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|An innovative approach to teaching pre-teens and adolescents with learning disabilities.
"Welcome to the wonderful world of Gap, where things really change."
|"If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much."
Marian Wright Edelman
Dyslexia & Dysgraphia
"Children make you want to start life over."
"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments;
tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may
"Youth is a perpetual intoxication; it is a fever of the mind."
François Duc de la Rochefoucauld
|Ron Davis discusses his early
childhood difficulties with autism
and dyslexia, and how he began
to research dyslexia as an adult.
Ron Davis Video Clip
Dyslexia is a learning disability characterized by problems in reading, spelling, writing, speaking, or
listening. In many cases, dyslexia appears to be inherited. It afflicts over 15-percent of the entire
Canadian population. In Toronto alone, over 300,000 children and adults suffer from mild-to-advanced
dyslexia. This includes 85% of everyone who reports some difficulty in reading. But dyslexia is more
than a reading comprehension disorder. Dyslexia is also an unseen barrier to personal self-esteem,
emotional stability, plus social and employment opportunity. It contributes significantly to the high
school dropout rate. Over 80% of dyslexic children also have other learning disabilities, which
altogether can be reduced dramatically by addressing dyslexia itself. Dyslexic children seem to have
trouble learning early reading skills, problems hearing individual sounds in words, analyzing whole
words in parts, and blending sounds into words. Letters such as "d" and "b" may be confused. When a
person is dyslexic, there is often an unexpected difference between achievement and aptitude.
However, each person with dyslexia has different strengths and weaknesses, although many have
unusual talents in art, athletics, architecture, graphics, drama, music, or engineering. These special
talents are often in areas that require the ability to integrate sight, spatial skills, and coordination.
Often, a person with dyslexia has a problem translating language into thought (such as in listening or
reading), or translating thought into language (such as in writing or speaking).
Dysgraphia is a neurological disorder characterized by writing disabilities. Specifically, the disorder
causes a person's writing to be distorted or incorrect. In children, the disorder generally emerges when
they are first introduced to writing. They make inappropriately sized and spaced letters, or write wrong
or misspelled words, despite thorough instruction. Children with the disorder may have other learning
disabilities, however, they usually have no social or other academic problems. Cases of dysgraphia in
adults generally occur after some trauma. In addition to poor handwriting, dysgraphia is characterized
by wrong or odd spelling, and production of words that are not correct (i.e., using "boy" for "child"). The
cause of the disorder is unknown. The word 'dysgraphia' simply means difficulty expressing thoughts
in writing. In other words, it just means 'writing difficulty'. And generally it is used to refer to extremely
poor handwriting and may even be identified to as a 'disorder of written expression'. As with dyslexia,
confusion often arises when we start dealing with the term 'dysgraphia' as it relates to 'special
education services' are indicated. On the other hand, 'dysgraphia' has no clearly defined student with
any degree of handwriting difficulty may be considered 'dysgraphic' by some educational specialists.
This frequently occurs when a student receives an educational evaluation outside of the public school
system. So, being labeled as 'dysgraphic' may or may not indicate the need for special education
services. It should be noted that most students with learning disabilities experience difficulty with
handwriting and probably could be considered 'dysgraphic'. However, the term is seldom used within
public schools because of the lack of any strict or measurable criteria.within public schools because of
the lack of any strict or measurable criteria.
A message from Dr. Harold Levinson:
(The Maverick of Dyslexic Thinking)
Ever since the early 1970's, Dr. Harold Levinson's
groundbreaking research has continued to demonstrate that
the symptoms of dyslexia or Learning Disabilities (LD),
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and related Phobic
symptoms are due to a simple signal-scrambling disturbance
of inner-ear (cerebellar-vestibular) origin.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and related Phobic Attention
Deficit Disorder (ADD), and related Phobic symptoms are due
to a simple signal-scrambling disturbance of inner-ear
In other words, the inner-ear acts as a "fine-tuner" for all motor
(balance/coordination/rhythm) signals leaving the brain and
all sensory and related cognitive signals entering it. As a
result, normal thinking brains will have difficulty processing
the scrambled or distorted signals received. And the final
symptoms will depend on: (1) the degree of signal-
scrambling, (2) the location and function of the varied normal
brain centers receiving and having to process these
scrambled signals, as well as (3) the brain's compensatory
ability for de-scrambling.
By contrast, the brain-damage theorists mistakenly believe
that vital processing cells scattered throughout the thinking
brains of dyslexics are severely impaired. And thus normally-
received signals can't be properly interpreted. Were this brain-
damage theory true, then the IQ's of dyslexics would be
severely impaired and their prognosis or outcome would
remain hopeless — despite all efforts and therapies — since
abnormal processing cells within the thinking brain can't be
significantly compensated for. And as might have been
expected, despite escalating research efforts by gifted
scientists, this flawed 100-year-old brain-damage theory has
led absolutely nowhere in so far as medical ways of
diagnosing, treating, and explaining the dyslexic syndrome.
Visit Dr. Levinson's at his website.
|"You know children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers."
John J. Plomp
"Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve."