Monday, January 9, 2017

Orton-Gillingham and Reading: What Are The Essential Skills Your Child Needs to Know?

Most individuals can look back and retrace the first steps that their parents took in helping them learn how to read. Although I am unable to remember the first time I learned how to read, I remember being a teenager and working with my niece who was always mesmerized by my collection of notebooks, textbooks, and pens. She would sit beside me and I would write simple three letter words out for her in my notebook and have my mini-me learn how to read. It was not difficult for me to come up with a short lesson and play "take away the letter" games with her to see if she could manipulate the letters to see if she could read. I enjoyed that time and realized that reading for her (as well as the rest of the individuals in my family) was as natural as speaking, singing and dancing.

For some individuals reading does not come as naturally. Some teachers have been taught that children can simply look at the words and pictures on a page and that will essentially help the child learn how to read. It may be the case for most children but for others this simple act of image memory does not correlate with reading. 

Reading is a complex linguistic task that may need to be broken down for some children. For those who may not think of it being a natural task, it needs to be acquired through direct instruction and simplification. Without the proper training or the skill sets needed to help remediate students with Dyslexia or other processing disorders, the task will present itself as overwhelming and time that is misused.

If you think that your child is in need of Dyslexia support or may need the Orton-Gillingham Methodology of Reading Instruction, here are some skill sets that you may need to check on from your provider:

1. Language Development

Is there a particular stage in which children need to develop expressive or receptive language skills? What types of articulation errors are common in a four, five, six year old? If these questions are not easily answered by your provider, they may not have the foundation to create an outline of when these errors in language will be remedied.

Are there sounds that your child produces that make them sound less "local"? Is your child in a setting where they may pick up incorrect speech patterns or are not exposed to proper grammar? 

3. Vocabulary

Some students who may have a much more advanced spoken vocabulary but do not utilize this in writing may also be challenged in various ways.

4. Spelling

If your child receives great marks on their spelling tests but are unable to apply these spelling rules a provider may need to determine what splinter skills your child is lacking.

5. Fluency

Having a student read the same passage or book five times does not correlate to fluency. If the methodology your tutor is using becomes exposure to one particular approach, it may not be what your child needs to feel challenged.

If you feel that your child is having difficulty with learning how to read or may need reading remediation such as Orton-Gillingham and you are in the Atlanta area, feel free to contact Christine at 404-964-8533 or you can email me at . We have helped clients in the Atlanta area for over 11 years and would love to show you how we can help your child. 

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