Do not despair if your child cannot read. According to an expert in dyslexia, Ron Yoshimoto (Sunday Times Jan 10, 2010),there is a method which has proven to be the most successful in training children with dyslexia to read. This method is called the Orton Gillingham (OG) has been widely used over the past fifty years to train children with learning difficulties in th US and is also widely used in Singapore.
Ron Yoshimoto explains that children with "dyslexia have a 'phonological deficit' leading them to have difficulty decoding words on a phonological level and a cannot break words into separate small units of sound called phonemes"
What exactly is "Orton-Gillingham" Methodology?
Orton-Gillingham based curriculum is multisensory. It is a specific way of teaching children with learning disabilities, and particularly for overcoming dyslexia. The method was created through the joint efforts of Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham. Specifically, Orton-Gillingham programs incorporate specific, sequential, direct, multisensory instruction.
For children with dyslexia, this means they are taught every sound (phoneme) and the representative letter combination(s) that represent the sound, one at a time, in a specific order, in a small group, using multi-sensory teaching methods. The multi-sensory teaching methods may be tracing letters with their finger in sand as they say the sound (not the letter), or tracing the letter on the carpet with their bare feet as they say the sound, making the letters out of clay, or pipe cleaners, or using any other medium that allows them to hear, see, feel, and move while learning their sound/letter combinations.
Children who have this learning disorder will have lower self esteem and in their frustration of being unable to read and write, they may become angry and display other misbehaviours. Thus it is important for parents and those involved in early childhood education to identify any signs of dyslexia in the children under their care. Maybe screening for learning diabilities among preschools children should be made compulsory so that early intervention whuich is crucial in helping the children can be systematically carried out.
The efforts made by a certain parent Chong Hing Pheng, a human resource director for a logistics company, for her son who is severly dyslexic paid off handsomely when her eleven year old gets As for his spelling and English rests. (Sunday Times Jan 20 2010). She is indeed an inspiration and her advice to parents is to move fast to help children with learning disabilities and not to be in denial. We are proud of you Ms Chong!!!