Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

January 19, 2016

Orton-Gillingham and developmental stages of reading



Marie Pacini Arrington, MAT and the other educators at Child and Family Development regularly assess and treat children, teens and young adults with concerns about reading.       

Marie is a certified Orton-Gillingham provider for grades K-12.  Orton-Gillingham is a methodology of reading instruction for people with dyslexia developed by a neurologist, an educator/ psychologist.  According to their website, Institute for Multi-Sensory Education, this theory combines multi-sensory techniques along with the structure of the English language. Those items taught include phonemes and morphemes, such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots and common spelling rules.  Multi-sensory education incorporates the three learning pathways, which are: auditory, kinesthetic, and visual. 

A recent article in a professional journal describes Chall’s stages of reading development, including: 

1. Pre-reading Birth to Kindergarten: At this stage, young children can listen to stories read to them. Many three year olds pretend to read by mimicking adults flipping through books. By ages four and five, children can point to words and pictures when asked. When children enter Kindergarten many can recite the alphabet, recognize written letters and write their own names.

2. Reading and Decoding Grades 1 and 2: During these early years of school, students gain phonemic awareness‚Äîor learn to associate letters with their corresponding sounds. At this level, readers often focus on individual words.

3. Fluency Grades 2 and 3; Children become fluent at recognizing words with less effort. Through repeated readings of familiar stories, children begin to associate printed words with stories they know and understand.

4. Reading for New Learning Grades 4-8; By developing the skills associated with fluency, students can now move on to unfamiliar texts and focus on meaning. In this way, reading develops into a means of gaining new information. Fourth graders typically begin to use these skills across subjects in science, math, history and geography.

5. Develop Multiple Viewpoints High School; These readers have developed to the point where they can appreciate works arguing different points of view. They can also decide how quickly or slowly to read, whether to skim or closely study a text. Ideally, students at this level are reading both for learning and enjoyment.

6. Construction and Reconstruction College and adulthood; Mature readers can read multiple texts and assimilate information to form their own understanding. Perhaps most important of all: readers at this level know what to read versus what not to read as a means of efficiently meeting the goals of their reading.

Marie notes that we are continuing to expand on our reading achievement at all stages of development. We are never done learning and ultimately we are never done with improving our reading skills.

Our 3 Educational Specialists can assist your child in progressing at the appropriate pace and becoming strong readers.  They assist parents in identifying and addressing initial concerns and then developing comprehensive recommendations to move forward, often including Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development with the public school system. Educators also collaborate with schools and community agencies and offer follow-up meetings as parents proceed with their plans. Services can include tutoring, academic coaching, assessment, consultation and parent advocacy.