behavior problems blamed on Attention Deficit Disorder may actually be caused by inappropriate teaching methods and “warehouse” classrooms. Whatever your child’s age, you as a parent cannot assume today’s school system will deliver an adequate education. Of course, some schools are better than others; but overall, the US is near the bottom of the heap compared to other developed nations. The most fundamental problem is class size in the early school years. Daycare centers generally provide one caregiver for every 34 infants. Pre-school daycare centers have one caregiver for every 7-10 children. But when the child goes to kindergarten, class size surges to 25, 30 or more, and the amount of personal attention devoted to each child plunges. We must cut class sizes in half during these crucial years. So what can parents do? Here are some suggestions: 1. Become your child’s own best teacher. You can contribute to your child’s education at home. Please do. Don’t count on the school system to do it all for you. Parents are vital to children’s education. Many basic motor, visual and auditory skills are best


School Troubles

learned at home before children are old enough for school. 2. Create a better school. Go to your local school and see what you can do to help. Meet with teachers and other parents. If the school is way below par, consider homeschooling. A few hundred thousand parents in the US are now educating their children at home, often with stellar results. The Charter School movement is showing promise in many areas of the country. 3. Become a literacy volunteer. Read to kids at the local library or help out at your local school as a tutor. You don’t need special training. If your own child is doing fine, do it anyway. Consider whether you want your child to grow up to be among the minority in an uneducated society. 4. Harass your elected representatives and officials— with letters, faxes and e-mail. Demand better education. Tell them to cut K-2 class sizes in half and you’ll pay for it with higher taxes. Basic education is the best investment this country could make in its future. 5. Use legal ammunition. In 1973, Congress passed Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, a law that says teachers, administrators and school districts must provide special accommodations and educational adaptations for children with learning disabilities. You can take your local school administrators to court if they don’t comply with it. But the law does contain a basic flaw. Congress didn’t provide any funding to pay for these services. Which takes you right back to step four. •Eldon Braun, Contributing Editor

On April 19, 1996, Ron Davis will be featured as the keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Adult Dyslexia Organisation in London, England. The event will be at the London Voluntary Sector Resource Center, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. For information, contact ADO at +44 0171 737 7646. To order the British edition of The Gift of Dyslexia, and other materials in the UK, please contact Mrs. Jane Clitheroe, DDA Representative, 53 Woodfield Drive, Winchester, S022 5PY. Tel/fax: +44 01962 861 995.

Ron Davis is Keynote Speaker at London Adult Dyslexia Conference

Published quarterly by Davis Dyslexia Association International (DDAI). DDAI’s purposes are to increase worldwide awareness about the gifted aspects of dyslexia and related learning styles; and to present methods for improving literacy. We believe all people have abilities and talents that should be cherished and valued, and that learning problems can be corrected. Letters to the editor, address changes, and article submissions should be sent to 1601 Old Bayshore Hwy. #260C, Burlingame, CA 94010 For reprints or permission to republish an article, call (415) 6928995, fax (415) 692-8997 or e-mail Internet address: Subscriptions: US$25 a year, US$30 Canada/Mexico, US$35 other countries. Views expressed in letters and articles herein are not necessarily those of DDAI. All materials ©DDAI 1996, unless otherwise noted. Managing Editor, Abigail Marshall.

Dys•lex´ ic Read•˜ • ´ er

Photos on cover and page 3, courtesy of Ian and his Dad. Original artwork on page 5 by Elise Bergerson, age 7.

The Dyslexic Reader

Issue No. 5

Page 3

Getting Ready for School
Head Start Activities for the Home
By Sharon Pfeiffer


reparing a child for first grade involves much more than just pencil and paper. There are many things you can do with your child every day that are not only fun, but will help make the transition to school easy.

How to Read to Your Child
For every child—potentially dyslexic or not—getting ready for reading should begin at home.

