What is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?

The Orton-Gillingham approach was established as early as 1925 by Samuel Torrey Orton who identified the syndrome of dyslexia as an educational problem. Anna Gillingham was a gifted educator and psychologist with a superb mastery of the language. This approach is language-based, multi-sensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. Infinitely adaptable, it is a philosophy rather than a system.

Language Based

The Orton-Gillingham approach is based on a technique of studying and teaching language, understanding the nature of human language, the mechanisms involved in learning, and the language learning processes in individuals.

Multi-Sensory

The Orton-Gillingham approach is multi-sensory. Sessions are action-oriented with auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements reinforcing each other for optimal learning. Spelling is taught simultaneously with reading. In this respect Orton-Gillingham differs from traditional phonics instruction.

Structured, Sequential, and Cumulative

The elements of the language are introduced systematically. Students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. These are blended into syllables and words. The various elements of the language, consonants, digraphs, blends, and diphthongs are introduced in orderly fashion. As students learn new material, they continue to review old material to the level of automaticity. The teacher addresses vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, and reading comprehension in similar structured, sequential, and cumulative manner.

Cognitive

Students learn about the history of the language and study the many generalizations and rules, which govern its structure.

Flexible

At its best, Orton-Gillingham teaching is diagnostic-prescriptive in nature. Always the teacher seeks to understand how an individual learns and to devise appropriate teaching strategies.

Emotionally Sound

Because old material is constantly reviewed and new material is introduced systematically, the student experiences a high degree of success in every lesson and gains in confidence as well as in skill. Learning becomes a happy experience.

Who would benefit?

Our tutoring program is a Highly Specialized Remedial Program appropriate for school-aged children and youth with a diagnosis of dyslexia, language-based learning disabilities and/or ADHD, who:

  • NNeed 1:1 instruction in one of the areas listed below
  • NNeed a multi-sensory, research-based approach
  • NNeed a safe and comfortable learning environment with a highly qualified teacher

Program Focus

Choose your focus:

Reading

Phonological awareness, sound/symbol recognition, blending, decoding, handwriting, reading fluency and reading comprehension.

Writing

Basic grammar, including parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, paragraph structure.

Mathematics

Basic skills in computation, measurement, fractions, use of money, telling time.

Attendance Requirements

Students must attend a minimum of 2 one hour sessions per week from September until the end of May. Classes are 1:1 with a qualified instructor. Students are expected to attend all classes which run during the academic year from September through May. Subject to availability, students are permitted to join mid-way through the program year.

Tutoring schedules include daytime, afternoons and evenings, subject to availability. The majority of our success is proven when students attend daytime tutoring with the support and buy-in from classroom teachers and the school. Our main focus is on the student making gains. For many students who struggle in school, gains cannot be made when students arrive for instruction when they are mentally or physically tired. For these reasons, it is important to have the support of the child’s teacher and a willingness to make your child’s tutoring a priority.

Admission Criteria

Students must attend a minimum of 2 one hour sessions per week from September until the end of May. Classes are 1:1 with a qualified instructor. Students are expected to attend all classes which run during the academic year from September through May. Subject to availability, students are permitted to join mid-way through the program year.

Tutoring schedules include daytime, afternoons and evenings, subject to availability. The majority of our success is proven when students attend daytime tutoring with the support and buy-in from classroom teachers and the school. Our main focus is on the student making gains. For many students who struggle in school, gains cannot be made when students arrive for instruction when they are mentally or physically tired. For these reasons, it is important to have the support of the child’s teacher and a willingness to make your child’s tutoring a priority.

**Missed lessons/rescheduling: Owing to the nature of these programs and the high demand, we cannot honour any requests for alternate dates. To maximize students’ learning in these programs, full attendance is expected. Our instructors work hard to prepare for each lesson. Missed lessons will not be made up by our instructors, nor will any refunds for missed dates be issued.

Program Fees

The cost of annual membership is $50 per family, paid separately from program fees.

Our Instructors

Debbie Levy-Stock, BA, BEd, ECE, Certified OG

Certified Orton-Gillingham Tutor

Debbie joined the Learning Disabilities Association of Halton as a parent and volunteer in 1998. LDAH was instrumental in providing support to be an effective advocate. In 2003 she received training from LDAH in the Orton-Gillingham Approach, a research based methodology. Since then she has been working in the tutorial program; helping students to become accomplished in all areas of language and at the same time discussing students’ needs and progress with parents and educators.

Debbie has over 30 years of experience working with children and is a member of the College of Early Childhood Educators and the Ontario College of Teachers. Debbie is a certified Member of the Orton-Gillingham Academy of Educators and Practitioners

She is dedicated to equity and skill development for students with learning disabilities.

Afshan Parvaiz, BA, Associate OG

Associate Orton-Gillingham Tutor

Afshan has been associated with the Learning Disabilities of Halton Region (Canada) since 2004 providing one on one tutoring.

Afshan has over thirty years of teaching experience in primary and secondary schools covering a wide variety of subjects including English Language, English Literature, World History, Science, Maths etc. She spent three years in UK (1998-2001) going back to school to study GCSE courses in English and Mathematics. While in the UK she pursued and completed a one year Certification Course in Special Needs (Dyslexia) from John Hunt Institute, accredited with Oxford/Cambridge Universities and Royal Society of Arts (UK). Afshan completed a Diploma in Dyslexia from Hornsby International Dyslexia Centre in London, UK.

She moved to Canada in early 2002 as a landed immigrant and is now a Canadian Citizen. She has a working knowledge of Orton-Gillingham, Hornsby and Hickey methodologies in supporting children with learning disabilities (Dyslexia). Afshan is an Associate of the Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory approach, having completed her Associate level coursework (60 hours) and her supervised practicum.

COVID-19 Policy

The Learning Disabilities Association of Halton-Hamilton follows and will continue to follow all Public Health guidelines and requirements for the operation of its in-person programs. However, due to the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and it’s affect on the Halton-Hamilton area, the Learning Disabilities Association of Halton-Hamilton reserves the right to transition all in-person classes to a virtual environment in accordance to any recommendation by Health Canada. When signing up for this program, you agree that in-person classes may be held online when deemed necessary. No refunds will be applicable in the case that classes continue in-person and families choose to withdraw, but applicants will have the choice to withdraw if classes transition to online-based learning.

Join Us Today!

We are a registered charitable organization that does not receive any government funding to support our initiatives. Your gift will help us to ensure we can continue providing our programs and services to support those who are impacted by Learning Disabilities in Halton and Hamilton.

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