Orton Gillingham is an approach used with people who have difficulty with spelling, writing, and reading of the sort that is associated with people who suffer from dyslexia. It is not a program or a system but a properly practice and simple to understand approach. In the hands of experienced and trained instructors, it is powerful approach that offers exceptional depth, flexibility and breath.
The instructional practices and curricular content which is a part of Orton Gillingham Method is derived from two main sources:
- Time tested practices that have been used for over 70 years
- Scientific studies and evidences on how people write and learn
This approach understands that many people have difficulty in understanding simple concepts. It also understands that people who suffer from dyslexia find it even more difficult to assimilate basic literacy skills Orton Gillingham training programs are best suited for people who suffer from dyslexia as it understands their problems and makes it easy for them to understand concepts and ideas.
The approach is names after Anna Gillingham and Samuel T. Orton who were the foundational contributors of this approach. Samuel T Orton was a neuropsychiatrist who focused his attention on people who suffered from reading failure and had difficulties in processing language. Using his experience, he brought together the principles of remediation and neuroscientific information. In 1925, he identified that dyslexia can have an negative impact on the literacy skills of people.
Anna Gillingham was a psychologist and educator who had excellent command of the language. She was encouraged by Dr. Orton to publish instructional material that provided a strong foundation for teacher training and student instruction. The instructional material published by Anna Gillingham is today known as Orton-Gillingham Approach.
Most schools for learning disabilities that follow Orton Gillingham Approach follow one-on-one student-teacher instructional approach. The successful adaption of this approach has clearly demonstrated the value and significance of classroom instructions. Helping people with writing, spelling and reading difficulties is the dominant focus of this approach. This approach can also be used on people who exhibit difficulty in understanding the concepts of mathematics.
This approach has always focused its attention of people who suffer from literacy skills. People who suffer from dyslexia must have some knowledge of the language and its relationship with the writing system if they want be become competent writers and readers. Since they suffer from dyslexia, they need more help when compared to normal people in organizing and understanding the raw material of language. Orton Gillingham training programs help dyslexic learners understand the concept of language which helps in improving their reading and writing skills.