What is Orton-Gillingham reading therapy?

Ashley Hopkins, who was recently trained in Orton-Gillingham, explains how this multi-sensory approach to reading fits into her Speech Therapy sessions.  We are proud to offer this service in our Chelsea and Birmingham locations.

Reading has always been a passion of mine. I love children’s books and try to incorporate them into my speech therapy sessions as much as possible. Reading encompasses so many areas of language including phonemic awareness, morphology, decoding and encoding, fluency, vocabulary, and ultimately reading comprehension. The desire to learn more about reading and how to teach reading skills as well as how to help those with reading disorders has been with me for a long time. That desire was realized this past September when I had the opportunity to attend an Orton-Gillingham Comprehensive training.

The Orton-Gillingham approach was developed by a neurologist named Dr. Samuel T. Orton and an educator named Anna Gillingham specifically for children suffering from dyslexia. However, it has been found to be applicable for all children learning to read. Orton-Gillingham uses a multi-sensory approach when teaching a new concept including the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic/tactile pathways. Not only is there a strong emphasis placed on teaching phonemic awareness (how to manipulate sounds that make up spoken language), but there is also a strong emphasis placed on the teaching of systematic phonics skills. Children learn that there are relationships between letters and sounds which increases their progress in learning how to read as well as how to spell words. Each sound and symbol is taught in isolation through explicit or direct instruction until children can manipulate sounds into words on their own.

I am very excited about the knowledge I gained through the Orton-Gillingham training, and I’m looking forward to helping children learn to be successful, confident readers.

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