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Dyslexia Facts, Therapy, Programs, and Evaluations

Below is expanded details about Dyslexia and what we offer at Away with Words. For more information, please email

Certified Academic Language Therapist  (CALT)

The acronym CALT stands for Certified Academic Language Therapist.  CALTS are not tutors.  They are specially trained to work with students with dyslexia and related language-based learning differences.  A CALT must hold a master’s degree and have undergone an intensive two-year course that includes a multisensory structured language program at a training center or university that offers courses accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC). Course content reflects the International Dyslexia Association’s (IDA) Knowledge of Practice Standards for Teachers of Reading and the Academic Language Therapy Association’s eight standards of knowledge and skills in Multisensory Structured Language Education.   After completion of training and accumulating 700 clinical hours a CALT completes a certification exam through the Academic Language Therapy Association. Certified Academic Language Therapists have an explicit understanding and application of the structure of the English language including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and orthography. These structures create the foundation for age-appropriate oral and written language, including reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension, spelling, and written expression.  A CALT OR CALP (Certified Academic Language Practitioner) are the only level of professional qualified to present the Take Flight program.

Online or In-Person

Dyslexia Therapy is based upon the principles of the Orton Gillingham methodology which specifically requires a multisensory instructional approach.  What this methodology suggests, as it applies to learning, is that therapists need to simultaneously activate the senses of sight, hearing and touch or movement.  In doing so they are creating different neural pathways in the student’s brain allowing them to access the written code and consequently develop multiple ways of retrieving and recalling information.   ​ When learning through a virtual environment our SIGHT and HEARING senses are engaged. We are lacking touch.  Away with Words ensures all students have tactile manipulatives at home to create that final sensory link.  Additionally, they are using movement as they write in cursive and complete their own paper and pencil work.  Finally, our therapists provide remote control access to students as they manipulate aspects of the online application and program.  ​ Maintaining the integrity of both the Take Flight and Neuhaus programs is vital to Away with Words regardless of the geographic distance students have with their therapist. 

Structured Literacy

  • Simultaneous and Multisensory – In order to enhance learning and memory, all learning pathways in the brain (visual – auditory – kinesthetic – tactile) are engaged simultaneously.

  • Systematic and Cumulative – Organization of the material follows the logical order of the English language. Instruction begins with the simplest elements and progresses to the most difficult concepts. Each lesson is built on the previous concept learned and content is regularly reviewed to enhance retention.

  • Direct Instruction – Multisensory language instruction includes the direct teaching of all concepts. The academic therapist does not assume students have mastered previous language skills.

  • Diagnostic Teaching– The instructional plan for every student is based on continuous assessment of individual needs with the goal of students reaching a degree of automaticity.

  • Synthetic and Analytic Instruction – Synthetic instruction presents the parts of the language and how they work together to form a whole. Analytic instruction presents the whole of language and demonstrates how it can be broken down into parts.

Effective Reading Instruction

  • Phonemic Awareness – Follows established procedures for explicitly teaching the relationships between speech-sound production and spelling-sound patterns.

  • Phonics – Provides a systematic approach to single word decoding. Students learn 96 grapheme-phoneme correspondences.

  • Fluency – Uses research based directed practice through repeated reading of words, phrases, and passages to help students read a newly encountered text more fluently.

  • Vocabulary – Features multiple word learning strategies (definitional, structural, contextual) and explicit teaching techniques with application in the text.  Students learn 87 affixes with an emphasis on English morphology.  Students learn Latin roots and Greek combining forms.

  • Reading Comprehension – Students are explicitly taught how to apply and articulate multiple comprehension strategies for narrative and expository text through cooperative learning, story structure, question generation and answering, summarization, and comprehension monitoring.

Take Flight

At Away with Words we use Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia as our main form of therapy especially for children in 2nd-5th grade.


Take Flight is a two-year curriculum written by the staff of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). It encourages intense small group or individual 1-hour sessions at least three times a week. 


Take Flight was designed for use by Certified Academic Language Therapists for children with dyslexia ages seven and older. It was developed to enable students with dyslexia to achieve and maintain better word recognition, reading fluency, reading comprehension and aid in the transition from a therapy setting to “real word” learning.


Take Flight contains the five components of effective reading instruction supported by the National Reading Panel research meta-analysis and mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Phonemic Awareness in “Take Flight” includes a systematic exploration of the articulation of phonemes and is fully integrated within decoding and spelling instruction. All phoneme-grapheme correspondence rules are introduced over a shorter time than previous TSRHC programs. This approach allows time for practice leading to accuracy, automaticity in the application of phonic skills and additional guided reading practice with controlled and regular text. Additionally, there is an expanded use of etymology in teaching word analysis strategies.

Vocabulary is expanded and enriched by developing morphological knowledge, word relationships, figurative language, syntax and semantics through direct instruction and in the context of reading.

Fluency instruction incorporates guided and timed repeated reading of decodable words, phrases and connected text. Incentives, concrete measures of progress and daily home practice are also important elements of fluency training.

A combination of techniques is used for reading comprehension instruction including comprehension monitoring, question generation, story structure, summarizing and inferencing. Students also learn how to utilize graphic and semantic organizers when reading narrative and expository text.

Each of the five components is presented in the seven books of “Take Flight.”
With Take Flight students will learn all 44 phonemes of the English language, 96 grapheme-phoneme correspondence rules and 87 affixes. Students also learn spelling rules for base words and derivatives. Practice opportunities are provided that are designed to improve oral reading fluency. Take Flight introduces comprehension and vocabulary building strategies for both narrative and expository text in the context of oral reading exercises and preparing students for successful, independent reading.

Multisensory Reading and Spelling

Multisensory Reading and Spelling is an intervention for adolescents and adults with dyslexia or related language learning difference.  Developed by the Neuhaus Education Center, Multisensory Reading and Spelling is an explicit, sequential, comprehensive and intensive literacy instructional framework. This research-based curriculum shares the same philosophies and characteristics of other Orton-Gillingham based curricula.

Build - Pre K - 2nd Grade

To meet the needs of K-1 students who are struggling with reading and spelling or are at risk for dyslexia, the staff of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Scottish Rite for Children has developed a 100-lesson reading intervention called Build: A K-1 Early Reading Intervention. Build is a small group intervention that addresses five specific components of reading intervention. Each component is taught developmentally using a direct, systematic, cumulative, multisensory method of introduction and practice to meet the specific needs of Kindergarten and first grade students struggling in reading.

Literary Skills Evaluation

A literacy skills evaluation investigates academic literacy skills and indicates the presence of a profile of dyslexia. The skills evaluated are phonological processing, letter knowledge, oral reading fluency, decoding, word recognition, reading comprehension, spelling, written expression, listening comprehension, and oral expression.  

Parents are required to complete a parent questionnaire. The evaluation usually takes two sessions  and each session requires 2-3 hours, depending on the individual. Once the data is collected a consultation is scheduled to review the results and discuss recommendations. A comprehensive report is prepared which includes scores, interpretation, and recommendations.  

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