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Frequently Asked Questions

By Parents

Are you wondering if Structured Literacy - OG is the right choice for your child?

Feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of finding a Structured Literacy - OG Practitioner that is the right fit for your family?

Many families have the same questions, so we have shared them here in three sections. Scroll through the entire list, or click the link to get to the section that interests you the most. To view an answer, click on the question.

Click on the section you are interested in:

Why work with a certified OG Practitioner?

What difference do credentials make? How to spot a certified OG Practitioner

Why work with a certified OG Practitioner?

Simply put, people who put in the time and effort to become certified are people who demonstrate a committment to professionalism, life long learning, and a passion for research based interventions to support children with language based learning differences.

Who certifies OG Practitioners?

The certifying body for Orton-Gillingham (OG) in Canada is called OG Canada (Formerly the Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors (CATT-OG)). Most Canadian practitioners are certified through us, however there are other USA based accrediting organisations that some Canadians belong to.

What training or education do certified Structured Literacy - OG Practitioners have?

To become a OG Canada certified Structured Literacy - OG practitioner, a trainee must have a university degree or equivalent training/experience, have successfully completed courses taught by an OG Canada certified trainer, and completed a supervised practicum.

Once these requirements have been met, the trainee is eligible to become a OG Canada Associate-Interim and a certified structured literacy - OG practitioner. To become a OG Canada Associate, a Practitioner has to complete 100 hours of documented field experience and undergo a final evaluation by an OG Canada supervisor.

Is there a code of ethics for certified OG Practitioners?

Yes, OG Canada certified OG practitioners are obliged to follow a Code of Ethics & Standards. You can see the Code of Ethics & Standards right here.

What else sets apart certified practitioners?

New practitioners undergo a comprehensive screening process. Practitioners are required to keep a current criminal record check with us. Practitioners are required to take abuse prevention training annually and follow a strict abuse prevention best practices and procedures. Practitioners are required to keep up-to-date with best practices by completing pro-d every year. To certify, practitioners have proven that they are effective at interveining and helping children learn skills they previously struggled with. Certified Canadian practitioners are part of a community that supports and mentors from within. People who certify have chosen to measure themselves against a standard of quality that we stand by. Certification brings oversight. OG Canada has a disciplinary procedure in place should a family need to make a complaint regarding one of our members.

Why are OG tutors now called OG practitioners?

Someone can have very few qualifications and call themselves a tutor. Certified OG practitioners, on the other hand, have extensive training and mentoring in teaching children with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other language-based learning disabilities.

Why is it important to check that a Practitioner is certified by OG Canada?

Unfortunately, there are unqualified tutors in the marketplace who use the Orton-Gillingham name to charge more for tutoring. When you hire an OG Canada-certified practitioner, you know that the practitioner has met certain criteria and is qualified to implement the OG approach.

Are all tutors at OG Centres certified by OG Canada?

Often, the OG Centre director has been certified by OG Canada, but not always. It’s okay to ask to see the director’s qualifications and to ask about the qualifications of their tutors. No one ought to be offended by a parent doing due diligence.

What if I am not sure if an OG Practitioner is certified by OG Canada?

Check out our membership directory. You can search our database a number of different ways to find if the practitioner you are looking for is listed there.

Hiring a Practitioner

The nuts and bolts of how to find the right fit for your family.

How can I improve my chances of finding an OG Practitioner?

There is a high demand for OG Practitioners. If you approach an OG Practitioner with an accommodating attitude, you are more likely to find an OG Practitioner for your child. For example, be willing to drive to the OG Practitioner's home-classroom or compromise on lessons times.

What’s the most important thing to do when I phone an OG Practitioner for the first time?

Be prepared to leave a message, including the best time to call back. Many OG practitioners work in a school during the day and/or work with their OG students after school and evenings and are not available to answer the phone.

What questions should I ask when contacting an OG Practitioner?

  • Is the practitioner taking students right now?
  • Does the practitioner like working with children like yours? (such as: introverted or active, primary-aged or teen) 
  • Does the practitioner have the training or experience to work with additional diagnoses such as ADHD, autism, or anxiety? 
  • What kind of contract will you be expected to sign? 
  • What are your payment options? 
  • Does the practitioner issue receipts? 
  • How often will you get a report on your child’s progress? 
  • Is the practitioner certified by OG Canada or AOGPE? 
  • Is the practitioner a current member of their OG professional organization? (OG Canada, or AOGPE)

Why should I get a receipt from my child's OG Practitioner?

A receipt provides a record of services rendered and fees collected. In addition, you may be able use the receipts as a medical expense on your income tax return, if your child has been diagnosed with a language-based learning disability by a qualified psychologist. Check with your tax professional.

How do I interview an OG Practitioner?

First, contact all OG Practitioners referred to you by the OGP Referral Coordinator. Ask the questions listed in the question above. Once you find one or two OG Practitioners that you like, arrange to meet them face-to-face — either at your home if they travel to teach, or at the practitioner’s home-classroom. When you meet an OG Practitioner in person, be sure to bring your child. That way you will be able to see if your child and the practitioner are a good fit.

What do I look for when I meet an OG Practitioner for the first time?

  • Ask to see the practitioner’s OG Canada (or CATT-OG) certificate (proves that the practitioner is certified). 
  • Ask to see the practitioner’s membership card for the OG Canada for the current year (proves that the practitioner is a member in good standing). 
  • Ask to see a copy of their Criminal Record Check if you are not sure that the practitioner is a member of OG Canada (Criminal Record Checks are kept up to date automatically if a practitioner is a member in good standing with OG Canada) 
  • Does the OG Practitioner make their policies clear to you? 
  • Does the OG Practitioner establish a connection with your child? 
  • Does the OG Practitioner inspire confidence in you?

What policies should I ask the OG Practitioner about?

  • Lesson cancellation policy: What happens when your child cannot attend a scheduled lesson? 
  • Contract cancellation policy: How much notice does the practitioner need if you want to cease lessons? 
  • Invoicing and payment policies: What kind of payment is accepted? Are invoices and/or receipts issued? How often? 
  • Reporting policies: How often are progress reports issued? What is included?

What sort of business practices should an OG Practitioner have?

An OG Practitioner should have a business license. They also should have insurance, including liability insurance and home insurance (if they teach from home), and liability insurance and worker's compensation (if they come to your home). The OG Practitioner should also have a Criminal Record Check completed every five years. (Criminal Record Checks are kept up to date automatically if the practitioner is a member in good standing with OG Canada.)

What if I am not sure an OG Practitioner is going to be a good fit for my child?

Ask the OG Practitioner if they offer a three-month trial contract. At the end of three months you can meet with the OG Practitioner to decide if your child should continue.

What are OG Lessons like?

Learn more about how OG works

How many times a week should a child have OG?

A child with dyslexia needs one hour of OG at least twice a week to make consistent progress. Some children need OG 3-5 times a week.

How long will my child have to have OG lessons?

How long a child needs OG lessons depends on the severity of their dyslexia. It also depends on a child's cognitive ability, processing speed, and memory issues. Many children work with an OG Practitioner for 6-36 months. Some children need to work with an OG Practitioner for several years.

What is the best age to start OG lessons?

If your child is having trouble learning to read, or if their teacher tells you they are behind their classmates, get help for your child right away. Research has shown that early intervention increases the likelihood that a child will catch up to their peers.

How will I know if OG is working for my child?

You will begin to see improvement in your child's ability to sound out (decode) words when they read and sound out (encode) words when they write. You may also see improvement in their confidence and in their attitude towards their schoolwork.

What if I notice no improvement after six months of OG?

If your child has not shown any progress in six months of twice weekly OG lessons, then something is not working. Talk to your child's OG Practitioner to see what they recommend.

What happens in a one hour OG language lesson?

In a typical lesson a child may review sound-symbol relationships, practice penmanship, review spelling concepts, and review non-phonetic (sight) words. They may also learn a new sound, read a passage, and learn a new non-phonetic (sight) word. Some students may work on phonological awareness and alphabet skills to build readiness for learning to read. More advanced students may learn a grammar concept, work on composition skills, or learn a new prefix, suffix, or root.

What happens in a one hour OG math lesson?

In OG Math, or Multisensory Math as it is also called, students use manipulatives to help them understand math concepts and learn how to solve equations at a visual and kinesthetic (body movement) level. In a typical OG math lesson, a student may review a recently learned math operation (such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) or math concept (such as place value, skip counting, fractions, and decimals). They may also practice solving equations and word problems, as well as penmanship skills. In some cases, number identification, sequencing, and patterning are taught in order to support a student’s readiness to learn foundational math concepts.

Why does OG tutoring cost more than other kinds of tutoring?

OG Practitioners are highly trained to work with children with language-based learning disabilities. In addition, each and every OG lesson is prepared specifically for your child and their needs. The hourly fee also covers administrative costs, photocopying, lesson materials, reports, phone calls, emails, and travel time (if the OG Practitioner travels to their students' homes to teach).

How will an OG Practitioner accommodate my child's learning style?

OG Practitioners are trained to diagnose a child's specific gaps in their language learning. The child learns only what they need to know at the speed at which they can learn it.

How will an OG Practitioner accommodate my child's individuality?

OG Practitioners are flexible in their approach. If a child can only learn while sitting under the table, the lesson takes place under the table. If a child loves sports, language activities will reference sports as much as possible.

What homework will my child get from their OG lesson?

Most students are given small cards that illustrate the language concepts they learned that day. These cards should be reviewed daily. OG Math students are occasionally given math worksheets to be completed at home.

Will I get progress reports from my child's OG Practitioner?

Most OG Practitioners issue a progress report every 1-3 months. These reports can be shared with your child's teacher and other professionals.

What is included in an OG progress report?

Most OG Practitioners include language concepts the child has learned, the results of reading fluency assessments, and details regarding the child’s progress and continued needs.

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