Research tells us that an interventionist for a person with dyslexia should have extensive training in a structured literacy approach to teaching those who struggle with language. While there are several good "programs" available for teaching students, an interventionist should not be limited to a script provided in a program or "box". Rather than focusing on the specific program, we encourage parents to focus on the approach being taken.
Some learners with dyslexia may struggle more with spelling, some more with reading, some with processing speeds, some with high intellectual reasoning skills, etc. Children are individual and diverse and the needs of the child with dyslexia will vary greatly from learner to learner. Therefore, the interventionist should be well trained and ready to meet those diverse needs.
Learn more about approaches vs programs
The Orton-Gillingham approach (or OG/MSL) was developed in the 1920s-1930s as a multidisciplinary approach to teaching those with dyslexia the intricacies of the code of the language. The approach has evolved over the decades but is still seen as the gold standard for intervention for those with dyslexia as OG interventionists have been highly trained to understand the needs of the dyslexic learner from a educational, neurological, and emotionally sound perspective. The strategies, elements of teaching, procedures and learner considerations have been carefully studied from multidisciplinary perspectives and have been deemed the most effective educational therapy to remediate reading and writing difficulties.
Learn more about Orton-Gillingham
Structured Literacy is the approach that is endorsed by International Dyslexia Association. Structured Literacy instruction evolved from the OG approach. It includes the key language elements that OG uses. Each step in the approach must be taught systematically and explicitly. Teachers guide students through the learning process to ensure that they master key concepts. In an effort to bring effective reading instruction to all students, the International Dyslexia Association has developed Knowledge and Practice Standards for Reading Teachers and an accreditation program for teacher training institutions.
Learn more about Structured Literacy
There are accredited service providers registered with professional academies around the world. Those who have met basic training requirements, including a supervised practicum, will be registered with a professional academy. There are several credentialing organizations that accredit those who have achieved the level of training necessary to provide the necessary educational therapy to those with dyslexia and other language based learning difficulties.
When seeking a service provider, a parent should recognize that unfortunately there are some service providers who have not completed or attempted training and may misrepresent themselves. We encourage all parents to check the credentials of any service provider offering services. Rest assured, a request for confirmation of credentials should never be unwelcomed by a professional. Specialty coursework for supporting those with dyslexia is not generally provided with university training, so service providers should have accreditations in addition to their university degrees. Credentialing agencies may differ in the coursework required for an educational therapist, but each holds high standards for training.
The International Dyslexia Association has created a Knowledge and Practice Standards document that is a helpful resource in understanding the kind of background knowledge that dyslexia specialists should hold.
OG or Structured Literacy Credentialing Organizations
The Canadian Academy of Therapeutic Tutors, Orton-Gillingham (CATT, OG): CATT, OG (also has members abroad)
In the US (also has members abroad and in Canada):
The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) The Center for Effective Reading Instruction (CERI) Academic Language Therapy Association (ALTA) (mainly US focused)
In the UK (also has members abroad):
Other Canadian Resources for Intervention: