Students with learning disabilities often have difficulty with word recognition, decoding and spelling. These fundamental difficulties impact reading comprehension. Research indicates that scaffolded, multi-sensory programs are successful in teaching students with learning disabilities the fundamentals of language and reading.  At Cottonwood Day School, we integrate a multi-sensory approach across all academic content area subjects. Incorporating these approaches involves presenting new material and reviewing previously learned material using visual, auditory and kinesthetic (see glossary) methods. Not every child encodes information the same way, some are more visual, some more auditory and others are kinesthetic learners. Encoding and processing language are essential components of learning to read.  Learning academic content this way ensures retention of presented information. We incorporate Orton-Gillingham instruction as the foundation of our reading program and Touch Math as the foundation of our math program.

Multisensory Approach
What is meant by multisensory teaching? Multisensory teaching is an important aspect of the instruction used by clinically trained teachers for dyslexic students. Effective instruction for students with dyslexia is also explicit, direct, cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of language. Multisensory learning involves the simultaneous use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways to enhance written language memory and learning. Links are consistently made between the pathways of visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear) and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) learning to read and spell.
Orton-Gillingham Approach
The Orton - Gillingham Approach is a direct, explicit, multi-sensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when individuals, such as those with dyslexia, cannot easily read, write, and spell. It is understood and practiced most appropriately as an approach, not a method, program, or system. It is a powerful tool of exceptional breadth, depth, and flexibility in the hands of a well-trained and experienced instructor.
Touch Math Program
TouchMath is a multisensory math program that makes critical math concepts appealing and accessible for students who struggle to understand grade-level content. TouchMath is committed to maximizing student potential through its worldwide delivery of hands-on math programs, cultivating success with individuals of all abilities and learning styles.