What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects approximately 10 percent of children. Those diagnosed with dyslexia have trouble connecting sounds to letter symbols. This affects the way children with dyslexia learn to read and spell. Fortunately, major strides have been made in understanding the language-based disorder, allowing children with dyslexia to learn how to read and be successful despite their learning differences.

The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, located in Dallas is named for Dr. Lucius Waites.  Dr. Waites in 1965 established a program at Scottish Rite to identify and treat children with learning disorders, primarily dyslexia. The World Federation of Neurology met at Scottish Rite for Children in 1968 and formulated the first consensus definition of developmental dyslexia. The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders is now internationally recognized in the field of learning disorders.

What is the Cause of Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a word reading problem due to differences in the brain that make learning letter sounds difficult. Without adequate letter-sound knowledge, recognizing words in print is slow and inaccurate. The root cause is weak phonological, not visual, processing. This phonological weakness is with the sounds of language.

How is Dyslexia Diagnosed?

There is no single test for dyslexia. Dyslexia is identified by gathering information about all the factors that influence reading development and measuring reading ability. Family, medical, social-emotional and school data include questionnaires, health records, behavior ratings, grades, and academic testing. Adequate general intellectual functioning, oral language, vision, and hearing are determined using prior results or direct assessment. The dyslexia evaluation includes tests of the root cause (phonological processing) and reading subskills (accuracy, speed, comprehension, spelling). A clinician, or assessment team, makes the diagnosis after studying all the relevant information.

How Is Dyslexia Treated?

Intervention for dyslexia directly, explicitly, and systematically teaches an awareness of the sounds of language, letter-sound associations, vocabulary and strategies for understanding written language. Guided, repeated practice enables the child to apply what they have learned efficiently. Intensity (e.g., smaller group size, extended length of sessions and treatment, more individualized lessons) is what distinguishes dyslexia intervention from regular reading instruction. Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia is the most recent treatment developed by the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders.

Scottish Rite Learning Center of South Texas Role

The Scottish Rite Learning Center of South Texas provides scientifically research based, meaning based, multisensory approach to teaching reading, reading comprehension, handwriting, and spelling to students with dyslexia without charge to the families. The Center is a charitable endeavor of the San Antonio and South Texas Scottish Rite of Freemasonry that serves as a dyslexia therapist training and practitioner institute, a source of educational evaluations, and a resource for parental consultation and education.