The language-based learning problem known as dyslexia affects a large portion of the population. The role of an Orton Gillingham tutor is important in helping dyslexic students overcome their reading and writing challenges. This is where the Orton Gillingham approach, a structured, multisensory method, has proven to be effective. Here are some important tips that Orton Gillingham tutors can use to help dyslexic students on their journey to literacy.
A thorough understanding of dyslexia is necessary before you can support dyslexic students effectively. Laziness or a lack of intelligence are not causes of dyslexia. It is a neurological disorder that alters how people process language. Understanding the difficulties dyslexic children face will help you better adapt your teaching strategies to fit their unique requirements.
Build a Strong Foundation
The Orton Gillingham approach is based on a structured, sequential curriculum. Start by building a strong foundation in phonological awareness and phonics. Dyslexic students often struggle with these fundamental skills, so spending extra time on them is crucial. Use multisensory activities like tapping out sounds and words to reinforce these concepts.
With different strengths and weaknesses, every dyslexic child is an individual. To best meet each student’s needs, it is important to customize your instruction. Conduct assessments to identify areas of struggle and tailor your lessons accordingly. Some students may need more practice with decoding, while others may require extra support in fluency or comprehension.
When working with dyslexic students, consistency is essential. Short lessons are more effective than longer ones. Encourage students to practice what they have learned regularly. Homework assignments that reinforce the day’s lesson can be beneficial, but keep them manageable to prevent frustration.
Use Multisensory Techniques
The Orton Gillingham approach emphasizes multisensory learning, which engages multiple senses simultaneously. This approach helps dyslexic students reinforce their learning and make stronger connections in their brains. Incorporate activities that involve seeing, hearing, and touching, such as sandpaper letters, flashcards, and sound blending exercises.
Due to difficulty in reading, children with dyslexia experience low self-esteem. As an Orton Gillingham tutor, part of your role is to boost their confidence level. Celebrate their successes, no matter how small, and create a positive learning environment where mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth.
Building vocabulary is an important part of literacy development. Dyslexic students may struggle with word recognition, so teach vocabulary explicitly. Use flashcards, context clues, and word games to help students expand their word bank. Encourage them to read widely to encounter new words in context.
Foster Reading Comprehension
While decoding skills are essential, reading comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading instruction. Incorporate comprehension strategies such as predicting, summarizing, and asking questions. Help students make connections between what they read and their own experiences.
Stay Informed and Adapt
The field of dyslexia research is continually evolving. Stay informed about the latest developments, teaching techniques, and resources available for dyslexic students. Be flexible and willing to adapt your methods based on new insights and your students’ progress.
Communicate with Parents and Instructors
Collaboration is essential when working with dyslexic students. Keep open lines of communication with parents, classroom teachers, and any specialists involved in the student’s education. Share progress reports, strategies, and recommendations to ensure a consistent approach to support.
Address Emotional Challenges
Dyslexic children may feel frustrated, anxious, or even embarrassed due to their struggles with reading and writing. Be sensitive to their emotional needs and give them a place to feel free to express themselves. Include mindfulness and relaxation practices to help with stress management and build emotional resilience.
Set Realistic Goals
While it is important to have high expectations for your dyslexic students, it is equally important to set realistic goals. Understand that progress may be nonlinear, with occasional plateaus or
regressions. Setting achievable short-term goals allows students to experience success and build confidence on their journey to literacy.
Empower Students for Self-Advocacy
One of your responsibilities as Orton Gillingham tutors is to enable your dyslexic students to become self-advocates. Inform them about the strengths and challenges of dyslexia. Encourage them to express their needs to classmates and teachers so they can get the support they need in the classroom.
Promote a Love of Reading
Ultimately, your goal as an Orton Gillingham tutor is to instill a love of reading in your students. Make reading an enjoyable experience by introducing them to age-appropriate books that align with their interests and reading level. Encourage them to explore different authors.
Supporting dyslexic students as an Orton Gillingham tutor is a rewarding but challenging task. By understanding dyslexia, offering customized instruction, and using multisensory methods, you can make a significant impact on your dyslexic children reading ability. Foster confidence, promote comprehension, and work collaboratively to help dyslexic children unlock their full potential as readers and writers.