Frequently Asked Questions

How is your approach to literacy different from other tutoring services?

SLD Read’s approach to literacy follows the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching reading.  This means our lessons are multisensory, structured, explicit, cumulative, and sequential, (working from the simplest elements of our language to the most complex). Each lesson includes the direct teaching of phonics (matching letters to sounds) as well as the structure of the English language (syllable patterns, prefixes, suffixes, roots, spelling rules). Phonological awareness activities (identifying and manipulating individual sounds) are also a part of every lesson. In addition, students are taught reading and spelling strategies that they will be encouraged to use throughout their life.

Who are Orton and Gillingham?

Neurologist and psychiatrist Samuel Orton (1879 – 1948) was a clinician and researcher specializing in remedial reading programs and ways to correct speech problems. He was one of the first to identify the syndrome of dyslexia and to offer a physiological explanation for its cause. During his lifetime, Dr. Orton directed many research projects dealing with developmental reading disabilities.

Anna Gillingham(1878 – 1963) was the Director of Remedial Teaching in the Ethical Culture School in New York City, a research fellow at the Neurological Institute of New York, a teacher trainer, and a school consultant in reading and spelling disabilities. Together, Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham developed procedures and comprehensive materials for early identification and remediation of dyslexic children. Their program is known today as the Orton-Gillingham approach.

Current research and years of experience have proven the methods developed by Dr. Orton and Ms. Gillingham to be effective in helping ALL children learn to read and spell. Although originally designed for intensive one-to-one therapy, Orton-Gillingham techniques can be successfully adapted to small groups and regular classroom use.

What is Multisensory Instruction?

Most classroom teaching has traditionally relied on visual and auditory presentations. However, there are four pathways – visual, auditory, kinesthetic and tactile – to the brain,  The Orton-Gillingham approach incorporates all pathways making it “multi-sensory”. When introducing and reviewing letters and sounds, teachers ask their students to look at a model of the letter (visual), trace and write the letter (kinesthetic) while simultaneously naming the letter and giving the sound (auditory). Tactile materials are also used to strengthen the kinesthetic experience.

What is Dyslexia?

The term dyslexia has Greek origins and is made up of two parts :  dys meaning difficulty with and lexia meaning words.  People with dyslexia have difficulty with words, in one or more of the following areas:

  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Handwriting
  • Listening
  • Language expression (written and oral)
  • Organizing information

Research indicates dyslexia is caused from a genetically-based neurological difference in the language processing centers of the brain. People with dyslexia have an average or above-average intelligence level, but process information differently from other people.

 Is Dyslexia a Disability or a Gift?

Because of the uniqueness in how a dyslexic brain processes information, people with dyslexia possess gifts and talents in the following areas, especially areas requiring three-dimensional insights:

  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Science
  • Music
  • Athletics
  • Drama
  • Creative thinking, problem solving
  • People skills