Take Flight

A Comprehensive Intervention for Dyslexia

Take Flight

Take Flight is a comprehensive intervention for students with Dyslexia. Take Flight is a two year curriculum based on The Orton-Gillingham Approach and written by the education staff of The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders At Scottish Rite for Children.

We will be offering Take Flight beginning September 2024.

Defined by Mayo Clinic:

Dyslexia is also referred to as a reading disability. Resulting in approximately 80% of all learning disorders, dyslexia is the most common learning disorder in the United States. Dyslexia is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words (decoding). Dyslexia is a result of individual differences in areas of the brain that process language.

Dyslexia is not due to problems with intelligence, hearing or vision. Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. Emotional support also plays an important role.

Symptoms of dyslexia can be difficult to recognize and can vary based on age.

Before School Age

  • Delay in speech and/or language
  • Difficulty rhyming words and pronouncing words
  • Leaning new words slowly
  • Problems remembering or naming letters, numbers and/or colors
  • Problems forming words correctly or confusing words that sound alike

School Age (Pre-K to 5th Grade)

  • Reading well below age
  • Avoiding activities that involve reading
  • Difficulty processing and understanding what is heard
  • Difficulty finding the right word or forming answers to questions
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Oral reasoning and oral language are more advanced than reading
  • Inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word

Teens and Adults

  • Difficulty reading and summarizing a story
  • Trouble learning a foreign language
  • Difficulty solving mathematical work problems
  • Has a slow reading rate
  • Prefers audiobooks
  • Difficulty completing tests within the allowed time limit
  • Problems spelling
  • Mispronouncing names, words, and/or problems retrieving words

Dyslexia results from individual differences in the parts of the brain that enable reading and it tends to be hereditary. Dyslexia appears to be linked to certain genes that affect how the brain processes reading and language. The root cause is weak phonological (not visual) processing involved with the sounds of language.

Dyslexia is not linked to problems with intelligence, hearing, or vision. In most cases, children can rapidly improve and succeed in school with Take Flight.

Learn More and Read The Research Summary Here

There is no single test that can diagnose dyslexia. Plum Tree evaluations involve a comprehensive process of gathering information to identify what specific factors are contributing to difficulties with reading and writing. The process begins with a review of family, medical, social/emotional, and school records. Information is obtained from parents to understand the child’s developmental progress and approach to learning. Teachers can be helpful in the process, too. Then, special tests and evaluation activities are given by psychologists to help understand the child’s strengths and the ways that they learn best. Measures of the child’s development of important skills related to intellect, language, visual processing, attention, memory, and reasoning are used. The evaluation process also includes specific tests of reading subskills, such as phonological processing, spelling, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. Then, the Plum Tree Diagnostic Team pinpoints the likely source of the problem, eliminates the possibility of other common causes of reading difficulties, and determines if the child’s profile of strengths and challenges meets the criteria for the diagnosis of dyslexia.

Take Flight is a Comprehensive Intervention for Dyslexia.

Take Flight is a two-year Orton-Gillingham based curriculum written by the staff of the Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders at Scottish Rite for Children. The most amazing component of Take Flight is that it utilizes the Orton-Gillingham based curriculum approach to learning. Orton-Gillingham employs research based practices and is a multisensory method of learning. Reading instruction engages all of a student’s senses (seeing, feeling, hearing, and moving) to help learning and improve retention.

Take Flight curriculum was designed to be implemented by a Certified Academic Language Therapist with children 7 years or older. The goal of Take Flight is to enable students with dyslexia to achieve and maintain better word recognition, reading fluency, and reading comprehension. Take Flight will help in the transition from a therapy setting to real world learning.

  • Take Flight students show significant growth in all areas of reading skills
  • Follow-up research on children who completed Take Flight indicate that students maintain the benefits of instruction on word reading skills and continued to improve reading comprehension after 12 months.
  • Take Flight has proven effective in schools when delivered to students with significant reading difficulties and implemented by a Certified Academic Language Therapist.

Learn More and Read The Research Summary Here


Take Flight, while a structured and comprehensive educational program designed to assist your child with dyslexia in improving their reading and language skills, does not constitute a cure for dyslexia. Dyslexia is a neurological condition characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, poor spelling, and decoding abilities, which stem from a different brain organization and function that is typically inherited and persists throughout life. Although the Take Flight Curriculum can significantly enhance the reading capabilities and academic performance of individuals with dyslexia by providing specialized strategies and interventions tailored to their unique learning needs, it does not alter the underlying neurological condition. Therefore, while the Take Flight program can be highly effective in mitigating the symptoms and improving literacy skills, it should not be represented or understood as a cure for dyslexia.

Take Flight will have one student per class. Your child will be receive one-on-one individualized personalized instruction. While the curriculum is designed for multiple students, we prefer one 1:1 student teacher ratio.