Before learning to read, every child should be read to. This shows how interesting books can be, and provides the best incentive to learn. I suggest that you choose a good quality book with attractive illustrations. The children’s librarian at your local library will have plenty of suggestions, in addition to those listed here. Sitting with your child, you have an opportunity to model how a book is held and how the pages are turned. To show how books are composed, read each page — the title page and part of the copyright page with the year the book was made. Also read the dedication page. Before reading a page with a picture, show it to the child and ask questions like, “What do you see in this picture?” “What do you think the story is about?” Don’t belabor talking about the pictures, but understand that they are an essential part of the reading process because they show what the words mean. The pictures are there to give the young reader clues to the story and vocabulary words used. At the end of the story, ask some detailed questions based on the classic newspaper reporter’s formula for writing a story: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? Some examples: “What color was the girl’s dress?” “Where did the boy and girl go?” Also ask open-ended questions such as, “Why do you think the boy and girl wanted to go to the farm?” This is wonderful opportunity to help advance your child’s oral skills, which are developed before reading skills. Encourage your child to use complete sentences. Be patient so the child has plenty of time to formulate ideas. Be prepared to read and reread the stories. Most children love to hear them over and over again. If they start filling in the words as you go, congratulations. You’re helping them develop memory skills without effort.

New Symbol Mastery Kit for Home Use
The new DDAI Symbol Mastery kit, designed by Sharon Pfeiffer, is now available. In addition to a manual and videotape instructions, the kit contains clay, a children’s dictionary, grammar book, an alphabet strip and cards, punctuation and styles booklet, and pronunciation cards.

6 Goodnight Moon by Margaret 6 Time for Bed by M. Fox 6 Tomie de Paola’s Mother 6 6 6

Wise Brown

Use Nursery Rhymes to Build Listening Skills
I like Mother Goose rhymes for three reasons: First, they pass on the tradition of our culture. Secondly, they allow the child to hear the rhythm of our language. Thirdly, Mother Goose rhymes are highly adaptive to dramatization. Try reading the rhyme while the child acts it out. We can encourage a child’s auditory skills by teaching the child some traditional songs such as You Are My Sunshine, Skip To My
Continued on page 5


Goose by Tomie de Paola Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle When the Wind Stops by Charlotte Zolotow Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

Page 4

Issue No. 5

The Dyslexic Reader
by Thomas Armstrong Ph.D.,

The Book Report:

The Myth of the A.D.D. Child
Dutton, 302 pages.

Directory of Facilities and Services for the Learning Disabled from Academic Therapy Publications
(“Mother’s Little Helper,” March 18, 1996). In part two, Dr. Armstrong certainly does “present a broad range of approaches.” Although not all of the possibilities are covered, the list of inexpensive, and “do at home” strategies is impressive, and probably more than adequate to cover most needs. There is a bibliography at the end of each chapter and the “notes” at the end of the book make it very reference rich. Section two also provides a questionnaire as a key to aid in selecting which strategies will be most appropriate, and some helpful guidelines on how best to proceed. If you are a parent of an ADD (suspected or diagnosed) child, get the book, and get started. Reviewed by Ron Davis Other recommended reading: • Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception by Thom Hartman • ADD Success Stories by Thom Hartman

The Myth of the A.D.D. Child
he worst possible scenario for any malady or condition is the denial of its existence. The title of the book appears to be a denial, but don’t let that stop you from reading it. In the preface Dr. Thomas Armstrong states the two objectives in writing the book: “...clear the reader’s mind of the enchanting effects of what I call ‘the ADD myth” and “...present fifty practical strategies to help your child discover his true nature and success in life.” In both Dr. Armstrong has done a superb job. In Part One Dr. Armstrong presents an honest and truthful perspective of ADD. In doing so he has taken a position in opposition to the AMA, APA, the American drug industry, the ADD advocacy groups, and the American education system. It will be interesting to see their reaction to it, and to Newsweek’s recent cover story on Ritalin.



Directory of Facilities and Services for the Learning Disabled,

his is an excellent resource for anyone who needs help or information. Contents include the following: • Listings alphabetized by state • Sources of specialized materials • Allied organizations • Educational journals • Software for special education • Test publishers • Tips for bringing order into the LD childs world • and much, much more. Available from: Academic Therapy Publications 20 Commercial Blvd. Novato, CA 94949-6191 Free, send $4.00 Postage Reviewed by Dwight Underhill

KTLA TV Profiles Davis Methods



A young reader writes:
My name is Jody. I’m in the seventh grade. I have been reading the book The Gift of Dyslexia. And I have one of your t-shirts. “My mom found the info about your book and stuff from my aunt. One of my cousins has dyslexia too. “Once I found out that I had dyslexia it helped me in school. The teacher I had in fourth grade helped me out in my school work. “Thank you for listening.

