Synopsis of The Gift of Dyslexia.
Part One: What Dyslexia Really Is
Each case of dyslexia is unique because it results from a combination of an underlying talent, or predisposition, and from environmental influences and unsuccessful learning experiences. As a result, no two dyslexics will have exactly the same set of symptoms. Ron Davis describes dyslexia as "The Mother of Learning Disabilities." He explains why many other conditions have the same root cause as dyslexia. These include Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), Autism, Dyscalculia/Acalculia, Dysgraphia/Agraphia, and Hyperactivity.
Part Two: A Developmental Theory of Dyslexia
Ron Davis shows how the learning disability of dyslexia is caused by the successful use of visual thinking skills at an early age. This "gift" works well for recognizing real life objects, but not printed symbols such as alphabet letters and words. Disorientation is turned on by confusion, so the stress and invalidation typically encountered during the early school years compound the problem. Mental tricks are adopted to give the appearance of learning. Loss of self-esteem causes many dyslexics to adopt ingenious methods to hide their learning disability.
Part Three: The Gift
Ron Davis explains that multi-dimensional thinking (using all the senses) takes place much faster than verbal thinking. Dyslexics also tend to be more curious, creative, and intuitive than average. They tend to be highly aware of the environment, inventive, and good at real world tasks. Their special mode of thought also produces the gift of mastery: once they have learned something experientially, they understand it on such a deep level that they know how to do things intuitively without thinking about how.
The information on this page is excerpted from the book The Gift of Dyslexia and is copyright © 1994 by Ronald D. Davis.
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