Customer Reviews: The Gift of Dyslexia, Revised and Expanded: Why Some of the Smartest People Can't Read...and How They Can Learn
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on October 28, 2010
I bought the previous version of this book more than 8 years ago. I was 21, and although I would've been ashamed to have admitted it then, I hadn't read a single book cover to cover in my 21 years, including school assignments. I had really struggled in school through my entire childhood and teenage years, and nobody really understood why. I failed every English class in high school. I just wasn't able to read, and it was immensely frustrating. I tested very well, and was clearly intelligent. I got deeply involved in computer programming from a very early age, so my intelligence level was high enough. I could write in English just fine. Yet I still struggled. Nobody ever diagnosed me with dyslexia, but this book looked interesting, so I bought it on a whim.

By the time I bought this book, I was doing well working in the computer industry, but I never really understood why I couldn't read. Well, to be clear, I could *read* and understand words; I wasn't illiterate by any means, but I found it impossible to get through more than a few pages of text. I had severe reading comprehension problems. My mind would read ahead, wander around, and mis-read things, and I would have to read and re-read the same text many times to really understand it (if I cared enough to learn it, as I did for computer programming).

I read this book (slowly and painfully at first, as always), and had a bit of an epiphany. I have applied Mr. Davis's techniques using the "mind's eye", and in the past 8 years I have read literally hundreds of books cover to cover. I now love reading, and pick up a new book at least once a week.

I still find myself struggling with my dyslexia if I am too tired, but that's the only time his techniques are not completely automatic. After years of practice, it's entirely automatic. I also (when possible) carefully choose printed books based on their typesetting (and choose the font on my computer carefully), which helps immensely as well -- I never knew that fonts and spacing could make such a difference before reading this book.

Mr. Davis's explanations of the differences in the workings of the mind -- the way that dyslexics can comprehend three dimensional objects in a different way than non-dyslexics -- made so much sense to me. I've always had a very high aptitude for science, mechanics, and complex systems. I've had the ability to visualize all sides of three dimensional objects, with no effort, and I've always thought this was perfectly normal. Of course I wouldn't trade that ability, that aptitude, for normal reading. Just thinking of dyslexia as a different way of visualizing rather than a disorder is a huge leap in dealing with it.

I know there are a number of negative reviews of this book, claiming that it's pseudoscience, there's no research, or that the techniques seem "silly". Personally, I don't care. The ability to read, to really read and comprehend (and quickly, at that!), has made such an enormous difference in my life that I recommend this book to everyone who will listen. If I had read this book when I was 10 years old rather than 21, I can't imagine how much it would've changed my early years.

Please, if you have a child who is struggling through school but you know to be super smart, read this book and *try it*.

Very gratefully indebted to Dr. Davis,

Jeremy Cole
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on October 16, 2010
Hello to those of you reading this review. I would HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone who has or thinks they might know someone who has learning differences. To give you a little insight into the wonderful information this book holds, I will share a little of my story. I was home schooled for 12 years, and went to college right after graduation like the average person. However at that time, I had NO idea I was dyslexic. I had horrible grades at school, lost a music scholarship at college because of the poor grades, and after two years of misery, I dropped out of college. I always knew things were harder for me, and took me longer to accomplish than the average person. I would always run late, forget peoples names two seconds after they told me, dont even ask me to stay organized, and would have a hard time recalling certain words or even how to spell them at times.

Seven years later I decided I had to get a college degree, but shortly after I started classes again, I was having all the old problems with school and my grades. I couldnt figure out what the heck was wrong! I would have exams and study and study for hours only to recieve many "D"s. I would be so excited to get anything resembleming a "C" grade or better! After 2 more years of school, I had had it! I decided to get to the bottom of these "problems". One day, I had dinner with my mom, and after we left the resturant, she asked me something about the menu, I knew the answer and told her. She asked me how I knew that, and I said it was simple because I was looking at the menu in my mind. Like I had taken a picture of it. when I had looked at it earlier. My mom quickly told me, that was a very unusual way of thinking and not typical.

When I got home, I started looking up on the internet "thinking in pictures". After my research, I realised most people dont think that way, which led me to research dyslexia, which then led me to this book! I immediately checked it out of the library, and couldn't believe my eyes! Most everything the author described in the book were all the problems I was having in school! I cried I was so finally put a name to all the seemingly unrelated issues ive had my whole life! I decided to take a semester off school, and find a Davis facilitator, and go through the Davis Program. So in the last 6 months I've now returned to school, after finishing this program, and my grades have tremidously improved! I also changed my major to Art... which I recently discovered i'm actually quite talented at and love! Whew knew???

