Ronald Davis, author of The Gift of Dyslexia, has created a list of thirty-seven common traits and behaviours of people who have the gift of dyslexia. If a person possesses nine or ten of these traits, this program would be helpful in correcting the problems associated with dyslexia.


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  • Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at grade level.
  • Labeled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or "behavior problem."
  • Isn't "behind enough" or "bad enough" to be helped in the school setting.
  • Employed in positions that hide difficulties or not required in dealing with problematic areas. Will hide these from co-workers, friends and family.
  • Will avoid promotions that require to face these problematic areas.
  • High I.Q., yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written.
  • Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
  • Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
  • Seems to "Zone out" or daydream often.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention; seems "hyper" or considered "daydreamer."
  • Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.

Vision, Reading, and Spelling:

  • Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
  • Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
  • Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
  • Extremely keen sighted and observant, or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
  • Reads and rereads with little comprehension. Avoids reading out loud. Finds reading “boring”.
  • Spells phonetically and inconsistently.

Hearing and Speech:

  • Has extended hearing; hears things not said or apparent to others; easily distracted by sounds.
  • Difficulty putting thoughts into words; speaks in halting phrases; leaves sentences incomplete; stutters under stress; mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.
  • Poor memory of verbal instructions be accused of “not listening”.

Writing and Motor Skills:

  • Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
  • Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion sickness.

Math and Time Management:

  • Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time. May find it difficult to estimate how long a task will take to complete.
  • Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and or calculators; knows answers, but can't do it on paper.
  • Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and difficulty with money and counting change.
  • Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.
  • May experience anxiety when driving in new places and relies on others to drive when possible. May get lost easily and finds it difficult to follow directions.



Memory and Cognition:

  • Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
  • Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced.
  • Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).

Behavior, Health, Development and Personality:

  • Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
  • Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
  • Highly intuitive.
  • May be known as having a “short fuse” or easily angered.
  • May appear as a “perfectionist”  and overreacts when  a mistake is made.
  • Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
  • Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bed-wetting beyond appropriate age.
  • Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
  • Mistakes and symptoms increase dramatically with confusion, time pressure, emotional stress, or poor health.




  From "37 Common Characteristics of Dyslexia", © 1992 by Ronald D. Davis.

Professional services described as Davis™, Davis Dyslexia Correction®, Davis Symbol Mastery®, Davis Orientation Counseling®, and Davis Math Mastery® may only be provided by persons who are employed by a licensed Davis Specialist, or who are trained and licensed as Davis Facilitators by Davis Dyslexia Association International.