What is Auditory Processing Disorder?
Auditory Processing is a language processing disorder where a child has significant trouble processing sounds, particularly with the sounds associated with speech. It is a very common learning disability and affects about 5% of school-age children.
What is Orton-Gillingham?
Dr. Samuel T. Orton and Dr. Anna Gillingham developed the Orton-Gillingham approach in the 1930’s. In Orton-Gillingham reading is taught sequentially proceeding from single letters and symbols to one-syllable words and then to longer words. Multisensory approaches are emphasized throughout, with each step of instruction incorporating auditory, visual, and kinesthetic channels. Writing and letter formation are taught systematically, one letter at a time, and each lesson includes emphasis both on auditory and visual aspects of letters and words. Orton-Gillingham includes teaching visual strategies for recognition of phonetically irregular words, and also provides explicit, systematic instruction in the development of vocabulary and reading comprehension.
How does using an Orton-Gillingham reading/spelling program help a child with Auditory Processing Disorder?
- Simultaneous Multisensory Instruction: Children with auditory processing deficits who use all of their senses when they learn (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic) are better able to store and retrieve the information. The child with APD might see the letter B, say its name and sound, and write it in the air all at the same time.
- Intensive Instruction: Reading instruction for children with auditory processing must be much more intense, and offer much more practice, than for regular readers.
- Direct, Explicit Instruction: Children with APD need to be taught directly and explicitly each and every phoneme (sound) of the English language. They must be taught one spelling rule at a time, and practice it until it is stable in both reading and spelling, before introducing a new rule.
- Systematic and Cumulative: Orton-Gillingham starts at the very beginning and creates a solid foundation with no holes. It is taught by presenting one rule at a time and practicing it until the child can automatically and fluently apply that rule both when reading and spelling. Previously learned material is constantly repeated into each new lesson and students progress forward in their reading and spelling with no gaps.
Helene Goldnadel a life coach observes that children with Auditory Processing Disorder need more structure, repetition and differentiation in their reading instruction. They need to learn basic language sounds and the letters that make them, starting from the very beginning and moving forward in a gradual step by step process. This needs to be delivered in a systematic, sequential and cumulative approach. For all of this to “stick” the children will need to do this by using their eyes, ears, voices, and hands.