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Who is the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach for?

The OG approach is an approach to learning language and math that research has been shown to be effective in helping children and adults struggling with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and many other types of learning differences.

The Orton-Gillingham approach to therapeutic tutoring can benefit:

  • Students who are struggling with reading, writing and/or spelling and performing below their expected level in these areas. 
  • Students who have not been successful with other reading programs. 
  • Students who are dyslexic. 
  • Students who guess at words or struggle to read unfamiliar words.

What is the Orton-Gillingham approach?

The OG Approach was developed by Samuel Orton, a doctor and Anna Gillingham, an educational psychologist in the 1930's. The approach to supporting children with Learning Differences was based in science and has grown and remained up to date with current research since then.

At its core, it is an approach and not a method, meaning that it is a style of tutoring that is highly customised to an individual's needs, Practitioners are trained to diagnose the mistakes a child makes in a session, and adapt the lesson to support the missing knowledge. It is typically taught in a 1:1 tutoring situation, however, it has also been adapted for small group environments within classrooms.

Children are taught to read, write, spell and understand math through more than one sense. (Typically the visual, kinesthetic / tactile and auditory senses.)

Language is taught explicitly. Children are taught how to break down the code and make sense of words. OG tutoring is many things, but most importantly it provides a fun, supportive environment where children succeed.

You can view our Standards of Practice here.

What is the science behind this approach?

The Orton Gillingham Approach has been science-based since it's inception in the 1930's. As it is an approach and not a method, Practitioners can stay current with the latest research, and incorporate it into their teaching.

Recent studies by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in the United States have concluded that the best strategy for preventing and correcting reading problems is explicit, systematic instruction that emphasizes:

  • Early letter knowledge and phonemic awareness. Instruction in letter-sound correspondence and spelling generalizations. 
  • Opportunity and encouragement to use spelling-sound knowledge in reading and writing. 
  • Daily sessions for supported and independent reading with attention to fluency and comprehension. 
  • Active exploration of concepts provided in written text. 
The Orton Gillingham approach meets all of these criteria.

Useful Links:

Here are some useful links to other organisations that support a research-based approach to assisting children with Dyslexia or other language-based Learning Differences. OG Canada provides these resources in good faith to support parents who are looking for further information, please note that we do not control or approve the content provided on these websites so please use your own judgement when using any information found within these links.

  • International Dyslexia Association - This website contains a wealth of information on managing Dyslexia. 
  • IDA Ontario - Ontario branch of the International Dyslexia Association. This organization runs webinars for educators and parents. 
  • - This website contains a huge amount of information on many different types of Learning Differences. 
  • LD Online - Information on many types of Learning Differences. 
  • Tilt Parenting - For parents raising differently wired children. 
  • Learning Disabilities Society - A Canadian Society supporting people with Learning Disabilities. 
  • Headstrong Nation - Information to help adults and children with Dyslexia understand and own it. 
  • Dyslexic Advantage - A ‘Premium’ community containing a lot of information. Check out their Youtube page also. 
  • Dyslexia BC - British Columbia based Dyslexia advocacy group. 
  • What's the Word - Supports families with language-based Learning Differences in the Okanagan. 
  • Dyslexia Canada - Committed to helping Canadian children with Dyslexia receive a fair education.
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