Individualized Attention: One-on-one teaching allows the lesson plan, pace, and teaching style to match the specific needs and learning preferences of your child. This personalized approach can facilitate better understanding and retention of the material.

Focus On Strengths And Weaknesses: In a one-on-one setting, we can identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses more easily and adjust the instruction accordingly. This targeted approach can help your child improve in areas where they may be struggling while also nurturing their talents and interests.

Increased Engagement: With undivided attention, your child is more likely to stay focused and engaged throughout the lesson. This can lead to deeper learning experiences and a greater sense of accomplishment.

Immediate Feedback: In a one-on-one setting, feedback can be provided promptly, allowing your child to address misconceptions or mistakes right away. This facilitates faster progress and prevents the reinforcement of incorrect information.

Building Rapport And Trust: Spending dedicated time with your child can foster a strong bond. This trust and rapport can create a supportive learning environment where your child feels comfortable asking questions, making mistakes, and taking risks.

Flexibility In Scheduling And Content: One-on-one teaching allows for flexibility in adapting the content to your child’s interests and abilities. This flexibility can accommodate your child’s unique learning pace and preferences, leading to more effective learning outcomes.

Customized Learning Experiences: In a one-on-one setting, we can incorporate a variety of methods, resources, and activities tailored to your child’s individual needs and learning style. This customization promotes a deeper understanding of the material and fosters a love for learning.

Overall, one-on-one teaching offers a highly personalized and supportive learning experience that can lead to significant improvement for your child.

Take Flight is effective because it addresses the five components (Pillars) of effective reading instruction identified by the National Reading Panel’s research and is a comprehensive Tier III intervention for students with dyslexia.

  1. Phonemic Awareness is the awareness that words follow established procedures for explicitly teaching the relationships between speech-sound production and spelling-sound patterns. The awareness that words are composed of sounds and those sounds have distinct features.
  2. Phonics provides a systematic approach to single word decoding. Students learn 96 grapheme-phoneme correspondences. The ability to recognize letter-sound relationships in words.
  3. Fluency uses research-proven directed practice in the repeated reading of words, phrases, and passages to help students read a newly encountered text more fluently. The ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression.
  4. 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. Size and word-meaning strategies predict comprehension.
  5. Reading Comprehension involves explicitly teaching students 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. Understanding the meaning of text and integrating it with previous knowledge.

The Orton-Gillingham approach empowers educators to develop an individualized, structured, multisensory plan to teach reading and vocabulary skills. Orton-Gillingham is a step-by-step learning process involving letters and sounds that encourages students to advance upon each smaller manageable skill learned throughout the process. It was the first approach to use explicit, direct, sequential, systematic, multi-sensory instruction to teach reading, which is effective for all students and essential for teaching students with dyslexia.

The main components of the Orton-Gillingham approach;

  • Multi-Sensory – The teaching of new concepts incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic pathways. With this approach, students learn language by ear (listening), mouth (speaking), eyes (seeing), and hand (writing).
  • Structured, Sequential, and Cumulative – Through direct, explicit instruction, it progresses logically at the primary level and progresses to more advanced concepts that build upon the previous skill learned, with practice and review.
  • Flexible – Through assessment, differentiation, and grouping, teachers can instruct students based on their needs.
  • Language-based – Directly teaches the fundamental structure of language, starting with sound/symbol relationships and progressing to more complex concepts such as higher-level spelling rules and Greek and Latin bases.

Take Flight employs structured literacy.

To be clear, Take Flight is Structured Literacy.

Structured Literacy is a highly explicit and systematic teaching of all important components of literacy. Explicit teaching means that information is clearly explained and key skills are modeled. Systematic teaching involves a sequential and organized model of instruction with the most important skills taught before more advanced skills that focuses on phonological awareness, phonics and decoding, spelling, vocabulary development, comprehension skills, and written expression. Structured Literacy also emphasizes phonological awareness, comprehension skills, spelling, vocabulary, sensitivity to speech sounds and the ability to manipulate those sounds.

Take Flight can only be administered by a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT).

A CALT is a professional credential to describe an individual who has the expertise to provide services to individuals who have difficulty acquiring the basic language skills necessary to read, write and spell. CALTs have a deep knowledge of the structure of the English language and the experience to apply these skills in creating an individualized plan for the remediation of dyslexia and related learning differences.

A CALT is not a tutor. They are specially trained to work with students with dyslexia and related language-based learning differences.

Being a CALT ensures that an individual has completed a Comprehensive Therapist Level Multisensory Structured Language Training course that is Orton-Gillingham based and accredited by the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC).

