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What is Orton Gillingham?

What is Orton Gillingham?

Orton Gillingham is an approach designed to target reading, spelling and writing skills. It is an evidence-based approach frequently recommended for students who demonstrate challenges in these areas, particularly students with a diagnosis of dyslexia or a reading disorder. Blog-Orton Gillingham-Main-Landscape

Orton Gillingham is phonetically based, meaning that it educates students on how letters are linked to certain sounds, and in what context (e.g. when a “c” followed by “e,” “i” or “y” it says the /s/ sound). The approach is systematic, structured and repetitive, so that each lesson builds on previous knowledge and has a predictable routine.

It is also multi-sensory, in order to target all pathways of learning: visual, verbal, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic. The instruction is customized to fit the student’s individual needs related to literacy.

How does Orton Gillingham work?

The Orton Gillingham approach is comprised of five levels. Upon initiation of therapy, a pre-test will determine which level best suits the needs of the individual. Each session includes a review of the phonetic rule learned in the previous session, through a variety of multi-sensory exercises. These activities include letter and sound identification, blending of sounds to create non-sense words, reading and spelling both words and sentences, reviewing of sight words, and oral reading practice.

The student must demonstrate mastery of the target skill (90% or greater on both reading and spelling tasks), before learning new material. Upon completion of a level, a post-test is given to determine the student’s understanding and retention of the knowledge for that level, before moving on to the next.

Orton Gillingham is typically provided by a Speech Language Pathologist, Reading or Academic Specialist. It is most effective when the student participates in sessions at least twice a week.

Click here to learn more about North Shore Pediatric Therapy’s Orton-Gillingham Reading Center.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140.

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Red Flags for Dyslexia

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in the United States, impacting 20 percent of the country’s population. If a child is not diagnosed by the second grade, there is a significant chanceblog-dyslexia-main-landscape he or she will remain undiagnosed until they reach adulthood. By educating yourself on the red flags of this learning disability, you can avoid misconceptions as well as delayed identification of this disability. Early identification of any disorder correlates with improved outcome and prognosis.

Preschool-Aged Red Flags for Dyslexia:

Difficulties with phonemic awareness or the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words are beginning signs that your child may have dyslexia. Examples of phonemic awareness skills are:

  • Segmenting syllables (e.g., “how many syllables do you hear in butterfly?”)
  • Rhyming (e.g., “which word rhymes with mat; star or hat”?)
  • Phoneme isolation (e.g., “in the word sun, is the /s/ at the beginning, middle or end of the word?”)
  • Sound deletion (e.g., “say cup without the /k/.”)

Other signs include:

  • Trouble reading single words
  • Trouble generating rhyming words or identifying which words don’t belong
  • Reversing letters and words (e.g., tab/bat)
  • Difficulty identifying sounds at the beginning or end of a word (e.g., “what word begins with /t/; toad or boat?”)

Elementary-Aged Red Flags for Dyslexia:

Once children enter elementary school, the expectations for reading and writing abilities increase significantly. Children not previously identified as being at-risk may begin to exhibit signs as school work becomes more challenging. These children often have average or above average IQ, but demonstrate below grade-level reading and writing abilities.

Red flags include:

  • Trouble sequencing (e.g., steps, alphabet, naming months)
  • Continued trouble with rhyming
  • Difficulty with word finding (e.g., relying on “stuff,” “things” or other generic words)
  • Difficulty with organization and studying
  • Trouble with story telling
  • Avoidance or dislike of reading

Should an individual demonstrate some of these signs, it is not necessarily indicative of dyslexia. Other reading or language disorders may play a factor. However, if these difficulties persist through childhood, it may negatively impact that child’s academic success.

Through early identification, children with dyslexia can begin treatment in phonics-based programs, such as Orton-Gillingham or Wilson. These programs are unique in that the relationships between sounds and letters are explicitly and systematically taught. With consistent treatment, children with dyslexia can learn to compensate for their disorder, as well as begin to enjoy reading and writing.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!

