The Orton-Gillingham Approach
Tried, tested and true, the Learning Centre uses the Orton-Gillingham approach to tutoring children with dyslexia. After the child’s individual needs and abilities are assessed the details of the tutoring program are planned.
The child is tutored on a one-to-one basis, generally sessions last about one hour and are provided twice a week, outside normal school time. Our carefully selected tutors are trained and certified. Through reports and conferencing, parents are always kept up to date as to the progress of their child.
The tutoring sessions are action oriented with auditory, visual, and kinaesthetic elements reinforcing each other for optimal learning.
In every lesson, the child experiences a high degree of success and gains confidence as well as skill. Learning becomes a rewarding and happy experience
As children learn new material, they continue to review old material to the level of automaticity.
Children begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. They then blend the sounds into syllables and words. Children learn the elements (building blocks) of language.
The child learns spelling simultaneously with reading.
The tutor addresses vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, and reading comprehension in a similar structured, sequential, and cumulative manner.
Children learn and study the many generalizations and rules that govern the English language structure. They also learn how best they can apply the language knowledge necessary for achieving reading and writing competencies.
Always being flexible, the tutor seeks to understand how an individual learns and devises appropriate strategies.
In the 1940’s, Anna Gillingham said that her system of multi-sensory, one-to-one tutoring was re-wiring the brain. The medical community of the time was unsurprisingly sceptical; however today research is proving Gillingham right.
Sally Shaywitz from Harvard has written a book called “Overcoming Dyslexia.” She proved with her research involving MRI scanning that a dyslexic brain has very few or no neural paths to the lower left sections of the brain that are our “Dictionary and Library”. That means that every time a child with dyslexia sees a word it is for the first time and they have to right-brain analyze it. Not surprisingly, a person with dyslexia generally has a larger right side brain hemisphere. Einstein was dyslexic and did lineal math using his fingers.
Children with dyslexia requirey either much more time, or a multi-sensory learning program that re-wires the brain so they can begin to use their brain’s own dictionary/ library and begin to LEARN TO READ so they too can begin to READ TO LEARN.
Dr. Samuel Torrey Orton and his colleagues began using multisensory techniques in the mid-1920’s at the mobile mental health clinic he directed in Iowa. Orton was influenced by the kinesthetic method described by Grace Fernald and Helen Keller. He suggested that kinesthetic-tactile reinforcement of visual and auditory associations could correct the tendency of reversing letters and transposing the sequence of letters while reading and writing. Students who reverse b and d are taught to use consistent, different strokes in forming each letter. For example, students make the vertical line before drawing the circle in printing the letter b; they form the circle before drawing the vertical line in printing the letter d.
Taken (and revised) from the London Learning Centre Website