Until the age of 20, I could neither read nor write a whole sentence. At most, I managed to read three words in a sequence, and then the letters would literally start jumping about in front of my eyes.
Despite the help my mother sought from the best physicians, special education teachers, therapists and specialist learning disorder centers, nothing helped. None of the techniques that existed at the time worked. For a while, I even tried the Ritalin drug treatment, but it didn’t help either. The bottom line was that I couldn’t overcome the dyslexia or the ADHD.
I transferred from one school to another. Finally, at the age of seventeen, I left school without being able to complete the Final exams, like the other students. In other areas, I was luckier. I was very good at sports, especially surfing. When I felt I couldn’t deal with school anymore, I just left and went surfing. After leaving school, I decided to go to Hawaii for a period to surf. This intensive period of surfing actually led to a major breakthrough!
A dramatic change occurred. Only two months after being in Hawaii, I noticed that I was able to read the road signs. I knew something had happened, but didn’t realize how significant it was. The real breakthrough happened to me after seven months. A friend convinced me to try and read and to my enormous surprise – I succeeded! The first book I ever read was “Catcher in the Rye”, by J.D. Salinger. Somehow, my reading problem had “disappeared”.
My mother was extremely shocked and became determined to understand what had happened. As a result of studying and examining the field of learning difficulties, she created the Raviv Method for correcting learning and attention skills.
Today, I work as a therapist and a trainer of the Raviv Method, both in Israel and in England. I want to spare others the suffering I experienced. My goal is to do my best to help children and adults overcome learning difficulties.
The following unsolicited testimonials come from clients, family members of individuals with learning difficulties and people who have worked with the Raviv Method. We have changed the names to protect the identity of the individuals.
David came to hear Nili speak when he was 52, having suffered from an obsessive-compulsive form of ADD all his life. It had affected all areas of his life and caused a great deal of suffering, particularly in personal relationships and employment. Although intelligent and skilled, he had been unable to keep a job for more than a couple of months, and battled constantly with a lack of organization, procrastination, impulsiveness, bouts of anger and depression.
David threw himself into the exercises and benefited enormously from the rhythmic breathing exercises, which allayed the effects of confusion and scattered attention. A focus on cultivating a more ‘orderly’ state, and later on time-management, were found to be very helpful. The key to maintaining and consolidating that state, in David’s case, was to continue doing the 8-pattern walk and regularly use the breathing exercises. Having found a well-paid, stable job that he enjoyed, David is still at that job one year later.
I want to thank you again. It’s been 18 months since my son Jon completed your program. As you remember, when we first came Jon was 16 years old, learning in a Special Education unit, where he’d been all his school life as a person with severe Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and ADD, who also used Ritalin for 8 years. I am happy to inform you that after completing the Raviv program, his teacher noticed his progress and moved him to an ordinary class, where he has just completed all of his matriculation examinations!! (With the exception of Math’s, which he’s planning to make up during his military service). He was even accepted to the Navy – to the special unit he dreamt of! And most important, he has regained his self-esteem. He now has a social life (he never had friends before); he also has a girlfriend! Thank you so much, again.”
“Having struggled for years with undiagnosed ADD symptoms, I always had to invest more energy and time to achieve far less than others around me. My difficulties affected relationships with my family, especially my wife, who became frustrated by my inconsistent abilities to pay attention to her and her needs. We were facing a severe crisis before we met you. I am writing to express my appreciation for the assistance you gave us, and especially the help you gave me. I think that the special gift that you provide through the Raviv method is your unique combination of breathing, stress-reduction, and focusing exercises that are both easy to do and show rapid results. I find that I am generally much less anxious, but particularly when I am preparing and delivering my lectures. My wife feels that I am much easier to live with and that I am
“In your method we see a new, excellent way for the treatment of learning difficulties. Today, after only two months of treating one of our students, we bear witness to a blossoming and an improvement in this pupil, which we would not have experienced by using any other corrective teaching method. We see a drastic improvement in her self-esteem and confidence, achievements – mainly in mathematics. She is able to concentrate better and listen. We would like to thank you for training our colleague, and wish you well with training other people, who will be able to treat children with your method and help them avoid the frustration and suffering which often result from having learning difficulties.”-
“I brought my 9-year old daughter to The Raviv Institute because I noticed that her reading was extremely slow for her age, and it had become a frustrating and exhausting chore for her. She often compared herself to her friends who were more competent readers and she was embarrassed to read aloud in class at school. In addition, she was quite disorganized and absent-minded, and consequently, her schoolwork was lagging. She was often late and many times forgot things at home. Her teachers didn’t pick up on any of her learning difficulties because she seemed to go with the flow at school and didn’t have behavioral problems. Despite my daughter’s many creative and artistic talents, her self-confidence began a downward spiral. While working with her therapist, my daughter developed a strong relationship with her. Her reading improved, as well as her overall ability to cope with everyday life. Shortly after completing the program, my daughter began to read effortlessly and joyfully. She has now finished reading the fifth book in the Harry Potter series! The ability to read has made a huge difference in her self-confidence and she enjoys being the ‘happy-go-lucky’ and highly imaginative girl she always was.”
