3 Common Myths About Reading Intervention

Today we wanted to have a little real talk with all of you. We wanted to address three common myths we keep hearing about research-based reading intervention.

Orton-Gillingham Reading Instruction

1 - You need to follow a program with fidelity to get results.

This presumes that the publisher of a curriculum knows more about the students you are working with than you do. We just do not believe that for a second. The problem with this myth and this viewpoint, is that it takes all authority away from you and all of your incredible knowledge that you have over your students. You know far more about your setting, your situation, and your students than does someone who has put together a one-size fits all approach.

We want to be clear -

It’s okay to start with a script, and it’s good to have an outline, a structure, a foundation that’s based in principles. We need these things to make sure we aren’t missing things. We aren’t saying you should be throwing your intervention time around all willy-nilly, you should not be doing that. However, we don’t need ROBOT interventionists and ROBOT teachers feeling like they can’t adapt and adjust based on the needs they are seeing in the moment.

Responsive reading instruction is the core ingredient to massive literacy growth for our students.

Following a program with fidelity eliminates that ability to be truly responsive. It goes against the very core of the Orton-Gillingham methodology that has been so widely accepted as the gold-standard in reading instruction.

Keep in mind, I have a research background…I get the importance of fidelity…in research. In practice, however, we need to throw that concept right out the window.

2 - You should not be providing research-based (using the Orton-Gillingham approach) unless you’re certified.

It breaks my heart when I hear talented educators saying that they can’t help students yet using research-based principles because they aren’t certified.

WOAH, hold the phone. WHAT?! I hate that this myth is being spread so widely by none other than the very people who make massive amounts of money off the fact that you “need to be certified” before you can start helping kids. You don’t need approval from the powers that be to make a MASSIVE difference for your students.

If you’re a life long learner and you want a certification - awesome, we commend you and salute you for your steadfast determination and commitment to excellence. But do not, for one second, allow the fact that you aren’t “certified” stop you from using the Orton-Gillingham based approach to begin supporting students on their pathway toward grade-level reading and writing skills.

Don’t let “not being certified” be your way of hiding, of not serving the students who need you.

We’re giving you your power back right now to go make that massive difference for these struggling students.

3 - Targeted & Responsive Intervention is Best Provided by Computer-Based Programs


This last one kills me. While we love data and are entirely driven by data-based instruction, we do not for one minute think it can provide better instruction that you. We need connection with a student or our students far more than we need data that can be mined with a fine tooth comb.

Should we be taking data, yes, should we be using that data to inform our instruction, YES!

Should we use computer-based literacy programs to teach our students because the computer knows better about what students need than we do…NO!

Computer-based programs are a great supplement but absolutely cannot and should not be used in the place of a qualified interventionist who has the ability to make a connection with students in real life.

The bottom line…

Let’s stop doubting ourselves and our intervention and get to work.

Check out our video by clicking here where we talk about each of these myths!

And if you want to hear more about how you can provide targeted, research-based reading intervention without feeling like a robot - we’d love to have you join us for >>>our totally free upcoming online training<<<

We’d love to see you there!