Jul 102014

14 PROVEN Orton Gillingham Reading Program Choices

When your child is falling behind in reading, you don’t want to mess around with ineffective reading programs. While there are MANY great reading programs on the market, many are NOT effective for kids with dyslexia. For kids with true dyslexia, an orton gillingham reading program is often the best type of program.

Whether your child has true dyslexia or not, Orton Gillingham reading programs for dyslexia are a great choice. The programs listed below are proven dyslexia programs. They are proven by research to be effective for teaching reading to kids who are diagnosed with dyslexia.

Insights about Choosing Orton Gillingham Reading Programs

Whether or not a specific Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia will work for YOUR child depends on your child’s individual learning needs. Therefore, it’s good if you can pay attention to the specifics of each program. Notice what types of activities each program uses for teaching reading.

Each Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia is a little bit different in its teaching focus. If you know your child’s learning style  before choosing an Orton Gillingham Reading Program, you can choose a reading program that teaches the way your child learns EASIEST.

If you pick a program that matches your child’s learning style, and that makes learning easier, then you won’t have to repeat teaching as many times before your child learns to read. Your child will also enjoy the lessons more (or at least, hate them less 😉 ).

Reading “The Dyslexia Help Handbook for ParentsDyslexia Help Handbook for Parents book dyslexic dyslexie books” before purchasing any Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia can help you chose the right program for your child. It could save you money if it prevents you from buying even one Orton Gillingham reading program that isn’t right for YOUR child. 😉

What Orton Gillingham Reading Programs Teach

Orton Gillingham reading program choices teach phonemic awareness through explicit, direct instruction. Effective instruction for overcoming dyslexia begins with the most basic elements, which are the phonemes.

Proven Orton Gillingham reading programs for dyslexia cover every reading detail. The Orton Gillingham Reading method is specific, sequential, and multi-sensory.

Reading about the Orton-Gillingham methodology and other Orton-Gillingham reading programs can help you better understand the O-G method, which are the heart of most dyslexia programs.  Be aware, no single Orton Gillingham reading program is the “best” for teaching every child who has dyslexia.

Learning Styles and Orton Gillingham Reading Programs

To help your child, it helps a lot to know your child’s individual learning preferences and needs. Then pick an Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia that matches your child’s learning style.

orton gillingham reading programorton gillingham reading program

For example, if your child is a kinesthetic or tactile learner, pick an Orton Gillingham reading program that uses a lot of air writing, finger tracing, or other active ways of practicing.  If your child is a visual learner, having colorful imagery included in the teaching materials helps.

If you have the money, and are willing to teach your own child, you can use a scripted Orton Gillingham reading program listed below. These programs have comprehensive and heavily explained insructions. They help parents teach own their kids by following the instructions.

These Orton Gillingham Reading Programs are often used in schools. They are a bit more expensive than programs listed on our Reading Remediation at Home page, but these are proven programs that work for many kids.

Choices For A Scripted, Proven, Orton Gillingham Reading Program for Dyslexia:

The ABeCeDarian Reading Program

This Orton Gillingham reading program is popular among homeschooling moms. It is less expensive than many of the programs. Several learning abled kids’ moms have had great outcomes with ABeCeDarian. They find this Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia easy to use. It has provided great progress for their kids.

All About Reading

All About Reading and All About Spelling

These are cost-effective, easy to follow Orton Gillingham reading programs. AAR and AAS tell you what to do and when to do it. The program also tells you what to say as you’re teaching. Again, these programs are favorites among learning abled kids’ moms because they are easy to follow and cost effective. AAR and AAS combined will provide a top-notch Orton Gillingham reading program to help you teach your child to read.

Barton Reading

This Orton Gillingham Reading Program is somewhat expensive. Parents like it for its clear instructions and thorough reading instruction. It is one of the Learning Abled Kids’ moms’ favorites.  Barton provides great reading progress for most kids.  If you want an excellent Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia and can afford Barton, many parents love Barton.

The New Herman Reading Method

The “old” Herman program is the initial method used with our son. The Herman Reading program has been available for a number of years. Renee Herman was a great help to me in figuring out how and why our school’s reading resource program wasn’t working. This dyslexia program has lots of how to instruction to help you teach your child. This Orton Gillingham Reading Program is one of the better ones for a kinesthetic, tactile, or an active learner.


As described on the SPIRE page, is an Orton-Gillingham fellow’s program.  It has been tested and refined over a number of years.  SPIRE is more ideal for auditory learners than for active learners. This Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia has been modified over time to include the most recent research and best practices.

Wilson Reading

Wilson Reading is a tried and true classic Orton Gillingham Reading Program. It has been around for decades. The Wilson Reading program is used by a number of private schools for teaching children with dyslexia. The program is not as heavily scripted as some of the programs, so this program is a good choice if you’ve had Orton-Gillingham training.

