The Orton-Gillingham Approach has been rightfully described as language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. These characteristics can be easily amplified and extended as they are in the following attributes.

The basic purpose of everything that is done in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, from recognizing words to composing a poem, is assisting the student to become a competent reader, writer, and independent learner.

For more details about this method, you can check the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators' website.

OG Approach Principles


Dyslexics may possess additional problems that complicate learning. Most common among these are attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD).

Systematic Phonics

OG uses systematic phonics, stressing the alphabetic principle in the initial stages of reading development.
It takes advantage of the sound/symbol relationships inherent in the alphabetic system of writing.


OG uses all learning pathways - seeing, hearing, feeling, and awareness of motion - brought together by the thinking brain. The instructor engages in multisensory teaching to convey curricular content in the most understandable way to the student.

Cognitive approach

Students understand the reasons for what they are learning and the strategies they are employing. Confidence is increased as they gain in their ability to apply knowledge about how to develop their reading, spelling, and writing skills.

Diagnostic and Prescriptive

The instructor continuously monitors verbal, nonverbal, and written responses to identify and analyze both the student’s problems and progress.
Lessons are prescriptive, building upon the student’s progress noted in previous sessions.

Emotionally Sound

Students’ feelings about themselves and about learning are vital. Teaching is directed toward providing the experience of success. With success comes increased self-confidence and motivation.