The learning process for dyslexics requires active involvement. Quoting Ron Davis, he said “the creative process and the learning process, if not the same thing, are so closely associated that we will never be able to separate them.” Creativity is therefore an essential part of the learning process.
If we create something in the form of memorisation, what we have is something memorised. If we create something in the form of understanding, what we have is understanding.
Ron said that if you create something, you can own it. If you can own it, you can experience it. If you can experience it, you can master it, and if you can master it, it becomes part of your thinking process.
Try observing your child when he/she is reading. Make a note of the words your child substituted, skipped, inserted, misread or hesitated. Excluding those words your child is unfamiliar with, you will notice that most of the words where mistakes are made are high frequency words such as ‘the’, ‘of’, ‘at’, etc.
Being picture thinkers, these words often produce a blank picture for the child whenever he/she comes across it. The child may know how to spell and/or pronounce the word, but because there is no picture representing what the word means, it becomes a source of confusion for him/her.
To resolve the confusion, the child needs to ‘create’ for himself/herself the meaning of the words he/she has difficulty using, spelling, reading, writing or understanding.
In the Davis approach, we do this through an exercise called Symbol Mastery (see pic). Using plasticine clay as a medium, the child gets to engage his/her creativity in the course of learning and the outcome is that he/she receives a learning experience that is more impactful and permanent compared to memorisation (which many of our kids do) or writing 10 or 20 times in order to learn each spelling word, etc.
To draw a parallel of what I mean, no matter how often we watch someone riding a bicycle and read about what needs to be done, the understanding of it won’t keep us from falling over the first time we get on the bike. Mastering riding the bike requires that we get on the bike and experiencing it for ourselves personally. We have to create that experience in the real world in order to master it.
Therefore, when dyslexics create the meaning of the word (that causes confusion) in clay, and then add what the word looks like and sounds like, they are doing what is similar to getting on the bike and experiencing the learning for themselves. That is what mastery is and when a word is mastered, it no longer causes confusion for the child and actual learning can then take place.
Professional services described as Davis™, including Davis™ Dyslexia Correction, Davis™ Symbol Mastery, Davis™ Orientation Counseling, Davis™ Attention Mastery, Davis™ Math Mastery, and Davis™ Reading Program for Young Learners may only be provided by persons who are trained and licensed as Davis Facilitators or Specialists by Davis Dyslexia Association International.