Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children patient with dyslexia in the classroom

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. 

Our Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders is named for Dr. Lucius Waites, who 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. Our Center for Dyslexia is now internationally recognized in the field of learning disorders.

Learn more about the research being conducted in the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders.

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.

There is no single test for dyslexia. Dyslexia is identified by gathering information about all of 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 of the relevant information.

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.

Complete the application request. In order to complete the application process, you will need copies of previous tests/evaluations and educational plans, as well as additional school-related information.

All applications are reviewed to determine eligibility. There is a fee for evaluation services. The parents/guardians will receive a MyChart message regarding the child's eligibility 2-3 weeks after submitting their application. For help with the application process, please call 214-559-7815.

If you'd like additional information, review our FAQs.

The center provides evaluation and diagnosis for children with academic learning disorders, as well as specialized treatment for those with dyslexia. Led by medical director Sheryl Frierson, M.D., and director Debra Buchanan, the center’s team combines the experience and skills of medicine and education. Learn more about becoming our patient or request an appointment.

The center is dedicated to giving children with dyslexia the tools and confidence to be successful both in school and in life. To help with this journey, we are committed to educating teachers on the Take Flight curriculum to expand our mission and help children across the country. 

The Luke Waites Center has been a leading resource in the field of reading intervention for over 50 years. Our staff has developed curricula that have taught hundreds of thousands of children to read across the country and the globe. We strive to improve outcomes for students with dyslexia and reading difficulties by providing tailored intervention programs and increasing accessibility of high-quality instruction. Download Take Flight Curriculum Sales Nationwide PDF.

Our current programs include:

  • Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia
  • Rite Flight: A Reading Rate Program
  • Rite Flight: A Reading Comprehension Program
  • Bridges: A Dyslexia Intervention Connecting Teacher, Avatar and Student
  • BUILD: A K-1 Early Reading Intervention


  • For more information on therapist training or to order our curricula, click here.
  • Learn more about our research.
  • Join us for a seminar.

Latest News: Dyslexia