The Orton-Gillingham Approach
Last week I talked about the signs of dyslexia.
Now I'd like to explain how the Orton-Gillingham approach works and why it is so fantastic for dyslexic students. O-G is what I use with many of my students, even ones who are not diagnosed with dyslexia, but have other reading, writing, or spelling issues.
The O-G approach was developed by a neuropsychiatrist and an educator. As a result, it is grounded in theory and best practices, and it was created with the intention to teach dyslexic students in a way that would make sense for their brains.
One of the important pieces of O-G is that it is multi-sensory, which is vital for dyslexic students. This means it addresses learning through visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile methods. Students might manipulate tiles or cards, they will say letter sounds aloud, they will trace words with their finger in sand or on a bumpy surface, or they might do arm motions to help remember sounds.
Something I really appreciate about the O-G approach is that it is explicit. Students are told, repeatedly, why they are learning what they are learning and they are told exactly what they are learning so it is clear. There is a lot of built-in review as well, to make sure students are grasping the concepts.
I also like that it is structured, yet it is also flexible enough for me to use with many different students and adapt it to their individual needs.
Further, it is sequential and cumulative, so that each skill builds on the previous one and students begin to have a map of our language that they can follow.
I just submitted my paperwork to apply for the associate level certification in the O-G approach. I was observed by a fellow this year and did 100 hours of instruction with students, in addition to more than 60 hours of classwork. I hope to be officially certified at the associate level in October.
If you have any questions about O-G and how it helps dyslexic students, please let me know.