Orton-Gillingham: The “Multisensory” Approach to Teaching Reading

Finally! We’ve found an article that nicely explains the Orton-Gillingham reading program and how it helps children with dyslexia and other reading issues. Click here to learn more about how Orton-Gillingham works, including their focus and where to find it.

“Orton-Gillingham is a well-regarded approach to teaching.” We particularly like the author’s use of the word approach. Sometimes the word “program” can be a bit misleading and it’s important for parents to know that Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with those who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing associated with dyslexia.

If you are a parent wanting to help your child, you’ll first want to know what program their school uses. After assessing a student to determine their reading skills, students are then taught in small groups with others of a similar skill levels. “Instructors follow a highly structured approach that teaches skills in a particular order. This order is based on an understanding of how children naturally develop language.”

The article also points you to other methods that teachers and specialists may be using.

What Research Supports Orton-Gillingham?

“One of the reasons for the lack of research is the fact that OG is an approach, and not a program of instruction.”

Margie Gillis, President of Literacy How, explains further:

With a program, teachers follow a “scripted” manual that lays out a defined sequence of skills to be taught in a specific order. Teachers must be trained in the program by the publisher.

Programs may be based on an instructional approach. There are several reading programs that are influenced by OG. They include the Wilson Reading System, the Barton Reading Program and the Lindamood–Bell Program.

These types of scripted programs can potentially be researched. The instruction is uniform and used the same way for all students. A well-designed study may be able to show positive results for kids who are best suited to the program.

An approach, such as OG, is just the opposite. It’s an intervention that’s individualized to each child. It’s flexible, rather than prescribed, because it’s based on a problem-solving process. That process starts with identifying the child’s learning difficulty. The next step is to develop a plan to address that difficulty.

Read the full article here

Article Source:

Peg Rosen for Understood: for learning and attention issues. Orton-Gillingham: What You Need to Know. Retrieved on January 25th, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/orton-gillingham-what-you-need-to-know

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