n January 8th and 9th, 1996, Los Angeles television station KTLA broadcast an excellent two-part feature on the counseling program at Ron Davis’ Reading Research Council. The short program covers the history, theory, and procedure of Davis methods in an informative and entertaining

fashion. The included interviews with clients and staff-members provide a very good overview. Videotape copies of the broadcast are available for loan from the Reading Research Council. An $8 refundable deposit is required, along with $3 to cover postage. (Telephone: (415) 692-8990)


The Dyslexic Reader Continued from Page 3

Issue No. 5 to Describe Relationships

Page 5 Prepare Your Child for Friendship

Getting Ready for School Help Your Child Use Words
Lou, She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain and I’ve Been Working On the Railroad. Like Mother Goose rhymes, these old songs are fun, and pass on our tradition and our culture. Teaching them will help your child feel part of the group later on at school. Children are always excited at school when they hear songs and stories that they learned at home. Learning spatial terms can be very helpful for a young child. Use play to teach these. terms. Place a small box and a small object on a table. Ask the child to place the object on top of the box. Next, ask the child to give you a sentence telling where the object is placed, i.e. “The _____ is on top of the box”. Do the same with other words such as under, in, above, below, behind, front, over, around, out, beside, etc.

Another helpful activity is letter recognition. Choose a letter, place a printed example where the child can see it, and have the child model it in clay. Help your child roll a rope and shape it into the letter. Do this with both upper and lower case letters, and ask the child, “What’s different?” Talk about the name of the letter. Next find examples of the letter in magazines, newspapers or junk mail. Have your child circle the letter or cut it out. The cut out letters can be pasted onto a chart or in a scrap book. Another helpful activity is rolling clay into ropes, then making the numerals, 0-9. Be sure the child has a model from which to copy. Make groups of clay balls to represent each number. If the child is ready to count, you could have them count forward as well as backward. While looking at the clay numerals you can also ask such questions as, “What number comes between 3 and 5?” Or point to a numeral at random and ask the child to name it.

Teach the Alphabet & Numerals

Children are natural collectors. Using this interest can help them learn early math skills. Collections can include rocks, leaves, pits from fruit, screws or just about anything. These collections allow the child a chance to look for patterns as they sort and group their “finds” into different categories. Children can even help around the house if they do these activities with silverware, money or canned food. As you shop for groceries, point out how foods are grouped in the market and see if they can arrange them in a similar fashion at home.

Help Your Child Learn to Sort

Another area that can benefit a beginning student is the area of social skills. Playing board games and card games can help the child learn: how to take turns, to share, and how to win and lose as a good sport. I recommend that the parent play with the child first so the adult can model good social skills. Some board games and card games children like are Candyland, Junior Monopoly, Old Maid, Go Fish and simple puzzles. These can be fun for the whole family, while helping the child prepare to interact with other children.

“Choose a letter and have the child model it in clay.”

All children need to become comfortable in their bodies. They can accomplish this through art projects for the small motor skills mentioned earlier and by just moving around for large motor skills. So when you take your child to the park, remember that you’re giving the child a chance to develop these large motor skills. They can run, jump, climb, skip, and hop. You can also add ball skills and jump rope skills. These will give the child a head start in P.E. class as well as recess.

The Playground Is Important Too

Another experience a child needs is the chance to observe A young child needs varied nature. Most children have a experience in the arts. Art helps the child develop self confidence natural curiosity that deserves and hand/eye coordination. There encouragement. Activities can be as simple as helping the child are endless activities such as cut plant and care for seeds, or and paste projects, drawing, observing ants, birds and snails in painting, clay, collage, stitchery and potato prints. Continued on page 6

Help Your Child Learn from Observing Nature

Don’t Forget Art

Page 6

Issue No. 5 Continued from page 5

The Dyslexic Reader

Getting Ready for School
the backyard. Help the child discover the differences in the seasons by observing trees, noticing the weather, checking where the moon is at night, or calling attention to the length of shadows during the day. They’ll ask some questions that will challenge your knowledge, but you can always find the answers at the library.