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untreated dyslexia

What Happens When Dyslexia Goes Untreated

Language-based learning difficulties can affect up to 20% of the population, with dyslexia being the most common type. People with dyslexia often have difficulty translating ideas into written language and likely have trouble decoding (understanding) written language.

Research has shown that most children who struggle with reading in 3rd grade remainWhat Happens When Dyslexia Goes Untreated poor readers even in high school. This suggests that early intervention, as with all aspects of childhood language difficulties, is key. If these children receive intervention before the critical “learning to read” period (kindergarten through 3rd grade) changes to “reading to learn” in fourth grade, they are more likely to become successful readers.

Common Characteristics of Untreated Dyslexia:

  • Difficulty with planning and organizing, often spending more time on homework than necessary
  • Trouble with storytelling or finding the “right” words when writing or speaking
  • Avoidance of reading, reading below grade level
  • Difficulty with saying the alphabet, naming letters, and numerous spelling errors
  • Trouble with language comprehension and some difficulty with spoken language
  • Difficulty decoding (reading) words and sentences, slow when writing and reading

These characteristics highlight the importance of intervention. Due to the broad-reaching grasp that dyslexia can have on a child’s academic performance, intervening before the critical period ends (kindergarten through third grade) is imperative. Children struggling with dyslexia often have average intelligence, so parents may not realize that an underlying disorder is to blame for trouble at school. When a gap exists between a child’s performance and their overall potential, dyslexia may be the reason.

Children can be evaluated for reading disorders by neuropsychologists, school psychologists, and some reading specialists. If ongoing therapy is warranted, parents may choose to seek out the assistance of a licensed speech-language pathologist, as dyslexia is a language disorder impacting the reading/writing/spoken language realms.

Click here to learn more about our Orton-Gillingham Reading Center.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

dyslexia signs and symptoms

Dyslexia: Signs and Symptoms

Dyslexia is commonly thought of as letter reversals (e.g., substituting b/d or p/q) and letter inversions (e.g., substituting b/p or d/q). However, that is not the case for all people. Individuals with dyslexia tend to have a much broader range of symptoms, many of which are not typically associated with the disorder. Symptoms of dyslexia may manifest more as a general language disorder, notably as difficulty with the acquisition and use of language, both spoken and written. Language-based learning difficulties can affect up to 20% of the population, with dyslexia being the most common type. The symptoms below are not an exhaustive list, rather they most commonly occur with dyslexia.

Symptoms of Dyslexia:

General Signs: Typical to most with dyslexia, individuals tend to have difficulty with the alphabetic principle, ordyslexia signs and symptoms the predictable association between sounds and letters (e.g., if you hear a “j” sound at the end of the word it is usually “-ge” or “-dge”, as words don’t usually end in “-j”). Individuals with dyslexia may also have trouble with memorization of letters and numbers, and will have trouble with reading and spelling. Learning foreign languages will likely be challenging, as well.

Preschool-Aged Signs: Most preschool-aged children exhibiting signs of dyslexia will have difficulty with phonemic awareness, or the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words (e.g., “what is ‘bug’ without the /b/”). Other signs include:

  • Trouble reading single words
  • Trouble generating rhyming words or identifying which words don’t belong
  • Reversing letters and words (e.g., tab/bat)
  • Difficulty segmenting words (e.g., “clap the syllables in ‘ice cream’”)

Elementary-Aged Signs: Once children enter elementary school, the demands for reading and writing become greater. Children not previously identified as being at-risk may begin to exhibit signs as school work becomes more challenging. These children often have average or above average IQ, but demonstrate below grade-level reading and writing abilities. Other signs include:

  • Trouble sequencing (e.g., steps, alphabet, naming months)
  • Continued trouble with rhyming
  • Difficulty with word finding (e.g., relying on “stuff,” “things” or other generic words)
  • Difficulty with organization and studying
  • Trouble with story telling
  • Avoidance or dislike of reading

Should an individual demonstrate some of these signs, it is not necessarily indicative of dyslexia. Other reading or language disorders may play a factor. However, if these difficulties persist through childhood and beyond, children may have difficulty with success in school. Phonics-based programs, like Orton-Gillingham or Wilson, explicitly target the relationship between sounds and letters. These programs, rooted in the alphabetic principle, systematically introduce the rule of language to help children who are struggling.

