Recently, the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators published a newsletter with an article on page 9 by a trained educator. Her story is also one I have heard often about the lack of adequate professional training—and the author was a special education teacher.

Here is an excerpt from the article, How Orton-Gillingham Turned my Career Upside Down, by Mary-Elizabeth Langston, M.A., A/AOGPE. Ms. Langston writes:

Here I was, an eager and energetic new educator, filled with current special education knowledge and hard-won experience. I was fresh from graduate school and was in my internship at the county’s most economically disadvantaged elementary school, and no one had ever used the term “dyslexia.” It was not in my vocabulary. I had no actual understanding of what it meant, and I had not met one educator who even referenced dyslexia in the countless IEP and support meetings I had attended…I spent five years as a special education teacher writing IEPs and providing both push-in and pull-out services to elementary students all day long, never truly realizing the specialized instruction my students with dyslexia needed to be successful.

I am convinced that, in general, teachers want what is best for their students. Sometimes, these professionals just don’t know what they don’t know.

Lorrie Wolf, Owner & Director of Educational Therapy Center