Our World Wide Web Site
Our Internet site continues to draw comments from around the world. Over 14,000 people visit our site each month. This month, an Australian mom wrote, “I have a 7 year old who has trouble reading. He seems very bright and has an amazing memory for facts. I feel he is dyslexic but they don't seem to use that term instead they have said he has audio processing problems. I did a search on internet and after many red herrings I found your site and found it very refreshing to read.” From Africa, we heard “Thanks, these pages open a new outlook to us regarding the subject.”

Preparing a child for school can be fun and highly rewarding. It is important to create a positive, enjoyable experience for the child in activities that will become part of school life. I’m sure you can come up with plenty more on your own. I believe strongly in a balanced education that develops not only the mind but also the body and spirit. Helping develop a child’s social skills helps the child feel at home in our society. Just remember to ask questions and listen to your child. Let them be the guide. Never push a child to doany activity for which the child is not ready. When children are ready, they will be interested, and they will learn effortlessly. Sharon Pfeiffer has more than 20 years’ experience teaching elementary school and working on school district committees. Sharon implemented and monitors a K-2 pilot program using Symbol Mastery at a California elementary school. She also works with individual clients and supervises the training of Davis Orientation Mastery Counselors.

Show Your Child That Learning is Fun

Koosh Ball Therapy


by Ronald D. Davis

here is a simple and fun way to check whether a student is oriented, and train her in what being on point feels like. Use the light, furry toy balls made out of rubber band material. We don’t recommend using other balls, like tennis balls or PingPong balls, because they have a tendency to “bounce” out of the person’s hand before they can grasp them. You can start doing it periodically after Fine Tuning, described in Chapter 17 of The Gift of Dyslexia. Stand six to ten feet away from the person, or a little closer for small children. Start by telling the student to “get on point,” meaning to put her mind’s eye on her orientation point. Have the person balance on one foot as described in Chapter 27 of The Gift of Dyslexia. She can stand on either foot, and can switch feet at any time. Hold both balls in one hand. With the student comfortably balanced on one foot, say “Catch one ball in one hand and the other ball in the other

hand.” Underhanded, toss each ball one at a time. Toss gently, aiming about chest high towards the center of the person’s body. Each time you toss a ball say “One in one hand, one in the other.” When the student can easily catch a ball with either hand without losing balance, repeat “One in one hand, one in the other.” Then toss both balls simultaneously. Aim for a position directly in front of the person on her mid-line. If properly tossed, one ball will be on each side of the mid-line of the body. Be sure to toss them so they can be easily caught. When the student catches the balls, praise her and do it again. After a while, tell her “I am going to toss them both to one side of you. I want you to catch them without losing your balance.” Do this for each side so the student has to cross her mid-line with both hands to catch both balls. Be careful not to aim too far to the side, or you will cause the person to lose balance. That’s all there is to it.

The Dyslexic Reader

Issue No. 5

Page 7


Becoming a Certified Davis Orientation Counselor

ur new certification mark identifies people who have been fully trained in the Davis Dyslexia Correction Procedures and have completed a supervised internship. If you are a tutor, teacher or other professional using these techniques to help those with learning problems, you are welcome to contact DDAI for the requirements. If you have already completed a 5-day workshop, ask about completing the internship requirements in your area. We receive many requests from individuals looking for counselors in all parts of the U.S. and in Canada. We also receive inquiries from other parts of the world. Recently, for example, we have heard from parents of dyslexic children in Israel, India, and Australia. We encourage all teachers and tutors who have read The Gift of Dyslexia to use the procedures to benefit their students. However, only DDAI-certified Specialists have received complete training by Ron Davis and his staff.

