About Us

Since 2003, Orton Gillingham Reading Specialists has been providing highly effective reading and spelling remediation for struggling readers, as well as training and ongoing support for Orton Gillingham practitioners from many different countries.  Owner and Executive Director Karen Sonday and the Reading Specialists on our team are among the most highly-trained Orton Gillingham practitioners in the world.  All Reading Specialists have been trained in Orton Gillingham through an IMSLEC accredited program or by Karen Sonday, Fellow of Orton Gillingham Academy, or both!

Our Philosophy

Learning to read is a complex neurological process, and structured literacy (Orton Gillingham) instruction uses explicit, evidence-based methods that are appropriate for all students but essential for students with learning differences, especially those with dyslexia.  We believe that the whole language/balanced literacy approach currently in use in many schools is not effective for a large percentage of students.

At Orton Gillingham Reading Specialists, reading, handwriting, and spelling instruction are taught concurrently and are specifically tailored to meet the needs of each individual student, using the Orton Gillingham approach. This active-learning approach keeps students engaged with varied activities that help them connect with and fully understand the English language.

Orton-Gillingham is sequential, systematic, multi-sensory, and cumulative and is appropriate for all ages and skill levels. By intellectualizing the language, rather than depending on rote memorization, students are able to make sense of English. By removing the confusion and mystery, what seems to be an illogical system is shown to be quite regular and predictable. Our program offers step-by-step instruction that helps each student master skills in a cumulative way. Our techniques incorporate tactile and visual as well as auditory elements. Our approach ensures that every student has the skills and the confidence to succeed in and out of the classroom. Orton-Gillingham provides a solid foundation upon which individuals can build a thorough understanding of reading, writing, and vocabulary.

One of the most consequential things about having OGRS on your team is that we are a team!  Each Reading Specialist meets regularly with their Team Lead and/or with Karen Sonday about your student.  They share knowledge and best practices.  They get to the bottom of a student’s challenges using the most up-to-date information and techniques.

Because every student has different needs, there are no predetermined timelines or paths of progression. All sessions are unique. We constantly monitor student progress through teacher observation and evaluations every four months. We rely on our own assessments, as well as feedback from their classroom teachers, parents, and the students themselves, to determine success. Some students may reach their goals within months; others may benefit from our services for years.