Sydney Dyslexia

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How to wake up great talents

Imageand change lives for a living

I am a Dyslexic facilitator.

I am not a teacher. Teachers need to know processes, procedures and information that students may or may not be able to understand. This is the dilemma of a teacher: All these students have different ways of learning, different levels of prior knowledge and different mental or emotional blocks to prevent them from taking the information on board. Our poor teachers have only one way of teaching the entire class, hoping to catch the majority of pupils in the net of knowledge. That method still is mainly auditory. Most kids seem to learn that way, at least for the short term to show good marks in tests – until it is all forgotten one week later. Visual or kinaesthetic learners; however, are left behind in this model.

I am not a tutor, either. Tutors have the advantage that they can teach one-on-one or a very small group and tailor their tutoring, hopefully to the learning style of their student. Unfortunately most tutors are not trained to even pick up someone’s learning style – and if they do, they don’t always know how to teach something in a variety of ways.

My job is easy: I have to empower my dyslexic students (the visual or tactile learners) to realise their own full potential, to gain the confidence that they CAN read and comprehend everything they read and write. I show them ways on how to be in charge of their focus. They are the ones that become the masters of their own learning. I just give them the tools to do so. 

The advantage here is that I am not feeding them with fish but showing them how to fish. I am not feeding them with information but they will learn how to gather that information in a visual manner, so it makes sense. Once it does, it will not be forgotten one week after their exam – it will be a permanent picture in their mind.

Are you changing lives for a living?


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Imagine that


Imagine – it’s January 27, 2015. Yes, one year exactly from today. Imagine telling me that 2014 was the year that your child has finally gotten the hang of school. Not just getting through it with anxiety attacks or frustration – no, actually liking school, getting the marks that really show what you always knew he deserves – reaching his potential. He now feels proud of himself! He feels confident that his potential is not even limited…and wondering what else he can do and be.

Now you are free! Yes, it was hard work, to do all these words in clay and read every day – but boy, was it worth it! Now he is in charge of his own learning – he doesn’t need nor want your help any longer.

What are you doing with your own life now? Imagine all the possibilities opening up for YOUR life.

Can you picture that? Or has life already gone back on auto-pilot, filled with the same as every year – just watching the months race by and wondering where time has gone? 

Everything changes when we do – the question is when to start?


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Focus in Short Spurts

ImageHow to stay focused

Focus is a major part in our Dyslexia world. We always talk about how to get the child to be focused, to stay motivated, to get back on focus and to read, write, or perform any type of school work in a focused state. 

What often gets neglected is the focus of the support person – usually the mum – on the importance of finding that half an hour to one hour a day to help the child after a program. The first couple of months (especially the first one) are critical to make FOLLOW-UP (the reading while on focus, the clay work and the brain gym in the form of ball games)  a priority!

When I saw this article by Joanna Martin, I simply had to share it to help parents manage their time and fit in what really is the most important thing to mothers: the well-being of their child. The reading support will not be required forever, but in the beginning will make all the difference to the future success of their child – at school and in life.


It’s easy to get stuck and de-motivated when you are snowed under with work. There’s a mountain of things that need doing and they are all begging for your attention… and then there’s the family too. How can you keep your focus and motivation high?

However you can easily turn this to your advantage… by getting super focused and utilising short bursts of energy on your tasks.

Get focused

When you only have a small window of time available it forces you to focus on the task at hand. You cannot afford to be sidetracked by social media, emails and reorganising your files.

Decide on what is top priority and dedicate all your attention to it for the time you have. When you get super focused on a specific task you will be more productive.

Why short focus is better

Using short bursts of focused energy is great for when you are feeling less than motivated. Quite often we procrastinate and put off things that we need to do, because we don’t enjoy them or because we are intimidated by the sheer size of the task at hand.

By giving yourself a small window of time and getting focused on a task, you are more likely to actually put in the work… after all, putting aside a matter of minutes, rather than hours, is so much less daunting.


Break time

Once your allotted time is over, you’re more likely to have a break. When you’re sat at your desk working all day on a particular task, it is easy to lose track of time and, before you know it, you haven’t actually had a break for several hours.

Taking regular breaks is essential, not only to your health but to your motivation and productivity too.

So next time you’re up against a pile of work or a child that is under the weather, try short bursts of focus and see how much more you can achieve in your working day.

