What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?
The phrase “Orton-Gillingham approach” refers to the structured, sequential, multisensory techniques established by Dr. Orton, Ms. Gillingham, and his colleagues.
Dr. Orton, then a practicing neuropsychiatric, and his colleagues began using the multisensory techniques in the mid-1920s at the mobile mental health clinic he directed in Iowa. He was influenced by the kinesthetic method described by Grace Fernald and Helen Keller.
He suggested that kinesthetic-tactile reinforcement of visual and auditory associations could correct the tendency of confusing similar letters and transposing the sequence of letters while reading and writing. For example, students who confuse b and d are taught to use consistent, different strokes in forming each letter. Students make the vertical line before drawing the circle in printing the letter b; they form the circle before drawing the vertical line in printing the letter d.
Anna Gillingham and Bessie Stillman based their original 1936 teaching manual from the “alphabetic method” on Dr. Orton’s theories. They combined multisensory techniques with teaching the structure of written English, including the sounds (phonemes), meaning units (morphemes such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots), and common spelling rules.
Source: International Dyslexia Association
From the above description, Orton-Gillingham is an approach to teaching individuals to read from simple to complex seeing, touching, and hearing methods, as well as explaining the instruction and techniques. Because it is just a way of teaching, your child's Orton-Gillingham tutor must have a reading program that is based on the Orton-Gillingham approach or has created a reading instruction like
Our Multisensory Reading & Spelling program in which we incorporate the method and principle first described in Dr. Orton's foundational work, as well as other practices supported by research.