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Finding the Best Reading Program for Students with Dyslexia


If you are helping a struggling reader and you are looking for a reading program, it can be an overwhelming process to sift through the multitude of options that are currently available. Many approaches focus on the well researched Orton-Gillingham based instructional approach, however, each program offers their own materials and addresses a variety of different age groups.

What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach to Reading?
The Orton-Gillingham approach to reading was named after Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) and Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) who gathered and published a detailed instructional manual in the 1930s. They created a structured, multisensory, step by step approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling that incorporated the explicit and systematic teaching of phonemic awareness, syllabication, and word morphology.  There has been extensive research on this approach to reading and it is known to be an excellent option for students with dyslexia.  

So How Can I Find the Best Program?
I've attached the following table to help make the search for your ideal approach more manageable. I don't have experience with all the programs, but I am familiar with and have used components of the ones that are starred in my own practice.

Program
Grades
K-6
Grades
7-9
Grades 10-12
Grades Adults
Software Based?
ABeCeDarian





Academy of Reading







Alphabetic Phonics




Association Method




Barton


Fast Forward




Fast Track



High Point



Jolly Phonics





Language!


Lexercise


Lexia-Herman





* Lexia Reading


* Lindamood-Bell




Mind Play

* Nessy Reading


Open Court Reading





Orton-Gillingham Approach


Orton Gillingham Online Academy


Phonics First


Project Read




Rave-O





Read Naturally



Read Well






Reading Mastery




Really Great Reading


Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching


Slingerland




Sonday System


Sounds in Syllable


Spalding Method




SpellRead



SRA Early Intervention




Starting Over


Read, Write & Type Learning System




Spire





Take Flight




Trass





* Wilson Reading System


Created by Michael Bates and Dr. Erica Warren 

Do I Use a Reading Program in my Private Practice?
Personally, I don't use a reading program, however, I occasionally assign the Nessy Reading and Spelling online site to my students.  Although I was trained in a number of Orton-Gillingham based programs, I chose to study the comprehensive and extensive source: The Gillingham Manual.  Then I created my own supplemental games and multisensory activities to make the approach more engaging and enjoyable for students.

I hope you found this blog helpful and that the information will assist you in making the best decision for your particular situation.

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn and Go Dyslexia, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to https://godyslexia.com/, www.goodsensorylearning.com, www.dyslexiamaterials.com & www.learningtolearn.biz  
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