For many parents, one of the most troubling aspects of having their child diagnosed with dyslexia is the enormous cost typically associated with the specialized instruction. Often specialized instruction is not available at the child’s school and parents have to seek outside support. Many of these outside tutoring and instructional programs, offered by reading specialists or speech and language professionals, are potentially transformative but also expensive and not financially feasible for many families. Too often, parents are left with no place to turn and heartbroken to have a child with a dyslexia diagnosis but no access to evidence-based programs to treat it.
In 1994, the Scottish Rite Masons of the Northern Jurisdiction recognized that, “Although studies revealed the existence of remarkably effective programs for treating dyslexia, no one was addressing the issue and its cost to individuals and society in a systematic way.” Consequently, The Children’s Dyslexia Centers were created. The Masons joined forces with Massachusetts General Hospital and launched a major program in the Northern Jurisdiction to serve dyslexic children who couldn’t afford the help they needed to succeed in school.
The Children’s Dyslexia Centers currently have Centers in 13 states.
Here is how it works for students:
- Centers provide tutoring on a sliding scale to children from early elementary through high school who have been diagnosed as dyslexic
- Any dyslexic school-aged child is eligible, regardless of their economic status or Masonic affiliation
- Children receive one-on-one tutoring twice a week after regular school hours
- Instructors use a sequential, multisensory, Orton-Gillingham based approach
In addition to offering a critical service to many dyslexic students who benefit from the specialized instruction, the Children’s Dyslexia Centers also provide much needed teacher instruction in the evidence-based reading approaches, offering teachers the training they need when they realize that their instructional methods are failing to reach a significant portion of their students. The Center’s tutors receive special training to be certified to teach dyslexic students. The training also provides them with continuing education credits and is accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council and is recognized as meeting the International Dyslexia Association’s standards.
For more information about how the Children’s Dyslexia Centers work or how to support their worthy mission visit them at: http://childrensdyslexiacenters.org.