What is Research-Based Reading Intervention?

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Often educators struggle to teach students with dyslexia, not because they are poor educators or because dyslexic students are less bright than any other student, but because these students need a different approach to reading that is not mainstreamed in common curriculum.

The most well-known effective and research-based instruction is known as Orton-Gillingham. Orton-Gillingham (often known as "OG") reading instruction has been touted as the "gold standard" for reading intervention for struggling students. It is important to recognize that "OG" is not a curriculum, it's a methodology founded by Drs. Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham.

This methodology was based on the principles that effective reading instruction needed to be:

  1. Sequential, systematic, and cumulative - moving from the most foundational concepts to the more complex concepts within our language and building on itself.
  2. It needed to be multisensory utilizing as many brain pathways as possible - including visual (the letter you see), auditory (the sound you hear), and kinesthetic (the formation of the letter with your hand). Utilizing all of these pathways simultaneously helps create stronger brain pathways for struggling readers.
  3. Finally, it needed to be flexible and intelligently-designed - meaning that every aspect of the curriculum needs to be individualized and adapted to each student.

A major requirement of research-based intervention is that it has undergone independent peer-reviewed (studies not done by the company promoting the curricula) meta-analyses (combining results of several studies) with several researchers investigating the outcomes of students who have received this type of intervention versus those who have received other instruction. Orton-Gillingham instruction has been the most widely accepted research-based intervention for struggling readers. [Current Status of Treatments for Dyslexia: Critical Review - Journal of Child Neurology].