Unless someone in your family is a member of a masonic order, it’s possible that everything you know about the long history of American freemasonry comes from the popular 2004 Disney movie National Treasure where Nicholas Cage teams up with a beautiful archivist to uncover the secret location of a massive treasure hidden by Free Masons in the 18th century. Spoiler alert: they find it buried underneath Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Or you’ve spent some time trying to unlock the secrets of the pyramid on the US dollar bill? Even if you missed National Treasure and you don’t care about the mysteries of our currency, you have probably heard of the Shriners. They’re the masonic order that puts on the circus, wears the red Fezs’, and raises millions and millions of dollars for children’s hospitals devoted to treated children with the terrible injuries and illnesses. Well, if you have a child with a speech, hearing, or learning delay, there is one masonic order that you should definitely know about: the Scottish Rite. In the US the Scottish Rite’s financial support for children with language disorders ranks second only to support provided by the public schools. Although slightly less glamorous than buried secret treasure, and not quite as well-known than the Shriners, the Scottish Rite is a serious supporter of the speech and language community.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides for free speech therapy within the public school system to all children who have a qualifying disability. But what if your child isn’t even in school yet? If you have a child under the age of three and you suspect that he might have a speech disorder, you can have him evaluated and treated with the Early Intervention program.