The Orton Experience
In the 1930’s, neurologist Dr. Samuel T. Orton and educator, psychologist Anna Gillingham developed the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction for students with dyslexia. This theory combines multi-sensory techniques along with the structure of the English language. Those items taught include: phonemes and morphemes, such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Common spelling rules are introduced as well. Multi-sensory education incorporates the three learning pathways, which are: auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. This approach is beneficial not only for students with dyslexia, but for all learners.
Often Orton-Gillingham is interpreted as a methodology only meant for reading remediation; however, the multi-sensory component impacts all children. The uniqueness of this type of instruction is that it allows for targeting a student’s dominant learning modality, while delivering instruction that will strengthen the remaining learning pathways.