The Orton-Gillingham program has developed it’s own non-standardized assessment material. This material assists the therapist in knowing where the child’s strengths and weaknesses are in relation to their reading and writing skills. Assessments are done periodically to determine retention of previous skills and areas that need more attention. In addition, ongoing data is collected each treatment session to determine progress toward goals.
The Orton-Gillingham approach first introduces 9 carefully selected letters and builds from there. The order these letters are taught is determined by auditory, visual, and kinesthetic factors rather than their alphabetic order. These letters are then used to form words for spelling (encoding) and reading (decoding) progressing through sentences and storybook reading. For each letter visual, auditory, and kinesthetic information is provided. Each session begins with a three-part drill of previously learned information. This drill again focuses on visual, auditory, and kinesthetic information as it is completed. Following the drill new sounds will be taught one at a time. Instruction of the new sounds is very clearly stated to impress upon each child’s mind a meaningful relationship. Instruction then progresses from teaching individual sound-symbol relationship to teaching the more advanced rules for reading and writing in the English language. These rules are often not deliberately taught in schools or instruction proceeds to quickly for struggling students. New vocabulary is taught throughout the course of therapy when a new word is introduced and reading fluency and comprehension can be checked when working with sentences and/or storybook reading.