matthew and thomas outside with books

Oct 19, 2021 / Dyslexia & Learning Disorders

Share Your Story: Brothers Take Flight

Meet Matthew and Thomas - patients who were seen in the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders. Learn more about their journey below.

Blog written by Matthew and Thomas's mother, Dara.  

When Matthew and Thomas were born in 2011, we already had four children, ranging in age from 8 to 13 years old. Delivered eight weeks prematurely, they spent six weeks in the NICU at Medical City Dallas. Like many preemies, they had some modest delays in their development, such as speech and motor skills, but nothing serious that required extra care. They certainly were active, and when it was time to start kindergarten, we chose to work with them at home. Our goal was to closely monitor their progress and tailor learning to their specific and individual needs.
I was excited about teaching them to read. What is more rewarding than learning how the letters make sounds and then putting them together to read sentences and stories? I purchased a reputable grammar curriculum and started with the basics. Oh, what agony! For two years we worked on basic phonics sounds and made little progress. My oldest children had advanced easily through school, so I was confused. Many of my experienced teacher friends told me that reading may “click” for different children at different ages and to be patient.
Matthew’s delays seemed more advanced than Thomas’, so we had him evaluated at Scottish Rite for Children in the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia & Learning Disorders in the winter of his second-grade year. Sure enough, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD. We were told about the Take Flight program that was offered, and we immediately applied for the following year. We worried that it was too late and that he would be so far behind by the time he completed classes. When he started the following fall, he went to class so enthusiastically. This child, who previously could not remember what sound the letter “d” made, couldn’t wait to tell us the digraph or trigraph he had learned that day or the pronunciation rule for a certain letter combination. His confidence catapulted!
Two years later, he has completed the Take Flight program and is reading on grade level. Sometimes I must tell him to put down a book that he is reading for pleasure, so he can complete his schoolwork. This fall, he jumped into a new writing curriculum that some of his peers had already been using, and he has done very well. He understands many of the grammar rules and spelling because of his thorough training in the Take Flight program.

Thomas, his twin brother, is now in his second year of the program and has enjoyed it just as much.

Our friends tell us how much more confident they both are, and I share with them the knowledge and reward our whole family has gained through the resources at Scottish Rite.

We will be forever grateful for this wonderful gift we have received from the teachers and staff at Luke Waites Center.


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