What Type of Reading Interventions Work for Individuals with Dyslexia?
There are many companies and curriculums out there, claiming to hold the magic answer to helping your child learn to read and spell. The honest truth is that every child is different, and even those who share dyslexia, will have different levels of severity and manifestation.
Although varied instruction based on individual strengths and weaknesses is the best way to help those with dyslexia learn how to read and spell, there are research-based approaches, proven to yield the best results for those with dyslexia. The best instructional approach is called Orton-Gillingham.
What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?
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 primarily used for those who have Dyslexia. 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.
While those who do not have Dyslexia acquire language skills easily, those with Dyslexia 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.
Citation: https://ortongillinghamonlinetutor.com, 2017
Why Does the Orton-Gillingham Approach Work?
Many programs have evolved throughout the years from Orton-Gillingham.
Though they have some differences, they all have the same necessary components to be effective for our students with Dyslexia, or specific language-based disability.
The essential elements of the Orton-Gillingham Approach are:
- Multisensory: A multisensory approach is one that taps into the various modalities by which we learn. We learn via the visual, auditory, kinesthetic (movement), and tactile (touch) pathways. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is multisensory, making it an optimally effective teaching method.
- Phonetic-Alphabetic: There is a logical connection between the sounds and symbols in our English language, as well as conventional rules that when applied produce independent readers. Teaching by using a sequential phonetic approach offers the students the tools necessary to unlock the door to reading acquisition. As the student reads, he/she can apply the rules of our language and analyze what is written for greater understanding.
- Synthetic-Analytic: Synthetic Phonics is the learning of phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and their corresponding graphemes (the written symbol for each phoneme). Analytic Phonics (whole-word approach) is breaking down a whole word to its parts with the help of decoding.
- Structured: The materials taught are presented in an organized manner indicating the relationship between new and previously taught information. This presentation facilitates optimal student learning, as the tools of our language work together to develop competent, independent learners.
- Sequential: This Approach moves from the simple concepts of our language to the more complex concepts. As the student masters the basic foundational language skills, they move on to the next step and so on until all steps are mastered.
- Repetitive: The repetitive nature of the Orton-Gillingham Approach promotes word recognition, reading fluency, and reading comprehension.
- Cumulative: As language skills are mastered, new skills are introduced. This approach is cumulative and each step is an essential building block for the next sequential step.
- Cognitive: The student learns and understands the rules of our language and how to apply those learned skills to become a fluid and proficient reader, an accurate speller, and a creative writer.
- Diagnostic: The instructor is continuously progress monitoring the student’s performance to assess areas of need and responsiveness to instruction.
- Prescriptive: The instructor then takes the diagnostic information and drives the subsequent lesson planning to best target and promote resolution to the student’s areas of need.
Citation: https://ortongillinghamonlinetutor.com, 2017
Does the Wilson Reading System Use the Orton-Gillingham Approach?
The Wilson Reading System (WRS) is an intensive Tier 3 program for students in grades 2-12 and adults with word-level deficits who are not making sufficient progress through their current intervention; have been unable to learn with other teaching strategies and require multisensory language instruction; or who require more intensive structured literacy instruction due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia.
As a structured literacy program based on phonological-coding research and Orton-Gillingham principles, WRS directly and systematically teaches the structure of the English language. Through the program, students learn fluent decoding and encoding skills to the level of mastery. From the beginning Steps of the program, students receive instruction in:
- Word structure, in depth, for automatic decoding and spelling
- Word recognition and spelling of high frequency words, including irregular words
- Vocabulary, word understanding, and word-learning skills
- Sentence-level text reading with ease, expression, and understanding
- Listening comprehension with age-appropriate narrative and informational text
- Reading comprehension with narrative and expository text of increasing levels of difficulty
- Narrative and informational text structures
- Organization of information for oral or written expression
- Proofreading skills
- Self-monitoring for word recognition accuracy and comprehension
Citation: www.wilsonlanguage.com, 2019