DDAI Certified Counseling and Learning Centers
California Reading Research Council Dyslexia Correction Center
Ron Davis, Founder Brian Grimes, Director Dr. Fatima Ali, Ph.D., MFCC Sharon Pfeiffer, Curriculum Director 1601 Old Bayshore Highway, Suite 260 Burlingame, CA 94010 Telephone: +1 (415) 692-8990 Fax: +1 (415) 692-8997 E-Mail:

DDAI Standards of Practice
All DDAI certified Orientation Mastery Specialists adhere to the following standards: • They promote increased understanding that all human beings have innate potentials and different learning styles that need to be recognized, exercised, and honored. • They treat their clients, regardless of age or intelligence, with respect, honesty, and kindness. • They maintain the integrity of the Davis Orientation Counseling Program by always doing Symbol Mastery in conjunction with Orientation Counseling, and providing the materials for doing so as part of the Program. • They maintain the confidences of their clients except in cases where harm may occur to them or others. • They do not advocate or recommend the use of drugs or duress for the treatment of learning disabilities. • They do not promote the Davis procedures as a cure for any physical or psychological ailment. • They do not mix the Davis procedures with other methodologies without clearly explaining each and delineating the differences to their clients. • They only do the Davis Orientation Counseling Program or procedures with students or clients who are willing. • They ensure that these Standards of Practice are maintained by trainees, employees, or others who are working with clients under their supervision. • They stay informed of advancements, research, and literature in their field. • They work to increase awareness of and use of the Davis procedures as educational tools for alleviating learning problems in their communities.

New Jersey Multivariant Learning Systems Corporation (MLSc)
Charlotte Foster, President P.O. Box 224 Basking Ridge, NJ 07920 Telephone: +1 (908) 766-5399 Fax: +1 (908)766-6010 E-Mail:

Germany Albrecht Giese, Ph.D.
St. Georgs-Kirchhof 6 20099 Hamburg, Germany Telephone/Fax: +49 40 280-4576 E-mail:


Robin Temple Drs. Siegerdina Mandema Kerkweg 38a NL-6105 CG Maria Hoop, Holland Telephone: +31 475 302 203 Fax: +31 475 301 381 E-Mail:

Holland ZieZei Counselling Institute for Dyslexia

The Dyslexic Reader

1601 Old Bayshore Highway, Suite 260 Burlingame, CA 94010 (415) 692-8995


Symptoms We Hear - Options We Recommend
eople call us each day from around the world with questions about dyslexia. After describing symptoms, they want to know what to do to help themselves or others. The most common characteristics and symptoms we hear are: • Bright, highly intelligent and articulate, but below grade level in reading, writing, math or spelling. • Not “behind enough” to be helped in school. • Suffering poor self-esteem. • Easily frustrated and emotional about school, reading or testing. • Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, organization, business, designing, building or engineering. • Difficulty paying attention, getting lost easily, losing track of time or daydreaming. • Best at learning through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids. • Reading and rereading with little comprehension. • Able to do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math • Thinking primarily with images and feelings, not thinking with words.


by Dwight Underhill, Program Counselor

Emotionally sensitive; have a strong sense of justice and strive for perfection. • Very early or late childhood development (crawling, walking, talking, tying shoes...). • Difficulties with penmanship or coordination problems. The steps and options we recommend are: 1. Read The Gift of Dyslexia or listen to it on audio tape, and follow the procedures described in Part Four. ($14.95 or $34.95 for book plus audio tapes) 2. Come to an Evening of Inquiry or schedule a consultation and testing appointment. ($20-$45) 3. Watch the instructional video tapes which demonstrate the Davis procedures. ($119.95) 4. Use the Davis Symbol Mastery Kit which contains all the materials and steps for teaching or learning basic language symbols. ($124.95) 5. Attend one of DDAI’s 4-day workshops for professional training on how to apply the Davis procedures with a student. ($700) 6. Do the Davis Orientation Counseling Program: a fiveday, one-on-one educational therapy program for people aged seven years and up. ($2,500)

Upcoming Events
Brian Grimes, Director Sharon Pfeiffer & Dwight Underhill, Counselors • Tuesday, April 23 7-8:30 pm • Wednesday, May 8 7-8:30 pm • Thursday, May 23 7-8:30 pm Fees:$20 including book, The Gift of Dyslexia $40 including book + tapes Free if you bring the book

Evening of Inquiry Dyslexia (a new definition) Reading Research Council, Burlingame, CA

Learning Exchange Workshop by Ron Davis “Why Dyslexia is a Gift and How It Can Be Corrected” Saturday, August 3, 1996 10 am-1 pm 650 Howe Ave. Suite 610 Sacramento, CA (916) 929-9200 Course fee: $30-35

For more information about events and counseling programs, please call the Reading Research Council


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