Durward C. Ayre, Ph.D
To Hear - To Speak - To Understand
These are basic steps of language development in the young mind.
There are literally thousands of otherwise normal, healthy children, rich and poor alike, who are shut off from communication, even with their own parents! These children’s hearing, speech, language, or learning problems could arise from a variety of reasons.
Research continues on the causes of poor speech and language development, as well as associated learning disabilities in children. The Scottish Rite Masons support a Research Institute for these communication disorders.
Because there is a wide age range for children to begin talking, parents may not at first recognize these communication disorders. As they wait expectantly for the first intelligible word uttered by their child, they may gradually become concerned that something is amiss.
Speech-language disorders affect approximately six million children in the United States. However, many of these childhood problems do not mean mental deficiency or emotional disturbance. Often, these children have at least average or even superior intelligence. What they lack is the ability to exercise this intelligence through normal speech and language channels.
Today, at Scottish Rite clinics, children with communication disorders can be helped to hear, to speak, to understand.
In the early 1950s in Colorado, the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America initiated a program to help children with speech and language disorders. The results obtained from this program led to the establishment of Scottish Rite clinics to provide diagnostic evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders, as well as learning disabilities.
Today there are 112 Scottish Rite clinics, centers, and special programs for children and therapists located throughout the United States. Each facility is staffed by speech-language pathologists or other trained personnel. Through the support of Scottish Rite members, these clinics, centers, and programs continue to increase.
The value of this philanthropy has long been apparent. Tens of thousands of youngsters across the United States have been helped significantly. With the good work of dedicated clinicians and parents, the Scottish Rite has achieved successes that could only be imagined a few years back. Children who might have remained educationally handicapped for a lifetime can now talk, read, and lead useful lives.
Through the support of Scottish Rite members, and community contributions, these clinics, centers, and programs continue to increase in number.