Altuz Academy is Malaysia’s premier Orton-Gillingham reading specialist centre. The Orton-Gillingham Approach is the global reference standard for reading and remedial reading instruction and we are very pleased to introduce this evidence-based and internationally recognized approach to make literacy more accessible to all Malaysians.
Our therapists are all AOGPE-trained, a specialized and comprehensive dyslexia teacher training accredited by both the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). Our centre is also guided by Fellows with over 25 years of experience.
We invest in only trained teachers because the OG approach relies on the skilled instruction of our therapists who will plan, prepare, adapt and customize lessons to help the child unlock their reading potential. For this reason, the IDA no longer accredit programs because, “...any curriculum will only be effective with deep teacher knowledge and training (IDA, 2016).”
Altuz is Latin for “high” or “elevated” and our academy is named as such because it is our greatest desire to avail to those with a learning difference, the joy of learning and discovering; and to grow confidently towards a higher level of excellence.
Orton-Gillingham is an instructional approach intended primarily for use with individuals who have difficulty with reading, spelling, and writing of the sort associated with dyslexia. It is most properly understood and practiced as an approach, not a method, program, system or technique. In the hands of a well-trained and experienced instructor, it is a powerful tool of exceptional breadth, depth, and flexibility.
The essential curricular content and instructional practices that characterize the Orton-Gillingham Approach are derived from two sources: first from a body of time-tested knowledge and practice that has been validated over the past 70 years, and second from scientific evidence about how individuals learn to read and write; why a significant number have difficulty in doing so; how having dyslexia makes achieving literacy skills more difficult; and which instructional practices are best suited for teaching such individuals to read and write.
The Approach is so named because of the foundational and seminal contributions of Samuel T. Orton and Anna Gillingham. Samuel Torrey Orton (1879-1948) was a neuropsychiatrist and pathologist. He was a pioneer in focusing attention on reading failure and related language processing difficulties. He brought together neuroscientific information and principles of remediation. As early as 1925 he had identified the syndrome of dyslexia as an educational problem. Anna Gillingham (1878-1963) was a gifted educator and psychologist with a superb mastery of the language. Encouraged by Dr. Orton, she compiled and published instructional materials as early as the 1930s which provided the foundation for student instruction and teacher training in what became known as the Orton-Gillingham Approach.
The Orton-Gillingham Approach is most often associated with a one-on-one teacher-student instructional model. Its use in small group instruction is not uncommon. A successful adaptation of the Approach has demonstrated its value for classroom instruction. Reading, spelling and writing difficulties have been the dominant focus of the approach although it has been successfully adapted for use with students who exhibit difficulty with mathematics.
The Orton-Gillingham Approach always is focused upon the learning needs of the individual student. Students with dyslexia need to master the same basic knowledge about language and its relationship to our writing system as any who seek to become competent readers and writers. However, because of their dyslexia, they need more help than most people in sorting, recognizing, and organizing the raw materials of language for thinking and use. Language elements that non-dyslexic learners acquire easily must be taught directly and systematically.
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge. There are several types of dyslexia. By understanding the types of dyslexia an individual has, we can come up with strategies to help.
This definition has been adopted by the IDA Board of Directors, Nov. 12, 2002.
Dysgraphia is the condition of impaired letter writing by hand. Impaired handwriting can interfere with learning to spell words in writing and speed of writing text. Research has shown that orthographic coding in working memory is related to handwriting and is often impaired in dysgraphia. Orthographic coding refers to the ability to store written words in working memory while the letters in the word are analyzed or the ability to create permanent memory of written words linked to their pronunciation and meaning.
OWL is impaired language or morphology – a person with this condition struggles with word parts that mark meaning and grammar; syntax – structures for ordering words and understanding word functions; finding words in memory, and/or making inferences that go beyond what is stated in text.
Twice exceptional or 2e is a term used to describe students who are both intellectually gifted and learning disabled, which includes students with dyslexia, dysgraphia or OWL LD. It is commonly believed that many 2e students are misclassified, neglected, or receive inadequate intervention. For gifted students who also have dyslexia, it is important to advocate with equal energy for both the disability and the ability.
This term is used when a child takes longer to reach certain development milestones than other children their age. This might include learning to walk or talk, movement skills, learning new things, and interacting with others socially and emotionally.