The Orton-Gillingham Approach to Teaching Reading

Orton-Gillingham is a highly-structured approach that breaks reading and spelling down into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, and then builds on these skills over time. It also uses multi-sensory teaching strategies to teach reading, which is considered particularly effective for teaching students with dyslexia.

These multi-sensory teaching strategies include sight (visual), sound (auditory), touch (tactile), and movement (kinesthetic),  combined with systematic, sequential lessons focused on phonics. It is an intensive teaching strategy that uses repetition to build skills. This is particularly important for dyslexic students who need more frequent exposure to each concept in order to retain the knowledge.

Early intervention produces the best result. Falling behind in school can lead to many other difficulties in life, including economic, social, and psychological problems. People with dyslexia are as intelligent as the rest of the population, but they need extra help to overcome the challenges. Dr. Orton and Ms. Gillingham used the expression “word blindness” to describe the condition we call “dyslexia” Many dyslexics who are given appropriate educational accommodation go on to be highly successful adults.

The Orton-Gillingham method is considered the “gold standard” for achieving this result.