Triveni Goswami Vernal
Registered Special Educator (A64010)

Reading involves the process of decoding—of being able to break down sounds in words and produce them in speech. It involves the skill of establishing a relationship between letter and sound. Recognizing that each letter and letter combinations have a sound, can help the child be able to memorize the letter-sound relationship, better.

According to the article, “The importance of Word Decoding in Reading

There are different skills involved in word decoding:
• Alphabet knowledge is the first building block of literacy in the English language. Once students know individual letters and the sounds of letters, they can move on to more advanced concepts.
• Phonemic and phonological skills help students with word decoding since these skills give children the ability to recognize how different sounds make up words.
• Learning to sound out and blend letters and phonemes prepares children for independent reading. In order to be successful, they must be able to isolate phonemes from complex words.”

Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound that cannot be divided further (sound of ‘t’, ‘b’), whereas Syllable is a group of sounds (‘ma’, ‘book’) that can be spoken with a single push of breath.

The Orton Gillingham approach is a multisensory approach that helps individuals experiencing difficulties with Reading. It teaches the connections between letters and sounds. The Orton Gillingham approach. focuses on the process of decoding through multi-sensorial techniques.

Some of the important characteristics of the Orton Gillingham approach are as follows—It is language-based, multisensory, structured, sequential, cumulative, cognitive, and flexible (

A Multisensory approach to reading will encompass the various sensory systems—vision, tactile/kinaesthetic, auditory and movement. In the Orton Gillingham approach, when teaching the alphabet, for example, letter “c”, the individual will be taught to first ‘see’ it (vision), then ‘say’ it (auditory), ‘air write it’ (movement) and ‘trace it on a sand paper /shaving foam’(tactile/kinaesthetic). The idea is that when all the sensory channels are involved in learning something new, a “muscle memory” will be created for it, which will subsequently help the individual memorize and recall, much better. Multisensory activities provide scaffolding/ support that helps the individual to learn better. It need not continue forever.


1) Tracing letters on a sand tray or shaving foam.
2) Using bendy straws to make letters.
3) Use play dough to roll shapes into letters.
4) Make sight words (high frequency words) using yarn or any other very tactile material.
5) ‘Air writing’ to help build muscle memory.
6) Use sandpaper letters or even sandpaper to trace the letters.
7) Plastic letters to make words.

RIC Publications has listed down 12 multisensory phonics activities (,

Kinesthetic activities

A way to get students moving and doing; using their body in some form or fashion as they learn to read.

1. Twist it
Take a TwisterTM mat and write different sounds students are learning in place of the mat colours and spinner with dry-erase marker (making it easy to change the sounds for later games). Now students can play a game of TwisterTM where they place their respective body part on the sound the spinner lands on.

2. Roll it
Set up several pocket dice with the sounds your class is currently learning. Students take turns rolling the dice and saying the sounds out loud.

3. Mould it
Using playdough, students recreate the shapes of letters that form the sounds they are learning in class.

4. Swat it
Write relevant sounds onto cards and place them on the floor. Give one student a flyswat and call out a sound. The student then finds that sound and hits it with the flyswat.
Auditory activities

5. Sort it
Collect 6–8 objects that include the phonics students are learning and put them in small tubs. For example, you might include a ball for ‘b’, ‘a’ and ‘ll’ or a toy cat for ‘c’, ‘a’ and ‘t’, depending on which sound you choose to focus on. Students take out one object at a time and identify the sounds of each word. Ask them to group together the objects that share sounds.

6. Match it
Present students with several pictures that share sounds (e.g. cat, camel, cap; or dog, rug, mug). Students state each word aloud and then identify the sound that the words have in common.

7. Guess it
Use sticky notes to place sounds over ‘Guess Who?TM’ character faces. Split students into pairs and give each one a word spelled from the sounds. Students take turns asking about their partner’s word until they can guess it. For example, ‘Does the word have a ‘sh’ sound? Is there a ‘k’ in it?’

8. Sing it
There are many catchy songs online that can either introduce or revise letter sounds. Here’s a simple one that goes through the alphabet. The tune can easily be adapted to cover more difficult sounds, including digraphs. Alternatively, you can encourage students to invent their own phonics songs.

Visual activities

9. Remember it
Create a deck of image cards, with pairs that represent the same sound but have different pictures (for example, a shark and a fish for the ‘sh’ sound). Lay the cards out facedown. Students take turns flipping over two cards and saying the name of each image. If no sounds match, they turn the cards back over and the next player takes their turn. If the student can match the sounds, they keep the pair and have another turn.

