We offer beginning reading skills based on the Orton Gillingham (OG) Approach to reading that we adapt for children with special needs (Autism, ADHD, Global Developmental Delays etc.). Beginning reading skills (JK to Grade 2 level) are taught using an individualized, structured, repetitive, phonetic, multi-sensory approach.
Skills learned within this program may include:
- Visual recognition and recall of consonants and vowels sounds; this includes the ability to print the letters based on their name and their sounds.
- Learning to blend then read and print simple three letter words (e.g. mat, cap, hop)
- Learning to read and print words with consonant blends (first two letters and last two letters in words such as frog and sand)
- Learning to read and print basic sight words to support reading and printing sentences
- Learning to read and print two syllable compound words (e.g. batman, sunfish)
- Learning the difference between and open and closed syllable and how it impacts the vowel sound
- Learning to read and spell words with silent e
- Simple spelling rules such as: The “floss” rule and short vowel markers such as -ck, -tch, and -dge
- Learning to read vowel teams
The end goal is to jump start your child’s reading skills while simultaneously supporting any other identified occupational therapy goals (fine motor, gross motor, and sensory processing). Once your child’s reading skills has gained traction, strategies and recommendations can be easily shared with teachers and tutors to continue with their academic progress.
This program is also helpful for children who can read but avoid writing. As occupational therapists, we frequently help children who have mild motor difficulties with handwriting and significant difficulties decoding (breaking apart the various sounds in a word) to write words or sentences. Despite having the ability to copy neatly, some children run into difficulty with writing when they have to multitask between generating an idea or sentence, remembering how to form the letters, and remembering what letters to use to spell the word. By learning the basics of reading and how vowels and consonants work to an automatic level, your child can gain more confidence with writing at school.
As a parent you may wonder what the difference is between working with an occupational therapist or an OG reading tutor. Our therapists are not certified OG Tutors, therefore, children who simply have a language difference in their ability to read and spell would be supported best by an OG tutor.
The occupational therapists at Hand Skills for Children can support children that have needs in addition to difficulties to reading and spelling. By combining the OG approach to reading with our training in rehabilitation and medical background, we offer children a developmentally appropriate jump start into their reading journey.
Aftern our occupational therapy assessment and reading screen, we will be able to recommend the type of support that may work best for your child.