What is a Certified Academic Language Therapist (CALT)?

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.


The CALT credential 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).

CERTIFIED ACADEMIC LANGUAGE THERAPIST (CALT) | The Written Word Center for Dyslexia and Learning

Individuals that earn the professional credential CALT have successfully passed The ALTA Competency Exam at the therapy level, which is required for certification as an Academic Language Therapist by the Academic Language Therapist Association (ALTA), the official certifying agency.


A Certified Academic Language Therapist is not a tutor. Tutors are not required to complete advanced language therapy coursework through a professional program at an accredited institution or university. CALTs are required to complete professional development contact hours (continuing education credits) to maintain certification.


Southern Methodist University’s Learning Therapy Program, where Tara received her training, is accredited by IMSLECIMSLEC accredited training centers meet the International Dyslexia Association’s (IDA) standards for teachers of reading.

Advanced Training & Certification in the Treatment of Dyslexia

Southern Methodist University Learning Therapy Program emphasis:


  • 2 years of graduate-level study
  • University coursework and electives including basic and advanced learning theory, multi-sensory methods of instruction, curriculum design, and procedures for teaching written language skills and learning strategies totaling 200 contact hours
  • A practicum experience totaling 700 clinical hours of direct teaching to students
  • 10 demonstration lessons and 5 direct observations demonstrating teaching competency
  • Assignment of an academic advisor to instruct and mentor the therapist during the learning process

The Luke Waites Center for Dyslexia and Learning Disorders:


Tara also received advanced training in the treatment of Dyslexia at Scottish Rite for Children in Dallas. She participated in the Take Flight Therapist Retraining Course only available to Certified Academic Language Therapists. Take Flight: A Comprehensive Intervention for Students with Dyslexia is a Tier III intervention for use with students who are diagnosed with dyslexia.