10. Flash it
As a whole class or with individuals, show students flashcards of a sound and ask them to identify it. Add an image for students who need extra help (for example, a snake for ‘ss’). This quick activity can be done throughout the day to give students more exposure to the sounds—especially those you wish to target. Change the difficulty by flashing the cards at different speeds.

11. Peg it
Create a set of cards that include a sound and a choice of pictures; for example, animals. Provide your students with clothes pegs and the cards. Students need to identify the sound and pictures on the card and peg the picture which includes the identified sound.

12. Erase it
Draw a scene or picture on a whiteboard or chalkboard. For every letter you state, have students erase one item from the picture that starts with the letter. For example, if you draw a snowman, students may erase the hat for ‘h’, the buttons for ‘b’ and the carrot for ‘c’. As an extension activity, reverse the roles of artist and eraser. “

Multisensory approaches to teach reading are often used for Dyslexia, but it is important to remember that it need not be limited to Dyslexia alone, but can be used with anyone who has learning differences and who requires additional help and support, with reading.

In my next blog, I will be writing about Multisensory approaches, Phonics and Spelling.



Author Triveni Goswami Vernal

Triveni Goswami Vernal is an Autism advocate, registered Special Educator (CRR A64010) and an Independent Researcher. Her areas of interest include Autism, Disability Rights, Gender, Art and Northeast studies. She is a mum to an 11 year old on the Autism Spectrum

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Kabir Vernal

Wildflower Meadow
Acrylic Painting on Canvas Board
Size: 6 inch x 6 inch

30 day Blowing- breathwork challenge ADL part 2

Author Ramya

I am named Ramya, would love to be called mom from my 13 year old son. Certified in various streams and last year remedial too.
@simplyathome YouTube channel was created to have my sanity and to support other caregivers of kids in spectrum who are aware of what needs to be done, but stagnant like I have been on the “how to’s” break down the process.
This is my small way to give back to community by sharing all that I attempt at home. Home is where values embed and home is the first school for each of us.


The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016
Part 1

Hello friends!

Greetings from ‘Autism Financial Planning’. In my last blog, I concluded my blog series on ‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ (CRPD). Starting from today’s blog, I will be sharing important provisions of The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPwD) Act, 2016. Today’s blog covers an overview about the RPwD Act, 2016.

The RPwD Act, 2016 was enacted on 28 December 2016 which came into force from 19 April, 2017. Through this Act, responsibility has been cast upon the appropriate governments to take effective measures to ensure that the persons with disabilities enjoy their rights equally with others.

This is an Act to give effect to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted its Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 13th December 2006. This Convention lays down the following principles for empowerment of persons with disabilities.

– Respect for inherent dignity, autonomy including the freedom to make one’s own choices, and independence of persons
– Non-discrimination
– Full & effective participation and inclusion in society
– Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
– Equality of opportunity
– Accessability
– Equality between men and women
– Respect for the evolving capacities of children with disabilities and respect for the right of children with disabilities to preserve their identities

Read about ‘Special Needs Person Trust’

The Preamble of this Act clearly states that its aim is to uphold the dignity of every Person with disability in the society and prevent any form of discrimination. The Act also facilitates full acceptance of people with disabilities and ensures full participation and inclusion of such persons in society.

As compared to the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, the scope of disabilities in the RPwD Act, 2016 is comprehensive and broad.

This was an overview about the RPwD Act, 2016 and the objective it aims to achieve. From next blog onwards, I will be discussing the important provisions of RPwD Act, 2016.

Feel free to share your thoughts on WhatsApp number +919910353219 or email

Author Shivani Lohia

Shivani Lohia is a Chartered Accountant by profession and mother to 8 years old child on the autism spectrum. The cause of autism awareness is very close to her heart and she strongly believes in equal education for all & strongly advocates inclusion. She has been homeschooling her son since he was 5 years old.


30 days Blowing- breath work Challenge ADL part 1

Author Ramya

I am named Ramya, would love to be called mom from my 13 year old son. Certified in various streams and last year remedial too.
@simplyathome YouTube channel was created to have my sanity and to support other caregivers of kids in spectrum who are aware of what needs to be done, but stagnant like I have been on the “how to’s” break down the process.
This is my small way to give back to community by sharing all that I attempt at home. Home is where values embed and home is the first school for each of us.


Echolalia and Autism

A video blog by Pinki Kumar on Echolalia and Autism. Different ways to reduce Echolalia in Autistic individuals.

Author Pinki Kumar

Pinki is a special educator, play therapist and a mother of a neurodivergent kid. She has a YouTube channel Play and learn to teach different methods and strategies. These videos are a great resource for the parents to help their child learn various skills.