Do you prefer working with short bursts of focused energy or do you work better with long time slots for your tasks? Have you been in a situation where you had to work with short bursts of focused energy, and now you’re using them all the time? Share what works for you by leaving a comment below.


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Book Launch in Sydney

just a reminder that the Sydney book launch will be at Susan’s place in

79 Bay St, Mosman

on Friday, February 7 at 5 pm

RSVP 0402 686 327 Barbara

You can also get the book from

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Self Responsibility

ImageMotivation and Responsibility

I have always believed that change cannot happen without awareness, motivation and above all responsibility. There is a final course that all facilitators of the Davis Dyslexia Correction Program have to attend before they become licensed: the Motivation and Responsibility Course. Responsibility is defined as: the ability and willingness to control something. Our responsibility as helpers can only occur if we are trained and willing to help Dyslexic individuals to reach their full potential – yet without infringing on their own responsibility. There is a fine line and our clients cannot get a sense of self-mastery, achievement and eventually self-esteem without first realizing that they are responsible for their lives, and willing to make the changes necessary for their success.

When I came across this great article I just had to share it with you!

Three Words That Will Change Your Life

By Alex Green

Talk about a model prisoner… 

In 1985, Fleet Maull began serving a 14-year sentence for drug trafficking. During his incarceration, he completed a Ph.D. in Psychology, authored a well-received book, became an ordained priest, founded a prison hospice program and launched the Prison Dharma Network, a non-profit organization that supports prisoner rehabilitation through contemplative spirituality. 

Today Maull works as a peace activist and personal effectiveness coach, lecturing at leading universities, in corporate boardrooms, in high-risk areas like Rwanda and the Middle East, and in what he calls “the forgotten world” inside our jails and prisons. 

Maull has plenty of wisdom and experience to share. But he sums up his core message in a single phrase: Radical Responsibility. 

Maull believes we create everything that’s happening in our lives, good and bad. It’s only when we accept complete responsibility that we take the giant step from childhood to adulthood. Self-responsibility is the key to personal effectiveness in every sphere of life. 

Yet many choose to embrace the psychology of helplessness and victimhood, preferring to explain all their struggles in terms of the actions of others. 

Like you, I meet many middle-aged men and women who are still grumbling and complaining about earlier unhappy experiences, who are still blaming their problems on other people or “the breaks.” They’re angry with their parents, fuming at an old boss, still simmering over their ex-spouse. They’re trapped in the past and can’t get free. 

Yet the great enemy of success and happiness is negative emotions. Fear, self-pity, envy, jealousy and anger hold us back, tie us down and suck the joy out of life. 

Studies show that there are four root causes of these emotions. Once you identify them, you can begin to banish them:

  • Justification. You can be negative only as long as you convince yourself that you are entitled to be angry. Unhappy individuals will always be found explaining and elaborating on the profound unfairness of their situation.
  • Rationalization. Rationalization is self-deception, an attempt to create a plausible explanation for a socially unacceptable act. (As in, “If I turn this in six weeks late, no one will care anyway.”)
  • Blaming. There is no quality more closely associated with unhappiness than the habit of blaming others for our difficulties.
  • Poor Self-Esteem. Low self-esteem is generally characterized by a hypersensitivity to the opinions of others. No one wants to lose the respect of others, but conscientious people don’t need to fret about what other people think.

Management consultant Brian Tracy points out that there’s a simple antidote to these factors that create negative emotions. You need only say three words: I am responsible. 

Whether your problem is joblessness, addiction, overspending, obesity, or a damaged personal relationship, you move closer to a solution the moment you say, “I am responsible.” 

It’s impossible to say these words and still feel angry. The very act of taking responsibility short-circuits and cancels out negative emotions. 

As Tracy says, “Every time you blame someone else or make excuses, you give your power away. You feel weakened and diminished… Without the acceptance of complete personal responsibility, no progress is possible. On the other hand, once you accept total responsibility for your life, there are no limits to what you can be, do and have.” 

Yet many would rather train for the Boston Marathon in three feet of snow than say these words. Why? 

Psychologists say human beings have a natural propensity to accumulate pride and shun regret. Whether we recognize it or not, we tend to take responsibility for the positive developments in our lives and attribute unfavorable developments to others or circumstances.

This is not to say there aren’t times when our lives are significantly influenced by outside forces. Maybe you’re a great worker who lost her job due to a corporate downsizing or the poor economy. 