**Saxon Phonics

Saxon is a strong, well-developed reading remediation program. It is also one of the less expensive Orton Gillingham Reading Programs. It includes all materials, teachers guides and student books. This program is a great value.
Saxon Phonics on Amazon.comorton gillingham reading program
Complete Saxon Phonics Intervention, Home Study Kit at ChristianBook.com
Buy Other Saxon Phonics Program products at ChristianBook.com
View Other Materials for Teaching A Child How-to Read at Christianbooks.com
View Reading Comprehension Resources at Christianbooks.com

**LiPS from Lindamood-Bell

LiPS is the same program used at Lindamood-Bell centers. It’s also in use by many private organizations that teach reading. You can order LiPS through Gander Publishing. The kit is expensive, but the program works with most children who struggle with phonemic awareness.

LiPS is a little complex to use. However, if you can read and understand the instructions, it is cheaper to do the program yourself. Having the program offered by the Lindamood-Bell Centers is extremely expensive. Not all children respond well to their parent as their teacher though. So, if your child needs a lot of phonemic awareness training, you may want to look for a provider.

Software-based Dyslexia Programs:

Research shows that the MOST EFFECTIVE way to teach a child with dyslexia to read is to use a direct teaching program (those listed above) and a computer-based practice program. By combining the two teaching methods, your child will have repetitive practice to help him master reading.

A child with true dyslexia requires 200 to 300, or more, repetitions of practice with each single phoneme. Therefore, it’s a rare parent or teacher who has the time and patience to repetitively teach each phoneme that many times. Using a computer program can give your child all of that practice. A computer is also infinitely patient! 🙂

The BEST time of day to use one of these practice programs is right before going to sleep at night. Why? Because research shows that your brain continues to process whatever happened right before bed. That means learning “sticks” better when you study right before sleep. If you have your child use an Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia right before bed each night, then phonemes continue to be stored in your child’s memory. That equals better learning.

Each Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia below is computer-based. Some of them are online, so you can use those programs anytime, anywhere. Others are loaded onto a computer via software download or a CD. Having a program you can practice anytime, anywhere can add flexibility to your child’s learning.

Proven Software-based Orton Gillingham reading program for dyslexia options:


Earobics is designed to teach a child with auditory processing issues. It helps the child “tune in” to key sounds in words and teaches phonemes in relation to print. It also builds concentration and the ability to attend to sounds within words. Some kids can’t “hear” the individual phonemes in a rules based program, so Earobics is a better place to begin for some kids.

**Fast ForWord Early Literacy

The Fast ForWord program, like Earobics, begins with Phonemic Awareness as a starting point. I’ve not seen nor used this program, but many people say it is excellent. It has a LOT of research behind it. Fast ForWord is one of the top computer-based choices.


This program focuses on basic concepts, Following Directions, Phonological Awareness, Auditory Memory, and Sequencing. HearBuilder has research that supports its effectiveness. They also have affordable pricing for HOME users. There is built-in progress reporting, so you don’t ever have to wonder whether your child is progressing through the program. The reports are also great for homeschoolers who have to provide evidence of their child’s work. This program is written for K-8th grade students. However, I think it’d be alright for a high school student who isn’t prone to complaining loudly. The graphics are not overly babyish, which is a complaint some older students have about other programs. Overall, HearBuilder would be a good practice program to use on a daily basis.

**Lexia Reading

Lexia is the program we used. HOWEVER–It has changed and now meets Common Core standards, and they also added TIMED exercises. The timed items are frustrating to kids with a slow processing speed. IF a neurologically slow processing speed is something your child has, this program isn’t likely to be your best fit.  Lexia has numerous different practice activities within 5 levels. The program is very thorough. It begins with basic vowel sounds, and progresses up through roots, prefixes, suffixes, and syllabication. This program is a great teaching tool when used on a daily basis.

Multisensory Reading, Spelling and Penmanship

“This is a multi-sensory reading, spelling and penmanship program. It builds associations between symbols and sounds in the English language. The program uses self-paced repetition. It uses the close association of visual, auditory and kinesthetic elements to improve kid’s language skills.” This program has computer-based and app-based practice. It is a great technology-based, multi-sensory dyslexia program.

Prolexia Ultra Phonics Tutor

This program is great for practicing handwriting and phonemic awareness together. Learning these skills together can help streamline your child’s educational day. Having a shorter day is a great benefit for both you and your child! That said, I HIGHLY recommend getting their “light pen” to use for practice. Using the pen-type of pointer will help your child develop handwriting skills more directly. If your child uses the mouse for the pointer device with the program, the writing skills will not transfer as well to pencil and paper.

You may also want to check out the Free Multisensory Reading and Dyslexia Programs online. Those programs are a good way to engage your child in extra reading practice. There are also great audio-visual or hands on programs you can use as dyslexia programs.  You may also want to check out:

Best Homeschool Curriculum for Kids with Dyslexia, ADHD, or other Learning Disabilities