Thinking Style

There is a misconception that dyslexics are ‘slow’ thinkers, lazy, unintelligent, or unwilling to learn. Although the frustrations of being dyslexic or being the parent of a dyslexic child could lead you to believe these labels. The reality is people with dyslexia simply process information in pictures or feelings, rather than with words. Which is the only difference between a dyslexic person and a person without dyslexia. We call this a difference in thinking styles.

The only difference between a person with dyslexia and a person without dyslexia is the way that they process information. Dyslexics process information in pictures and non-dyslexics process information in words with an internal monolog. The Davis Tools enable learners to efficiently perceive, manage and filter the information that they observe in their everyday life. They also assist in improving the learners focus enabling them to overcome previous learning hurdles. Before a Davis Programme, a Dyslexic tends to experience the following learning cycle.

  1. Picture thinkers become confused by symbols (eg: alphabet/ numerals) that do not make sense to their non-verbal picture thinking style.
  2. Two-dimensional symbols, such as alphabet letters do not make the automatic sound-symbol connection. Dyslexics struggle to automatically make the sound to symbol / symbol to sound connection causing learning to feel like a form of torture for them.
  3. The dyslexic will concentrate even harder, and become more tense until the intense concentration causes a disorientation and even a headache or meltdown.
  4. It may then manifest itself in words moving on the page, substitutions, reversals, transpositions and omissions in reading or writing. Or the dyslexic simply gives up and guesses.
  5. This frustration and intense emotion is not only exhausting for the dyslexic, it is also very degrading to be trying so hard and constantly receiving negative feedback.
  6. The dyslexic will revert to any trick or hack (compulsive solution) in-order to gain a feeling of certainty never really addressing the root cause of the problem.

Try it for yourself, can you find a picture for the following 5 words?:

the | is | do | why | let

Or words that sound the same but are spelt different ways have multiple meanings like two, to, too or with the numeral 2.  Similarly, words that sound the same but have different meanings or representations, for example: There and Their.

People with dyslexia become confused and stressed when this picture thinking process does not work.


The Davis Difference is that the Davis programmes provide a refreshing pressure-free approach, giving the visual thinker or feeler, time and space to understand how they think and see the world first. It taps into their own personal strengths to create a simple, effective experiential way to learn.

After a Davis programme, the learning process changes for students:

  1. Picture thinkers become confused by symbols (eg: alphabet/ numerals) that do not make sense to their non-verbal picture thinking style.
  2. Two-dimensional symbols, such as alphabet letters do not make the automatic sound-symbol connection. Dyslexics struggle to automatically make the sound to symbol/symbol to sound connection causing learning to feel like a form of torture for them.
  3. The Dyslexics now have the ability to recognise disorientation when it occurs. They are able to identify the cause of their confusion.
  4. Then they can gain their focus or re-orientate themselves so that they can maintain mental focus and accurately perceive the world around them. (print on a page, screen or when following instructions)
  5. Through Symbol Mastery, the student makes a three-dimensional clay model of the meaning of each word, together with a model of the letters of the words. With this approach, learning is permanent.

This creates a new learning behaviour. The dyslexic no longer has to overcome learning frustration and anxiety. They have certainty and satisfaction.

Dyslexics often do experience distortions in perception especially when reading or when doing mathamatics. These problems are caused by mental disorientation.  It is not a problem with eyes or ears. But, rather the way that the brain interprets the input from the sensory organs. Dyslexia, Attention Deficit, Dyscalculia (maths) and Dyspraxia (balance) all have the same underlying effect: Disorientation. (Meaning: when the eyes and ears are not seeing and hearing exactly what is in front of them. The persons sense of time can speed up or slow down. And, their balance can be inaccurate).

With the implementation of a successful Davis programme by a licenced Facilitator, clients gain more self-awareness when learning. They have the ability to recognise disorientation when it occurs. The clients use their own toolkit to correct their own disorientation. Then they can gain their focus and re-orientate themselves so that they can maintain mental focus and accurately perceive the world around them. Whether it be print on a page, screen or when following instructions.  The Davis Tools are often called the tools for life.