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A Proven and Holistic Approach to Learning Challenges

  • Dyslexia is a neurologically based learning disability that affects 1 in 5 children in the United States. Dyslexia affects a child’s ability to read and write with fluency. Dyslexia affects the left side of the brain, making it difficult for children to manipulate language. Children with dyslexia have difficulty with phonological processing and often require systematic and structured instruction to understand how to break words into parts to read and spell. Dyslexia occurs on a continuum; one child may have mild dyslexia, while another may have more profound dyslexia.

    Dyslexia is hereditary, and it is not uncommon for more than one child in a family to have dyslexia. Children with dyslexia possess average to above-average intelligence. When a dyslexic child does not receive the intervention they require to learn, they will often start to develop emotional problems because of their underachievement. This results in low self-esteem, frustration, and discouragement. Sometimes, these children begin to exhibit behavioral problems and are considered defiant, lazy, and unmotivated. Although dyslexia is associated with reading and writing difficulties, it is also associated with giftedness, strong artistic ability, musical talent, 3-D visualization, mathematical aptitude, strong language/speaking skills, journalism, and many other talents and gifts.

  • Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects handwriting, written language processing, and fine motor skills. Sometimes, dyslexics possess dysgraphia because of their inability to formulate letters and correspond to sounds simultaneously. Typically, children with dysgraphia will view writing as a laborious and painful task. They will have trouble forming words and writing words accurately. At times, a child with dysgraphia may experience difficulty holding a pencil, and he/she may have trouble staying on the lines or spacing words. On occasion, children who also have dysgraphia will have tremendous difficulty articulating thoughts on paper. The Orton-Gillingham approach is also highly recommended for children with dysgraphia.

  • Visual Processing Disorder is NOT the same as Dyslexia. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted or processed by the brain. Dyslexia affects the way the brain processes language. However, some children may have both dyslexia and a visual processing problem. If that is the case, it is recommended that your child be screened by a pediatric optometrist to determine the severity of the visual processing/perceptual problem.

  • Auditory Processing Disorder or Central Auditory Processing Disorder affects how the brain processes auditory information. As a result of this weakness, children will have difficulty with phonemic awareness activities, phonological processing, as well as auditory memory. Treatment of APD or CAPD also involves using the Orton-Gillingham approach to help improve the performance of auditory processing pathways when learning how to read and write efficiently.

  • The Orton-Gillingham approach is a structured, systematic, and multisensory method for teaching literacy skills, particularly to individuals with dyslexia or other reading difficulties. Developed by Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham in the early 20th century, this approach focuses on teaching phonics, decoding, encoding, and language comprehension through a combination of auditory, visual, and kinesthetic techniques. It emphasizes breaking down language into its smallest components and building up from there, ensuring that students develop a strong foundation in phonological awareness and language processing skills. Lessons are individualized to meet the specific needs of each learner, and instruction progresses in a cumulative and sequential manner. The Orton-Gillingham approach is widely regarded as effective for teaching reading, writing, and spelling to struggling readers of all ages.

    The Orton-Gillingham approach to instruction is the best instructional reading and writing approach for dyslexics because it is the ONLY scientifically based reading instructional program proven to create the neurological “brain” wiring necessary for reading and writing success.  The Orton-Gillingham approach is based upon a phonics-based system, which is designed to open and strengthen the weak processing pathways to success. Through the use of visual, auditory, and tactile/kinesthetic approaches to learning, dyslexics can be highly successful in school. In its purest form, Orton-Gillingham is an intensive, sequential, and structured based instructional approach. The dyslexic brain must learn how to ‘crack’ the code of the language before they can master reading and writing goals.

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