Developmental dyslexia and how it relates to brain function are complicated topics that researchers have been studying since dyslexia was first described over a hundred years ago.
Science – Davis® Dyslexia Correction- Research Overview
The Davis Dyslexia Correction program was developed by Ronald Dell Davis from independent experimentation and research, beginning in the early 1980’s. Davis, who was himself severely dyslexic, had discovered a simple mental technique that radically improved his ability to focus on print. Through clinical experience working with dyslexic adults and children, Davis and his colleagues improved and refined the methods over time. In 1994, after working with more than 1,000 clients, Davis published the first edition of The Gift of Dyslexia, detailing his methods and the theory behind them. Since that time, hundreds of professionals have received advanced training in Davis methods, and licensed Davis Facilitators have collectively worked with more than 20,000 clients.
Published (Peer-Reviewed) Research:
The results of a long term study called “The Effect of the Davis Learning Strategies on First Grade Word Recognition and Subsequent Special Education Referrals” coauthored by T.F. McLaughlin, Ph.D. (Gonzaga University), was published in the journal “Reading Improvement” in August, 2001. An abstract and links to the full text article is available here:
Davis Learning Strategies Research
South African educator René Engelbrecht worked with a group of 20 Afrikaans-speaking pupils in grade 5-7 from a school for learners with special needs, to study the impact of the Davis program in a controlled setting. Her report, “The effect of the Ron Davis programme on the reading ability and psychological functioning of children”, is available on her web site:
Rene Engelbrecht – Research
Summary of Engelbrecht Report
Jennifer Poole, Ph.D. conducted a comprehensive study of 14 different methods for dyslexia, including Davis methods, and published her results in the book, “Decoding Dyslexia” ( Matador, 2008; ISBN 978-1906510510). She concluded that the key element for a successful approach to dyslexia was to resolve disorientation. She noted that the Davis method was the only approach that used the “orientation” terminology and was expressly based on recognizing and addressing disorientation.
Decoding Dyslexia – Preview
Government and Public Agency Sponsored Reports:
There are several case studies about Davis methods, conducted under the auspices of the UK Department of Education and Skills, along with a descriptive overview:
The Davis counselling approach
The New Zealand Ministry of Education conducted a review of all available literature and issued a report that includes a good chart comparing various methods, including Davis Dyslexia Correction. (The chart can be found at pagee 41-51 of the report):
Literature Review: An International Perspective on Dyslexia
Statistical Data Compiled by Davis Providers:
Larry Smith, a Davis Dyslexia Correction provider in Calgary, Canada, has recorded statistical information on the progress of 26 consecutive clients, ages 7-19, and presented it in graphical format. His charts show that 50% of the clients increased their reading ability by at least 4 grade levels during the one-week program. Another 21% experienced a 3-grade level increase.
Rocky Point Academy results
Wes Sole, a Davis provider from London, Ontario (now retired), prepared a detailed report of program outcomes taken from 21 Davis clients, broken down by gender, age, and type of reading skill. He found the greatest degree of improvement in oral reading skills, with 71% of clients improving one or more grade levels during the one-week program.
Davis Dyslexia Correction – Program Outcomes
Many anecdotal reports concerning Davis Methods have been published in the media, often based on journalist’s interviews with adults or children who have completed the Davis program.
Reports from Children and Teenagers
Reports from Adults
Many individuals have reported their success with Davis methods. Some examples may be viewed on YouTube:
Monica Gleason, physician’s assistant
Phil Strong, parent of Davis graduate
The Ron Davis Story – Celebrating 40 years of The Gift of Dyslexia
We are celebrating 40 years of The Gift of Dyslexia. It was in 1981 that Ronald Dell Davis stumbled upon his breakthrough idea the the root cause of dyslexia was disorientation as explained in Dyslexia the Gift Blog.
Mental imagery skill predicts adults’ reading performance – Science Direct
- Mental imagery uniquely predicted reading comprehension performance across three experiments.
- Links between reading and mental imagery were not explained by processing speed.
- A novel and objective measure of mental imagery proved superior to self-report measures.
- Mental imagery also appeared to relate to reading fluency.
“Mental imagery is foundational to human experience, lying at the heart of cognition and reading, however research has failed to conclusively investigate and demonstrate a link. Therefore, we conducted three studies measuring adults’ reading and imagery performance.”