The origin of the term “dyslexia”

The word "dyslexia", freely translated from Greek, means "bad speech". According to the nonprofessional language, dyslexia stands for an impaired ability to read, a violation often referred to as the root of different kinds of learning disabilities. According to the manual published in 1989 for teachers of pedagogical universities, dyslexia is a specific type of partly impaired ability to read caused by abnormalities in mental functioning, and it has a form of stable recurring errors. Moreover, it was claimed in the textbook that dyslexia usually affects children with mental development retardation, with serious speech and audition defects, as well as with minimal brain dysfunction.

The diagnosis of being extraordinary

Currently, people with certain symptoms for dyslexia are facing insults for being backward almost from the childhood. Why should a child with such a diagnosis (who is often successful in other different areas of mental activity not related to reading) find it difficult to demonstrate an extraordinary way of thinking, and face such a hard treatment? After all, a child might not pattern himself on his peers, but find himself polyglottal or doing better analysis than his physically and aesthetically developed friends do.

One has to agree that only few people know that Albert Einstein suffered from dyslexia. However, it did not prevent his extraordinary thinking. One day, he generated a brilliant idea of Theory of Relativity in a few seconds.

The American view on dyslexia

The USA has its own experience and specific approach to dyslexia. At the end of the 20s, Dr. Samuel Tory Orton gave dyslexia an alternative definition. The diagnosis was told to be a "cross-lateralization of the brain". Orton held that the peculiarity of the disease is that the right and left brain hemispheres have changed their roles; i.e., each of them is doing the work of the another one. However, the hypothesis has been adjusted, and dyslexia became a “mixed hemisphere dominancy”. The theories explaining the phenomenon of dyslexia have been substituting each other over in tune with the times.

Verbal disorientation

In the 1980s, the American researcher, a talented architect and engineer Ronald D. Davis used this concept to describe the broader aspects of the education problems, which have been further divided into groups and categories.

According to Davis, dyslexia is a general term, the basis for many other types of disorders such as dyscalculia, and ADHD, or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder both with and without hyperactivity). He gave the following explanation: normally, an ordinary persons’ thinking process involves words, and is carried out verbally. However, there are people who think using images. Human brain perceives the information of the second – visual type, and reacts to any character as a stimulus (whether it is a single character, a letter, or an entire word). As usual, this reaction is maximally clearly manifested at the beginning of a training, especially when practicing fundamental learning skills like reading and writing.

Once the person, thinking “with images”, sees the verbal character (i.e. a word), his/her brain becomes disoriented. In other words, for a person who suffers from dyslexia and dysgraphia, a word having no image because of its particular perception (e.g. words as "before", "through", "over", "after", etc.) makes him/her fall into a condition where the text ceases to be clear. At this point, his/her brain gets disoriented, perception becomes greatly distorted, the process of reading or writing becomes difficult task.

The outcomes of Davis’ approach

That is why Davis gave a following definition of dyslexia: "Dyslexia is a product of thinking, and is a specific response to the "sense of confusion". It is important to reveal the existence of such state as early as possible. Fixing the problem at the earliest stages of learning can prevent dyslexia, as well as learning, reading, and writing abilities dysfunction. In terms of intelligence, children with dyslexia symptoms are completely full.

Today we know a lot of examples of how dyslexics like Einstein, Thomas Edison, Ford and others (see list of famous people with dyslexia), remaining extraordinary, have made major discoveries and inventions. Davis’ method is also unique due to its founder himself suffered from severe dyslexia. Thus, the theory is based on very specific methods of teaching both children and adults. This approach leads to positive results, and helps to get back to self-reliance in a very short period of time. 30-year statistic research on Ronald D. Davis’ methodology has shown that the method was successfully implemented for 97% of the people.