Ladder Learning Services offers the following programs (some programs may not be available in certain locations). Students are first given a thorough assessment to determine which program or approach will best fit their unique needs.
- Orton-Gillingham Approach
- Barton Reading and Spelling System
- Foundations in Sounds
- the Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program
- the LiPS® Program
- the On Cloud 9® math Program
- Mortensen Math / Math-U-See
- Handwriting Without Tears
- Structured Word Inquiry
- Equipped for Reading Success (Dr. David Kilpatrick)
Most of the above programs stem from the Orton-Gillingham approach, the original time-tested program for children and adults with learning disabilities.
About The Orton-Gillingham Approach
Ladder Learning Services uses the Orton-Gillingham approach (also known as Structured Literacy) for both dyslexic and non-dyslexic students who are struggling with reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, math, and other subjects. Educators have been using this method since the 1930s, it is supported by scientific evidence, and can be used to teach nearly any student to read and spell.
History of the Orton-Gillingham Approach
Samuel T. Orton was a doctor who researched people with reading difficulties. In the 1920s, he came upon the idea of multisensory instruction (introducing tactile (touch) and kinesthetic (movement) elements to traditional auditory and visual teaching methods) in order to engage both the right and left hemispheres of the student’s brain.
Orton later began working with educator and psychologist Anna Gillingham, who developed the systematic, structured approach to learning phonics, syllabication, morphemes, and spelling which we call the Orton-Gillingham approach.
The Orton-Gillingham approach has been used since the 1930s in public schools, private schools, and both non-profit and for-profit tutoring centers to help dyslexic children and adults learn to read, write, and spell with confidence.
Instructors have since adapted it to teach other subjects such as mathematics to students with dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and other learning and processing disorders. We at Ladder Learning Services have experience with many types of learning differences and understand how to individualize instruction to each unique situation.
Features of the Orton-Gillingham Approach
The Orton-Gillingham approach is based on the science of studying and teaching language, understanding the nature of human language, the mechanisms involved in learning, and the language-learning processes in individuals.
Orton-Gillingham teaching sessions are action-oriented and involve constant interaction between the teacher and the student and the simultaneous use of multiple sensory input channels reinforcing each other for optimal learning. Using auditory, visual, tactile, and kinesthetic elements, all skills taught are reinforced by having the student listen, speak, read, write and move. For example, a dyslexic learner is taught to see the letter A, say its name and sound and write it in the air – all at the same time. The approach requires intense instruction with ample practice. The use of multiple input channels enhances memory storage and retrieval by providing multiple “triggers” for memory.
- Structured, Sequential, and Cumulative
The Orton-Gillingham teacher introduces the elements of the subject systematically. Sound-symbol associations along with rules and generalizations are introduced in a logical, understandable order. For reading, students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation. Then they blend the sounds into syllables and words. Students learn the elements of language– consonants, vowels, digraphs, blends, and diphthongs—in an orderly fashion. They then proceed to advanced structural elements such as syllable types, roots, affixes, and words of foreign origin. As students learn new material, they continue to review old material so that is becomes automatic. The tutor addresses vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, reading comprehension, mathematics, or other subjects in a similar structured, sequential, and cumulative manner.
Students learn about the history of the subject and study the many generalizations and rules that govern its structure. They also learn how best they can learn and apply the knowledge necessary for achieving competency and mastery of the subject.
Orton-Gillingham teaching is diagnostic and prescriptive in nature. Teachers try to ensure the learner is not simply recognizing a pattern and applying it without understanding. When confusion of a previously taught rule is discovered, it is re-taught.
A great deal of research supports the use of the core elements found in the Orton-Gillingham method in teaching dyslexic students to read.
Here are some highlights:
- Overview of the 3-part drill in an Orton-Gillingham Lesson
- The International Dyslexia Association’s factsheets on Orton-Gillingham #1 #2
- The National Institute for Literacy recommends science-based teaching practices which use phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension
- The Texas Education Agency’s 12 Components of a successful reading program for young readers
- Read testimonials from Ladder Learning Services clients
Orton-Gillingham For Non-Dyslexics
Because Orton-Gillingham has all the components of a successful reading or mathematics program for young children and is prescriptive, structured, and multi-sensory, it is a great form of basic skills instruction for all children. Many private schools use the Orton-Gillingham method to teach language arts and/or mathematics to all of their students. Read testimonials from teachers who took an Orton-Gillingham course through the Institute for Multisensory Education.
What about adults?
Because of the individualized nature of Orton-Gillingham instruction, it is suitable for all ages. Adults who feel like they never received a proper foundation in language arts, writing skills, or mathematics will find this method “fills in the gaps” in their education without going over things they already know. It is also a revelation to many adults who have never experienced learning that was “hands-on” to realize that reading, writing, spelling and/or mathematics can actually be fun! Many adults may have undiagnosed dyslexia or other learning problems and never received the proper instruction while they were in school. Luckily we know that it is never too late to learn!
Orton-Gillingham For Math, Grammar, and other subjects
Though originally used to teach reading skills to students with dyslexia, the Orton-Gillingham approach has since been adapted to use in teaching handwriting skills, math, science, grammar, and other subjects. The core priciples of systematic and sequential instruction which is individualized remain the same, even if the subject matter is different. Ladder Learning Services tutors are trained in applying Orton-Gillingham tutoring techniques to other subjects as needed, and our tutors are specially trained in an Orton-Gillingham math program.
Orton-Gillingham Online Lessons
Using the latest technology, we are now able to deliver Orton-Gillingham lessons online to students all over the world. Online lessons are just like a face-to-face lesson, with interactive and multisensory elements. Tutors can see their students and vice-versa with webcams and the Zoom software, and both can can use an interactive white-board to complete tasks as if on a table-top. The same multisensory elements which are present in a face-to-face session are able to be replicated through the use of the mouse, touch-screen, and keyboard.
Disclaimer: Ladder Learning Services is NOT Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes nor is it affiliated with, certified, endorsed, licensed, monitored or sponsored by Lindamood-Bell, Nanci Bell, Phyllis Lindamood or Pat Lindamood. Lindamood-Bell – an international organization creating and implementing unique instructional methods and programs for quality intervention to advance language and literacy skills – in no way endorses or monitors the services provided by Ladder Learning Services. Handwriting Without Tears is a registered trademark of Handwriting Without Tears.