I have received a lovely letter from a friend in Austria, who was very happy to report that her son will be formally assessed for Dyslexia by the County Psychiatrist, in the hope that the school will recognize a positive diagnosis as a reason to support him in his literacy.

“Just realized that your son’s formal assessment will be taking place very soon. I wish him and you all the best and hope it’s going to be a positive experience, leading to an empowering result.

I also hope you won’t be disappointed, because most of the time, when a client has a formal assessment – either here or in Austria, it ends with recommendations that are the opposite to what we do. Trying not to be negative, I still have to give you some of the scenarios I have witnessed: ‘oh, he is dyslexic – no wonder, he is not passing his final exam and achieving his diploma. He might as well stop trying now, as he never will’ (that was an adult who had failed his medical exam – but after the program had passed, but had been very upset by the ‘formal diagnosis’). or: ‘Ah, he is dyslexic. That means he finds it very hard to learn to read, as he misses phonemic awareness/auditory processing skills… We have to fill these gaps by drilling phonics again and again. Eventually they get it.’ – as you know that is not just unnecessary, but painful and humiliating – and is often the reason for more problems than solutions. I often see kids after these procedures – and they can read, but usually have no idea what they are reading, hate reading or are totally disillusioned and lacking confidence.

What I have recently found was that some of my former students need to come back to me to re-visit their tools and get back on track. Often symbol mastery (the trigger words) has not been done or not in a proper way, tools get forgotten – and with it the effect of the first wonderful week.  Even an hour of fine-tuning tools or re-doing them makes a huge difference. There is so much going on during their one-on-one week with a facilitator, that some things are simply lost or the child has zoomed out. I do these follow-up sessions for free and I think you should ask your facilitator for a follow-up session.

Even my own son, who actually did a 4 day-‘Gift of Dyslexia’ workshop ten years after his initial Davis Correction Program, had so many ‘aha-moments’, things he simply had not understood or remembered, when he was 9 years old. It was for me an amazing experience and reminder to encourage my clients to do the same.”