If you're an adult and suspect you're dyslexic, and have been experiencing many many failures in life whether it be through your professional life at work, or through your academic life, I HIGHLY reccommend this book. Please read it! It changed my life forever in an awesome way! And even though I do truely believe dyslexia is a gift, I will always have certain "trouble areas" with things, just because that is how my brain functions in a non-dyslexic world. But if you're struggling, dont give up just this book first! It's never too late... I didn't know until I was 29! Sheesh!
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on January 11, 2011
Being dyslexic, I have read more than a few articles and books on it. This is hands-down the best thing ever written about dyslexia. If you are looking at this book as a tool to help your child deal with this, buy it and use it. Be careful to do exactly as the author indicates, no skipping steps! It will really work if you commit and do it.

Caution: If you are a self-corrected dyslexic adult, reading this to help your kid; heed the following advice. Stop reading at page 128, then skip ahead to page 182. This will explain what to do if in your reading beyond page 128 you begin doing what I did and get a horrendous headache. I had this headache and some disorientation for about four days.

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on January 8, 2011
My daughter, since she was in first grade would complain about the words dancing and moving on the page, she hated reading, it was exhausting for her. She has always been very gifted, we had her tested for everything to find out where her struggles were coming from. She would test extremely high in oral vocabulary, always 5-6 grades above her current one. They always came back with, she had a processing limitation and that is why she was struggling. They said she had lazy eyes, so we gave her vision therapy...still she struggled, we enrolled her in special reading classes through the school....still she struggled. She always had strong social skills and a relentless work ethic, so she never got poor grades, even though she would stay up past midnight frequently trying to force the reading in her head. She would constantly break down, crying with her reading and writing difficulty. Finally, when my daughter was in 6th and struggling to read at a 3rd grade level,my wife brought this book home. We read it. We found one of the Davis centers nearby and enrolled our daughter. The teachers said we were stupid to take her out of class, but we did. In that 1 week down at the center, she went from a 3rd grade reading level to a 10th grade reading level. She hated reading any book or magazine. After she went through the program, she immediately started reading the Harry potter books and by seventh grade, read The Lord of the Rings cover to cover. All I can witness to is my experience with my daughter...It changed her life. By the end of 6th grade those same teachers APOLOGIZED to my wife and I. my daughter has never since been below a 3.5 and is now exceling in college. The book may sound like hocus pocus, and may not work for everyone, but for our daughter, those years of frustration, and along with it depression, literally melted away from her.
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on August 27, 2014
I am not a dyslexic. If Ron Davis’ explanation for the nature of dyslexia is correct, I could never have become one, because I think almost entirely in words, and have very poor visual imagery.
So, reading this book was almost like learning about the inner reality of a different species. It has given me an understanding I wish I had during my many years as a psychologist, when I often worked with people scarred by the stigma and self-despair induced by difficulties with reading, writing and basic mathematics.
Remembering what some of these clients told me, I accept Ron’s description of what goes on for a dyslectic. Therefore, although his methods make no personal sense to me, I can see that they should be effective.
However, a quick internet search showed me that the educational orthodoxy completely ignores his approach, and instead relies on what I have known to be standard remedial education. This seems to be shortsighed to me: if something doesn’t work, do more of it?
I am wondering whether any researcher has thought to do a formal comparative evaluation of the Davis techniques.
If you experience dyslexia, or someone important in your life does, you owe it to yourself to read this book and see if it makes sense to you.
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on June 1, 2012
I don't normally write reviews. However I am sitting here looking at my daughters reading test results and I am stunned. As a first grader she went from scoring so far below grade level that she got a zero, meaning non-reader, to scoring at first and even second grade levels post Davis. Accuracy from 24% up to 77%, sound blending from 0/23 up to 19/23, and on and on. I know there are a few reviews on Amazon that claim this system isn't scientific and endorsed by whatever. But I'm looking at State testing results and I can tell you that Davis works. We spent the money on the one week intensive Davis program. It wasn't cheap, but it blew the Orton-Gillingham program she was receiving at school out of the water. I am a skeptical, practical person and I can tell you this is not a scam.
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on May 7, 2012
My 8-year-old son is finishing up the second grade right now, and reads on a kindergarten level. We are a family of books books books, and my older son was reading novels by the time he reached this stage. But my 8-year-old can barely read "A cat sat on a mat," and then he can't explain what the sentence was about. He gets stopped up emotionally and then gets headaches and can't continue. We finally got wise and decided to check into dyslexia and other potential causes.

