Well respected for over 75 years, but newly discovered by many, the Orton-Gillingham instructional approach is rooted in years of neurological, psychological and educational research. It was a combination of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Samuel T. Orton and education psychologist Anna Gillingham’s research that began the methodology that is today referred to as “Orton-Gillingham.” With the help of Bessie Stillman, a classroom teacher, the Orton-Gillingham instructional processes were developed.
As with anything that changes over time and in the hands of many, it is critical that programs using the label Orton-Gillingham retain all the non-negotiable elements of instruction without compromise or dilution. To that end, the most outstanding of these courses and programs have sought accreditation through organizations such as IMSLEC (International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council), IDA (International Dyslexia Association) and/or AOGPE (Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners). Attending a workshop, a short course or simply reading books and manuals is not a sufficient or effective way to learn the breadth, depth and scope of knowledge necessary to successfully instruct students or adequately train teachers.
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