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What is Orton Gillingham?

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Samuel Orton, a neuropsychiatrist and Anna Gillingham, an educator and psychologist worked together to develop sensory (touch) and kinetic (movement) techniques that could be integrated with traditional visual and auditory techniques to teach students to read and write. These techniques were particularly helpful for children with language processing issues like dyslexia. Anna Gillingham worked with noted Quaker educator Bessie Stillman to write a manual describing these techniques which we now call the Orton-Gillingham method.

Basically Orton-Gillingham methods include movements into the more traditional hear, see, and say method of teaching reading. This makes the instruction more accessible for more types of brains and increases the likelihood of retention. Some students don't need this extra reinforcement and some students literally can't learn to read and spell without it. But the science of reading (SOR) tells us that anyone who struggles with reading (and writing) will benefit from this explicit method of learning.

If your child struggles with reading or spelling, some time spent with Orton Gillingham based methods can help them improve. And there are many different companies that have taken aspects of the explicit, structured, phonetic based techniques and used them in slightly unique ways, creating different products that I can use to help students with various needs and strengths.

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