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About Dyslexia
Orton-Gillingham Approach
What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?

The Orton-Gillingham approach is language based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, flexible and emotionally sound. Infinitely adaptable, it is a philosophy rather than a system.

Language Based

The Orton-Gillingham approach is based on a technique of studying and teaching language, understanding the nature of human language, the mechanisms involved in learning, and the language-learning processes in individuals.


The Orton-Gillingham approach is multisensory. Sessions are action-oriented with auditory; visual, and kinesthetic elements reinforcing each other for optimal learning. Spelling is taught simultaneously with reading. In this respect Orton-Gillingham differs from traditional phonics instruction.

Structured, Sequential and Cumulative

The elements of the language are introduced systematically. Students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. These are blended into syllables and words. The various elements of the language, consonants, digraphs, blends, and diphthongs are introduced in orderly fashion. As students learn new material, they continue to review old material to the level of automaticity. The teacher addresses vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, and reading comprehension in similar structured, sequential and cumulative manner.


Students learn about the history of the language and study the many generalizations and rules which govern its structure.


At its best, Orton-Gillingham teaching is diagnostic-prescriptive in nature. Always the teacher seeks to understand how an individual learns and to devise appropriate teaching strategies.

Emotionally Sound

Because old material is constantly reviewed and new material is introduced systematically, the student experiences a high degree of success in every lesson and gains confidence as well as in skill. Learning becomes a happy experience