Academic Specialist - Kay L. Smith M. Ed.


The Orton Gillingham Approach is a research based approach and has been used for many decades to successfully provide literacy remediation to students of all ages.The Orton Gillingham Approach is used for those who have Dyslexia, or Specific Learning Disability (SLD). These individuals have difficulty primarily in the areas of reading, writing, and spelling. Often these difficulties create a learning gap in other academic areas as well.The Orton Gillingham Approach is most often and effectively used one-on-one and due to its prescriptive nature, the lessons cater to the student’s individual learning needs.While non-dyslexic students acquire language skills easily, those with Dyslexia and SLD need to be taught the various components that make up the English language. The Orton Gillingham Approach has stood the test of time and has been proven effective time and time again in assisting individuals to overcome their language-based disability.

The Orton Gillingham instruction consists of both basic and advanced programs and involves structured lesson plans following a sequential, analytic approach and both programs are designed to be most successful when taken through to their completion.How long a student will take to complete a program will depend on the number of sessions per week delivered, time involved to master concepts, and other such factors; however, most individuals complete a program in a year or less.It is recommended that a student take no less than 2 tutoring sessions per week and it is preferred that the student take 3 sessions per week. This assures mastery and necessary review of the concepts introduced. Any less than 2 sessions per week minimizes content mastery.

When the parent and student make a commitment to complete one of the Orton Gillingham programs, it is important for all persons involved (parent, student, and instructor) to see and monitor progress regularly to ascertain the effectiveness of the program. If a student is not responsive to the intervention it is essential that lesson planning be modified to best accommodate the student’s learning needs and style.

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