Click here to learn more about our Orton-Gillingham Reading Center.

Girl reading with Orton-Gillingham

Benefits of Orton-Gillingham Reading Therapy

WHAT IS ORTON-GILLINGHAM?

Orton-Gillingam is a program that uses a flexible approach to target issues commonly associated dyslexia, such as reading, spelling and writing. This therapy uses both direct and systematic approaches, making what comes naturally to some children more explicit for those who may be struggling to learn the rules of literacy. Orton-Gillingham targets literacy using a multisensory approach, having children learn and practice rules using verbal, visual, and tactile/kinesthetic means to increase association and carryover.Girl reading with Orton-Gillingham

CAN IT HELP MY CHILD?

Orton-Gillingham can help children who are struggling with sound/letter correspondence. Orton-Gillingham uses the “alphabetic principle,” highlighting the predictable association between sounds and letters (e.g., if you hear a “j” sound at the end of the word it is usually “-ge” or “-dge”, as words don’t usually end in “-j”). This direct instruction explicitly targets the rules of literacy, including (but not limited to): magic-e, blends, clusters, sion/tion, vowels, and others. Orton-Gillingham can help improve your child’s ability to read, write and spell, as well as:

  • Decrease reading avoidance
  • Increase segmenting/blending skills
  • Improve understanding of sound-letter relationships
  • Increase ability to sound out words
  • Reduce frustration when reading
  • Improve understanding of spoken and written language

If your child has been diagnosed with dyslexia or has been performing well below grade level, a licensed speech-language pathologist or academic specialists can help! Our SLPs have been trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach and can help if classroom instruction in reading and spelling has been unsuccessful.


 

 

Signs of Reading Disability Across Grades

Reading Disability (also known as “Dyslexia”) is a disorder of phonology at its base.  It affects reading, writing, and sometimes other skills such as memorization of math facts and language expression.  We know that Reading Disability is persistent but also highly responsive to the right interventions.  Taken in part from the book Overcoming Dyslexia, written by Sally Shaywitz, M.D., I have put together the following list of common signs across grade levels that a child may be struggling with reading.  The presence of one, or even many of these clues, does not by itself warrant alarm of a problem.  However, if you suspect your child is struggling with reading, please seek an evaluation to determine the nature of the difficulties and to make sure that your child is given a fair chance in reading. Read more

What is Orton-Gillingham Reading Therapy?

Reading is essential for learning.  It is not uncommon for children who are struggling academically to have a reading disorder.   At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we have clinicians who have been specially trained in the Orton-Gillingham reading program.

What is the Orton-Gillingham Reading Program?

The Orton Gillingham reading program is a multi-sensory, kinesthetic, and phonics based approach.  OG follows structured lesson plans week to week that utilize multi-sensory activities that include the auditory, tactile, and visual senses. There are 5 levels, and each lesson plan integrates morphemic, syllabic, syntactic, semantic, grammatical, and diagraphic skills. Overall phonological awareness, decoding, encoding, and reading comprehension skills are targeted. Read more

Debunking Dyslexia Myths

Dyslexia is a word that often stirs up fear and misunderstanding. In addition, it is awash in myths. Often, people think of adyslexia person with Dyslexia as an individual who confuses b’s and d’s or reads backwards. Others may think of a troubled reader who is confused by basic letters.  This simplistic and incorrect understanding of Dyslexia often causes people, especially parents, to feel a series of negative emotions when their child has trouble reading and a Dyslexia diagnosis is given. In reality, as many as 1 in 5 children are diagnosed with Dyslexia, which is defined a deficit in the phonological processing component of language that results in trouble reading and decoding words. Read on for the truth about Dyslexia.

Dyslexia myths and the truths behind them:

  • Myth: “Dyslexia means readers see letters and words backwards.”
  • Fact: Letter reversals are a symptom of Dyslexia; however, this is not the condition itself. Dyslexia is a much more complex phonological processing disorder in which the reader has difficulty associating the letters and the resulting sounds. Read more