International Adoption Info

Newsletter #88 for Internationally Adopting Parents
May 8, 2008
PAL Center Inc.


Elina Polyakov

Board Certified Psychotherapist
licensed in NY and NJ
now accepts patients
at the BGCenter

The families can plan a therapy session for their child and for themselves concurrently,
with Dr. Jeltova
working on your child's behavior and social skills
Elina Polyakov
working on your own parental techniques and stress management skills
while you wait.

More information

BGCenter and PAL Center participate in

Families with Children from China, NY
Culture Day

Saturday May 17, 2008
10 am - 5 pm

CRRNJ Terminal at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ

Tickets and Information

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of the Center for Cognitive-Developmental
Assessment & Remediation,
or a former student
of the BGCenter Online School,
or as a user of the International Adoption Articles Directory.


Latest Articles
from the

International Adoption Articles Directory
New Articles

Sexual Education and My Kids

Rcon Franchesca
Talking With Kids About Sex and Birth Control
It is perfectly normal for parents to have a hard time talking to their kids about sex and birth control. Properly and clearly discussing sexuality to children and teenagers is very important as this will certainly prevent unwanted and unexpected situations that can seriously affect the future of the children.

Cristel Lumabas
A Parent's Guide To Sexual Health Education
What can parents and educators do? Parents and educators can maximize the efficacy of sexual health education if the lessons taught at school and at home are complementary. Since sex is a touchy topic for parents to discuss to their kids, they often relegate the responsibility to teachers. However, studies show that lessons on sexual health should start at home, from learning about bad touches to decision-making. On the other hand, educators should involve parents in the sexual health education program to ensure that what is taught at home and school are complementary. Confusing and contradicting information may cause young adults to experiment on their own to find out what is right.

Theresa Twogood
Coming To a School Near You Soon
The local Bisbee, Arizona school board voted this week to include condoms in the "prom gift bags" it plans to give away to teenagers at this year’s annual prom dance. By a 4-1 majority the local school board decided it would be a good idea and would give their official blessing. All but one member, Millicent Kasun voted to go ahead and include pictures frames, candles, mints, and two (not one but two) condoms in this year’s ‘prom gift bags’. What a wonderful display of tax dollars at work-Don’t you agree?

Kristine Gonzaga
Talking to Your Folks About Starting Birth Control
If you are nervous or anxious about talking to your parents about sex and your sexual health, they are feeling ten times more than you do. They know that as teenagers and young adults, your hormones are in overdrive which can provoke you to experiment sexually – unprotected. They worry about unsafe sex, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and infections. Ease your parents' worries by broaching the topic, for your health and their peace of mind.

Questions and Answers

The Question:
I took one of your classes on-line and in it you discuss Orton-Gillingham as being one of the preferred methods for teaching IA children. I completely agree - it works. My question is: why does Orton-Gillingham work with students?

Dr. Gindis answers:
I believe that for many IA children the Orton-Gillingham (OG) approach is the most effective remedial approach, because it is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible. Due to its breadth, flexibility, and existence of different modifications, I prefer to use the term approach instead of method, although it is commonly known as the Orton-Gillingham method. It works with all children, but it is especially suited for IA children:

  • OG approach is based on the correct understanding of the nature of human language, the mechanisms involved in learning, and the language-learning interplay in human beings.
  • OG is a multisensory approach, which means that OG teaching methods are action oriented, with auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements reinforcing each other for optimal learning. Orton-Gillingham training begins by teaching the sounds the letters represent and then immediately using them to build meaningful words and sentences. The basic sound/letter associations are introduced by having students see and write each letter while they say and hear each sound. Multisensory teaching uses all sensory modalities to help students remember the basic phonetic principles needed for fluent reading.
  • OG is structured, sequential, and cumulative method. For example, the OG instructor introduces the elements of the language systematically: students begin by reading and writing sounds in isolation, then they blend the sounds into syllables and words. Students learn the elements of language, e.g., consonants, vowels, digraphs, blends, and diphthongs, in an orderly fashion. They then proceed to advanced structural elements such as syllable types, roots, and affixes. As students learn new material, they continue to review old material to the level of automaticity. The teacher addresses vocabulary, sentence structure, composition, and reading comprehension in a similar structured, sequential, and cumulative manner. This is very different from conventional instruction in which phonics (sound/letter associations), reading, writing and spelling are taught as separate subjects. The reading component of an OG lesson places heavy emphasis on accurate word decoding (sounding out words), and comprehension.
  • OG is cognitive in nature: students study the generalizations and rules that govern language structure. They also learn “how to learn” on their own and apply the language knowledge necessary for achieving reading and writing competencies. Reading comprehension skills include summarizing, paraphrasing, predicting and making inferences. Spelling is taught through daily dictations in which students practice encoding spoken language.
  • OG is flexible and opens the door to instructor’s creativity: the teacher seeks to understand how an individual learns and to devise appropriate teaching strategies.
  • From the behavior reinforcement perspective, with OG approach the student experiences a high degree of success and gains confidence as well as skill: learning becomes a rewarding and happy experience.

Originally, this method was designed for learning disabled students unable to learn to read or write adequately with conventional teaching methods. A large number of IA children with a background of cultural deprivation, educational neglect, and, quite often, neurologically-based weaknesses are functionally “learning disabled” students, or, put it mildly, students with special educational needs. To the best of my knowledge of current research and clinical practice experience, the Orton-Gillingham approach is the most effective method of their remediation in school and at home.

Please remember that a teacher has to be specially trained and certified in the Orton-Gillingham method to be able to apply it correctly.


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