Take Flight Curriculum is four days per week for a minimum two years. Most schools will provide support and collaboration for your child’s participation in Take Flight. This support and collaboration may involve coordinating schedules and resources to ensure students receive the necessary support.

Why four days per week?

Students with dyslexia benefit from intensive intervention, offering ample opportunities for practice and repetition with new concepts learned. Research (Beringer 2000) found that dyslexic students needed 20 times the practice than a student without dyslexia to learn letter sequences. Good readers can rapidly spell a word with 20 repetitions, however, poor readers will be challenged to reach automaticity with 400 repetitions or 20 times the amount of practice good readers require. Allowing students sufficient time to practice and solidify knowledge of letter names, shapes, and sounds is time consuming but imperative.

Why two years?

The Take-Flight curriculum consists of seven workbooks. The Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital recommends students complete the curriculum in its entirety and attend sessions four times weekly to produce the absolute best results. In delivering the Take-Flight curriculum with fidelity, this is what will be offered to the community to fully equip students with the necessary skills, strategies, instructional hours, and literacy experiences to the best ability of the trained academic language therapist.

Students with dyslexia need more repetition, practice, and opportunities to consistently apply their newly learned skills. Therefore, your child will have minimum homework requirements that includes a reward system when homework is returned and signed by a parent.

Take Flight is a major commitment and we want to be sure your child is a good fit. Upon registration, an initial diagnostic consultation will be scheduled to evaluate if your child is the right fit for Take Flight. After acceptance into Take Flight, your child will be further evaluated for the next forty five days to help determine if you child is capable of completing Taking Flight.

It is important to note that the criteria for implementing the Take Flight curriculum may vary depending on the specific needs and circumstances of your child, and decisions will be made as a collaboration.

Plum Tree is accepting three students for Take Flight.

Dyslexia and ADHD are highly comorbid. ADHD has been found in 18% to 42% of children with dyslexia; rates of dyslexia among children with ADHD have been reported to be within a similar range. Dyslexia is also associated with oppositional defiant disorder, speech and language problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and even depression. (Sheryl M. Handler, MD, author of Dyslexia: What you need to know)

Our academic language therapist offering the Take-Flight curriculum has experience in working with students with other learning differences. It must be noted that severe learning differences that greatly impact teaching and learning may result in Take-Flight not being a good fit for a child. Behavior, maturity, and a good control of behavior during lessons is imperative for teaching and learning.

Students enrolled in the Take-Flight program will be attending sessions four times weekly for a minimum of two years.. This is a time commitment that parents must take with great consideration. The bond built between student and teacher is something truly special. It is imperative for both participating parties to deem the relationship a good fit. In the event, it is not, we can re-evaluate your options at that time.

There are a total of seven books in the curriculum. In books 1 and 2 there is a focus on letter and sounds, including blends, common beginning and ending digraphs, and introduction to reading and spelling base words and derivatives (prefixes and suffixes). Sound pictures are introduced for students during phonemic awareness times and students solidify the academic language and procedures of Take-Flight during this valuable time. Books 3 and 4 students are introduced to timed fluency, combinations (qu, wh), diphthongs (oi, oy), additional spelling rules for base words and derivatives, and connected text, where the teacher and student have flexibility and creativity to indulge in a unit study, genre study, or chapter book of interest at the student’s reading level. Book 5 focuses on final stable syllables, irregular spelling of base words, additional derivatives, and introduction to French and Greek influence of words. Book 6 focuses on Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Book 7 focuses on Greek combining forms or Greek root words (hyper, hypo, micro, macro).

Take Flight will begin in September at the Plum Tree Bloom Office.

We will have a total of three classes available.

Classes will be held on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Student 1: 800-9:00 / Student 2: 9:00-10:00 / Student 3: 10:00-11:00

To attend Take Flight, you will have to make accommodations with your child’s school.

The cost of our private one-on-one Take Flight Curriculum is worth the investment.

Because Take Flight is academic, it is not covered by insurance.

What do you get and why is it worth it?

  • Personalized Attention: Take Flight provides individualized attention tailored specifically to the student’s needs with a student teach ratio of 1:1. Unlike in a classroom setting where the teacher must cater to the needs of multiple students, a one-on-one experience allows for a personalized approach that targets the student’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Customized Learning Experience: The Take Flight Curriculum can adapt and pace to suit the student’s learning style, preferences, and abilities. This customization ensures that the student receives instruction that is effective and engaging, maximizing their learning potential.
  • Targeted Remediation: For students who are struggling with specific subjects or concepts, the Take Flight Curriculum offers targeted remediation. The Take Flight Curriculum can identify areas of weakness and provide focused instruction and practice to help the student overcome challenges and improve their understanding.
  • Confidence Building: Individualized attention and support from within the Take Flight Curriculum can boost a student’s confidence and self-esteem as they make progress and achieve success with the guidance.