Academic Language Therapy is the diagnostic and prescriptive application of Multisensory Structured Language to mitigate or remediate written-language disorders, including dyslexia.
The Academic Language Therapy Association® (ALTA) is a non-profit national professional organization incorporated in 1986 for the purpose of establishing, maintaining, and promoting certification standards of education, practice and professional conduct for Certified Academic Language Practitioners (CALP), Instructor of Certified Academic Language Practitioners (ICALP), Certified Academic Language Therapists (CALT), and Qualified Instructors of Certified Academic Language Therapists (QI).
The name, Academic Language Therapy Association, represents and identifies the profession and the professionals who are its members. "Academic Language" denotes that services offered to clients are educational and emphasize reading, spelling, handwriting, and written expression. "Therapy" indicates that those services are intensive and therapeutic rather than tutorial. At the present time there are almost 3,300 ALTA members in 42 states and Germany, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Sweden, and United Kingdom. (Click here to see the Scope of ALTA Membership. Click here for a list of ALTA Chapters.) Many members hold advanced degrees and may also be credentialed as teachers, diagnosticians, speech-language pathologists, or professionals in related fields.
The Academic Language Therapy Association has clear standards for certification/membership and a national Registration Examination. With the cooperation of twelve post baccalaureate education programs (autonomous, university, and hospital based) from across the country, ALTA has established minimum standards for academic language therapy programs, academic language therapy centers, qualified instructors, and standards for accreditation of educational programs in academic language therapy.
ALTA publishes a national registry of Certified Academic Language Therapists, a newsletter to keep members informed about the profession, and a scholarly journal to provide a forum for professional discussion and to disseminate timely information regarding the treatment of written-language disorders and the practice of academic language therapy. The Association maintains online help for information and therapist referrals and has developed achievement-motivating events for children with written-language disorders such as "Words of Winners", a phonetic-based spelling bee. ALTA has established a Code of Ethics for therapists and publishes public information brochures regarding academic language therapy, the Association, and practices and protocols for therapists.
It is the intent of the Academic Language Therapy Association that Certified Academic Language Therapists be universally recognized as highly qualified specialists who have met uniform standards of professional post-baccalaureate education, and that the credentials conferred by ALTA will assure the public and other professionals of the competence, integrity, and professionalism of Certified Academic Language Therapists.