Maybe your parents really were poor role models. But victims don’t create change. It’s only when you choose to focus on what you can do and how you should act that you gain power. 

Businesses and other organizations today are looking for people who are willing and able to think, who are self-directing and self-managing, who respond to problems proactively rather than merely waiting for someone else’s solutions. 

A study done in New York a few years ago found that people who ranked in the top 3% in every field had a special attitude that set them apart from average performers in their industries. It was this: They chose to view themselves as self-employed throughout their careers, no matter who signed their paychecks. 

These are people who set goals, make plans, establish measures and get results. 

Radical responsibility changes everything. It means you own your thoughts, impulses, feelings and actions. You are accountable for the consequences they bring and the impact they have on others. 

This is not a burden, incidentally. It’s a privilege and an honor to take ownership of your actions. It creates freedom and control. It gives meaning to life. 

Self-reliance is the great source of personal power. We create ourselves, shape our identity and determine the course of our lives by what we are willing to take responsibility for. 

Want to change your life and solve your problems, starting today? 

Say three simple words: 

I am responsible.

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Motivation is Major


One key component of a successful program is the level of Motivation of a client. Ron Davis has always emphasised the importance of Motivation and Responsibility. On the topic of Motivation it was important to focus on the PULL, rather than the PUSH. 

So when I came across this blog, it showed me yet an additional angle on the difference between PUSH and PULL. It’s worth reading:

The Truth About Motivation

By Jonathan Fields

Motivation to do anything comes in two forms: push or pull. 


Push is generally about the avoidance of pain. It’s the “away from” side of the motivational spectrum.” You’re actively pushing yourself away from either a source of current pain or the perception of an anticipated pain. 

So, if you’re overweight and feeling bad about it, stressed and suffering, unable to do what you want because of bodily pain, are in a bad relationship or a bad job, every day brings with it the experience of current, realized pain. You don’t need to be reminded of it, it’s there with you every step. And this can be a powerful motivation, it can push you to act to remove the pain. 

The quest to remove a current pain can be an incredibly powerful push toward action. But there’s a downside… 

Once the pain’s removed, the motivation usually goes away. Because it moves you from wanting to remove a current pain over to wanting not to experience or re-experience a future pain. It moves you from the quest for a cure to the quest for prevention. All you have to do is look at the lifestyle behaviors of the vast majority of people and the mountain of marketing research from healthcare and pharmaceutical providers to know that people respond far more aggressively to the quest to cure a current pain than they do to the quest to prevent a future one. 

Preventative action, beyond teeth-brushing, is and always will be a brutally hard sell. 

It’s just the way we’re wired. Even after major health incidents, most people revert to the behaviors that led to the incidents. Not all, but most. 

So, the “proactive” push away from a potential future pain is an extremely weak source of motivation. And, though powerful, the push away from a current pain is a strong motivator, but it’s “reactive” motivation – it doesn’t kick in until things get pretty bad. And it generally goes away as soon as enough of the pain goes away. 

Does that mean that most of us won’t do anything until we’re mired in suffering? 

Not necessary. There’s still the “Pull” side of the motivational spectrum. 


Pull-based motivation is about tapping the desire to achieve something. 

It’s about establishing a quest and taking action not to remove a current pain, but to bring yourself closer to a deeply desired end. Maybe it’s completing a marathon or learning to play guitar. Could be hiking the Appalachian Trail or building a business that changes not only your life, but the lives of the thousands of people it serves. Maybe it’s becoming a chess master or creating a stunning collection of paintings. Maybe you just want to solve a big honking problem or make something insanely cool, because those are activities and pursuits that fill you up. 

Pull is about activities and meaningful quests that, by their very existence, inspire action in the name of coming closer to the object of the quest. And the beautiful thing about setting pull-oriented motivational drivers is that they can be long-term, they can have intermediate benchmarks that serve our emotional need for intermittent reinforcement. And, once completed, they can either expand to create a new source of pull to an even cooler place. Or a new quest with an even stronger sense of pull that builds around the foundation of habits and actions laid in the prior quest can be set in motion. 

Plus, done not from a place of blind ambition, but rather a sense of presence, engagement and joy, the mere experience of moving along the “pull-spectrum,” regardless of whether you actually hit the quest you’re working toward, can be immensely rewarding.