I picked up this book at the library and couldn't stop reading. The symptoms describe my son perfectly. I did the assessment and he loved it. Today I did the first "orientation counseling" session with him, and it made total sense to him. Part way through, he was so excited he was practically bouncing off the walls as he described what he was seeing with his mind's eye. He was delighted when he discovered that he could place his mind's eye back on the orientation point whenever he wanted to. He's *eight* and all of this made complete and total sense to him.

One portion of the exercise asks the facilitator to deliberately "disorient" the learner in order to teach him to place the mind's eye back on the orientation point. I pulled out a book, written for adults, on toxicity in the human body. With his mind's eye correctly oriented, my son quickly read the first few words. When he started to stumble, I simply asked him to put his mind's eye back on the orientation point, and he continued. He read words like "challenging" without any trouble or uncomfortable symptoms, just occasional reminders to "check his orientation point."

I was amazed. He looked up at me quizzically at one point because he could hear the tears in my voice. I can't believe it was working, but it was. I'm typing this half an hour later, and it's already hard to believe it actually happened. I feel like I need to pull him back in here and do it again to remind myself that it was real.

I know it will take time to train him to do this on his own, to check that orientation point and stay on it. And then there are the hours and hours of symbol mastery work to get him in charge of the letters, sounds, and words he needs to be able to read. But this is progress, this is hope.

I'm really disgusted by all the reviews by "experts" claiming that this is a "scam" and "not scientifically proven" and that there are other programs out there that are "certified" and "medically approved" and all that bru-ha-ha. I've looked at those programs. ALL of them cost thousands of dollars just to get an assessment. They don't publish their methods for the public to review or to try at home. They keep their "scientifically proven" little secrets and if you want access to them, you have to pay the big bucks. Which one is the scam?

Sounds to me like the "experts" are trying to protect their own secrets so *they* can continue to get the big bucks. They must be feeling pretty threatened by the Davis method, which can be practiced at home for the cost of a $15 book.

As for me, I am glad there are experts when I need one. I have not ruled out the possibility of having a "professional diagnosis." But when it comes to choosing a program to invest in, I'll choose one that real people are using, real people are accessing, and that I can truly understand because their materials and methods are publicly published for all to review at will.
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on May 3, 2013
Ronald Davis explains Dyslexia in a way I have never heard. Two of our children have dyslexia (one also has dyscalculia). They were just recently diagnosed, so we've been diving into all kinds of resources and this is, by far, the BEST! I am a mom who doesn't have dyslexia and this book allowed me to fully understand how my kids learn - I never truly understood until now! Once I was able to explain to my son about his "gift", his whole perspective about learning and self esteem changed for the better. We are in the process of the step-by-step guidelines. The tools and solutions are easy to follow and adaptable. A friend of mine recommended this book and I am so grateful she did. I will recommend this any chance I get! This book has been a blessing for my family!
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on June 24, 2011
As a teacher, I suspected my 9 year old of being dyslexic when she was in 1st grade. I teach language learners and noticed my monolingual child was having some of the same language concerns that my students were. At any rate, once I finally got a formal diagnosis of dyslexia for her, I started looking for resources to help me to better help her.

I LOVE this book! As someone who has dyslexia, Ron Davis' experience serves this book very well. Like most people, I've always thought if someone had dyslexia or another reading disorder it was going to make their life hard and they would always struggle. Ron Davis has definitely changed my view on that. He provides so many reasons for why dyslexia is a GIFT and not a disability. YES people who are dyslexic will have some learning trouble but it can be corrected and the child's intelligence can really shine through.

If you are wondering if you have a child or other person in your life who may be dyslexic, this book is a tremendous resource. The activities included in the Davis Correction System will benefit anyone struggling with words and letters regardless of whether or not they have dyslexia. Well worth the money!
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on June 2, 2014
Very clear and concise on what can be an emotional and confusing subject. Not only does the auther (who is dyslexic) explain the symptoms fo dyslexia but many of the reasons behind those symptoms and the compensating behaviors that dyslexics will adopt in order to "survive" in school. The book then finishes with a series of drills to allieviate some of the more troublesome aspects of dyslexia.

Reading and writing are always going to be difficlt for our daughter, but with this book I have gained some insight into how she thinks and how she grapples with the chore that is reading and writing. Just understanding some of the compensating mechanisms that she has adopted to cope with her reading/writing issues has helped us to help her tremendously.

Finally, the auther stresses to not suppress or "harm" the tremendous benefits that a dyslexic mind can bring to a host of problem-solving and creative endeavors. The list of dyslexic super-achievers is long and illustrious and it is stems in part from their unique way they view the world and problems. The author stresses that becoming functional in reading and writing is certrainly attainable while retaining the gifts of creativitiy and outside-the-box problem-solving that many dyslexics excell out.

Well worth the money and a quick and easy read.
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