Other Multisensory Techniques
There are several major approaches to teaching reading to children with dyslexia that are multisensory, but do not follow the precepts of Orton-Gillingham. Some of these include phonics-based instruction whereas others focus on other strategies. Two leading reading methods, Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes and Davis Dyslexia Correction, also include strategies aimed at treating underlying issues associated with dyslexia.
Phono-Graphix is a multisensory, phonetic approach that is faster paced than Orton-Gillingham and encourages children to apply concepts quickly to reading real text. The method was developed by Carmen and Geoffrey McGuiness, authors of the book Reading Reflex.
At the outset, children are taught that letters are pictures of sounds, that some sound pictures have more than one letter, and that some sound pictures represent more than one sound. Starting with eight sound pictures — six consonants and two vowels — the student immediately begins building and reading words. Manipulatives are used in a variety of games and exercises, along with a whiteboard and markers. During writing practice, the child says the sound of each letter as he writes each word.
A key aspect of Phono-Graphix is avoidance of drills. Rather than requiring that the child fully master every letter sound before progressing, the concepts are reinforced through the child's practice and experience with reading words in context and with immediate correction of errors by the teacher or tutor. Because of its relative simplicity and faster pace, many parents prefer to start with this approach, especially if working on their own with their child.
Simultaneous Oral Spelling (SOS)
Simultaneous Oral Spelling is a multisensory technique to reinforce the sequence of letters in a word that uses letter naming rather than relying on blending of letter sounds. The teacher says a word and the child repeats it, reinforcing the auditory component. Next, while looking at the word, the child names the letters, reinforcing both the visual component and the left-to-right sequential aspect of letter combinations.
Then, the child writes the word, naming each letter as he writes, bringing in the kinesthetic element through the movement associated with writing. Finally, the child reads the word aloud, again associating visual and auditory pathways. This technique is often used in conjunction with Orton-Gillingham methods to teach phonetically irregular words, but it also may be effective as a separate technique for a child who has difficulty using or applying phonetic rules.