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.
Academy of Reading
* Lexia Reading
* Nessy Reading
Open Court Reading
Orton Gillingham Online Academy
Really Great Reading
Simultaneous Multisensory Teaching
Sounds in Syllable
SRA Early Intervention
Read, Write & Type Learning System
* Wilson Reading System
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