As an Orton-Gillingham Practitioner (Certified Academic Language Practitioner through the Academic Language Therapy Association), I’ve worked with many students experiencing reading difficulties. Orton-Gillingham is a multi-sensory learning approach that can work well with students diagnosed with dyslexia. It also helps students with general or undiagnosed reading issues.
Through my training, I have identified some markers that parents can look out for when considering whether their child might need extra help or intervention. I’d recommend discussing your concerns with the local school district, teachers, and Help Me Grow resources (if your child is too young to read).
According to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) website, here are some warning signs to look for;
- Your child is having trouble learning letters and the sounds that the letters make.
- Your child has issues comprehending what they read even if they read the material multiple times.
- Your child has issues with spelling. Some children spell phonetically. Teachers state that the child does well in other areas but has a strange spelling issue, even with spelling common words. It’s a myth to say that all students with dyslexia “see the letters backward” but sometimes the letters seem to swim on the page and they experience it as hard to recognize the letters and create the letter shapes. This is especially hard with letters that look similar, like b/d/p/q.
- Your child has issues with memorizing math facts and doing math operations. This is similar to the issues with learning letters. The skill needed to do this is Rapid Automatized Naming and problems with this can cause issues with reading as well as math.
- Your child learned to speak later than others and may have some problems organizing their spoken language. Once they learn to write, this translates to difficulty in organizing their writing as well.
Finding a supportive school to help your child is always important. I had the opportunity to learn more about a tuition-free charter school available to all Columbus residents called The Shepard School. I want to share some information about their teaching philosophy so you can see if this school could fit the needs of your family.
The Founding Principal, Amber Estis, is a Columbus, Ohio native so she knows about the unique needs of learners in Columbus. The school is located in the historic Shepard neighborhood, which is rich in culture and tradition. If your child is in grades K-6, this might be a good fit for you. They utilize technology in each classroom with promethium boards and Google Chrome books. Small class sizes allow for individualized and small group instruction. They offer strong art, music, and social studies programs that other schools consider “special” and optional to learning. Additionally, healthy meals are provided daily to all students. The Shepard School provides a caring and nurturing environment in which all students can thrive.
Check out their website to learn more: www.theshepardschool.org