“Before starting the Raviv Programme my 12-year-old dyslexic son lacked any confidence at reading, his writing was untidy and extremely slow and he was quite forgetful. It was towards the end of the programme that we began to notice changes in him. He has become far more alert, particularly in the morning when getting ready for school, and there us a huge improvement in his organizational skills. We no longer have to nag him because now he is the first one ready in the mornings!
But the most amazing change of all us that now he feels confident enough to pick up a book and read because he enjoys it. It was truly amazing to watch my dyslexic son discover the joy of reading for the first time. The Raviv Programme has also improved his handwriting; it is now much neater and quicker. The Raviv Programme has given him a huge boost to his outlook at school.
Tested by Dyslexia Institute, July 2004: reading age 8 yrs 9 months
Tested at School, September 2004: reading age 8 yrs 9 months
Tested at School, March 2005: reading age 12 yrs 7 months ”
“Our 6 year old son was having major difficulties in school with all his subjects, and part of the course of action advised by our psychologist was to send him to Raviv. By the time he had completed his Raviv course, he had gone up two reading levels as well as showing big improvements in math’s and writing skills. We believe that the fact that Raviv concentrates on the root causes of the problem rather then the symptoms has helped him enormously. Added to this our Raviv tutor, Jane, proved invaluable to us as parents, helping us to understand our son’s problems and strengths, offering advice and guiding us through difficult times.”
“Before the Raviv Programme, our son was struggling to read and write. His confidence in the classroom was at rock bottom. He was unable to concentrate for more than a few minutes and the stress he felt whilst doing anything related to literacy was very pronounced. He was unable to understand why he was struggling so much more than his peers in class. After completing the method his reading is age appropriate, his concentration has improved and he is now able to finish work in class. In addition to this his confidence in all areas of life has increased. We noticed that his balance has improved so much that on holiday he was able to scramble with ease over the rocks on the beach, something that was unimaginable the previous year. He is now able to coordinate a knife and fork and his ball skills have improved – he scored 3 tries in his rugby match last Sunday! In addition to this his lisp has vanished – something we weren’t expecting. We now have a happy son, who is keen to excel at school and has all of the techniques – not coping strategies – to help him.”
“As an experienced teacher I have taught many children with varying degrees of dyslexia. Matthew came as a frightened child with serious work avoidance issues and with the support of Raviv blossomed into a most conscientious student, eager to burst through the doors of school and get cracking with the day. Raviv offers hope and support for the individual and ways of coping in situations they would otherwise find very stressful.”
“We cannot thank you enough for the work you did with Pamela, and the positive change it has brought about in her. She is now much more outgoing, chatty and confident than she used to be, and she is comfortable around other people. Generally, she feels happier, she is imaginative, her school work is of a high standard and she is happy to work independently.”
“I am still amazed at the changes Raviv has brought about for my daughter Nessa, who is 13 years old. Nessa attended a very academic prep school in south London, but constantly struggled to keep up. She internalized a deep feeling of inadequacy and feeling stupid from always being lowest in the class in her junior school. The school never picked up any problems and more or less asserted that Nessa was just slow. I always had the feeling that there was some problem as Nessa seemed to get very little back from any effort she put in to learn something new. Information didn’t seem to fix in her brain very well, and she had very poor recall. She also had a problem with writing very slowly and produced very untidy work with lots of crossed out words. Nessa was very worried about her slow handwriting and her ability to recall information as she was approaching formal exams. She was very concerned that she would only be able to complete half or part of whatever exam papers she attempted.
It was primarily to help with Nessa’s slow writing that I considered Raviv. Nessa was assessed by Raviv practitioner Dolsie Clarke, who immediately found that Nessa had a problem with tracking and with comprehension. This was the first time any of these problems had been picked up. Nessa immediately built up a very positive relationship with Dolsie and from the first few sessions, hasn’t looked back. She started to feel more confident, more in control, and generally “bouncier”. Nessa’s exam results then started to improve dramatically, and she was moved up to the top set in French, Spanish and English in school towards the end of her course. She was absolutely delighted when she got 5 as in her Christmas exams, as this had never happened before, and all of her teachers remarked at a recent parent’s evening to pick GCSE options that Nessa had “blossomed”.
I am a very busy working single parent and to be honest didn’t go into the theory of Raviv very much before Nessa started the course as I was just desperate to find her some help. I had an instinctive response to what I read of the
method and instantly trusted and liked Dolsie, as did Nessa. The method has continued to help Nessa. The breathing technique has helped Nessa’s asthma and generally she feels confident that she can cope with schoolwork and exams. I would absolutely recommend the method based on mine and my daughter’s experience.”(