Dyslexia is a unique learning brain difference in students who have difficulty learning to read, write, and spell, and in some, cases do math. The difference is in the language center of the brain, and it is neurologically based. This means that medications are not effective in treating or curing dyslexia. Students with dyslexia do not learn the same way that others do in the traditional classroom. They have to be taught differently. The teaching methodology/program used with a student who has dyslexia is key if a child with dyslexia will learn to read, write, and spell with confidence. The methodology/program that has been PROVEN EFFECTIVE over many decades with individuals with dyslexia is Orton-Gillingham.
It is Diagnostic and Prescriptive:
Orton-Gillingham (O-G) is diagnostic and prescriptive, meaning each lesson is planned for a particular student. It is not a "packaged" curriculum in which "one size fits all." The teacher must be adaptable and flexible, understanding the learner's needs and use appropriate teaching strategies.
It is Multisensory:
Most reading programs incorporate one, possibly two sensory systems (mostly hearing and possibly seeing). The O-G method has, at its core, a method of incorporating all of the sensory systems (see, hear, feel, taste, touch, move) when learning to read. This means that the student has more ways to "hook" the information for recall later on. Students should be able to touch, feel, taste, move, hear, and see instruction when learning - plus it's a lot more FUN! Imagine a tutoring session where your child uses letter tile boards, rocket ships, balls, shaving cream, sandboxes, and water, and MORE to learn!
It is Direct and Explicit:
The O-G method is direct and explicit, and students are not expected to know anything that has not already been taught and practiced. Each aspect of the reading process is taught directly (if needed) and sufficient, repetitive, and fun practice is provided so the student can master and apply when learning to read.
It is Language-Based:
Traditional teachers are trained in the structure of the English language. They teach the language as it is to the students where they are in their understanding of the language. Many programs say that they employ multisensory methods, but to make it truly multisensory, teachers and tutors must make sure that auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements are utilized together to reinforce each element of the language and reading lesson for optimal learning. This is the magical element of the Orton-Gillingham methodology. It is language-based and incorporates many elements of language into each session. In addition, once a child learns how to attach sounds to letters and blend those sounds to make words, the process can then be reversed to take the sounds in words and attach them to letters to spell words. Reading and spelling go hand in hand - so it makes sense that O-G instruction includes reading and spelling.
It is Cumulative:
With Orton-Gillingham methodology, a thorough review of previously learned material is essential to building success with reading. Starting with simple concepts and progressing to more complex structures and concepts produces a student who is confident in their knowledge base and ready to learn more. And it WORKS!!!!!!
How it All Works:
Students begin by reading and writing individual letters and their corresponding sounds in isolation. These letter/sounds are then blended into syllables and words. The consonants, digraphs, blends, and vowel teams are all introduced in a structured, sequential way. Students learn new material while also reviewing "old" material until their skills are automatic. Vocabulary, sentence structure, writing and composition, and reading comprehension are all taught in a structured, sequential and cumulative manner. Students learn rules and generalizations that govern a lot of the English language. Meta-cognitive strategies are taught and encouraged so that reading and writing become thinking activities rather than guessing games. Finally, because Orton-Gillingham skills are constantly reviewed and new material is introduced systematically, students experience a high degree of success with each lesson. Students gain both confidence and skill. Self-esteem develops from that success, and learning becomes a positive experience. Read our testimonies on the Testimonies page!!!!
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