Trident Academy began as a Saturday-only tutorial program in a Charleston area church room. The program quickly became recognized for its value in educating students with reading, spelling, and math difficulties, thus initiating the incorporation of the school in 1972.
With the help of the founding families, Trident Academy received guidance from notable individuals and organizations, including Dr. Lucia Karnes. Dr. Karnes studied directly under June Orton and her husband, Dr. Samuel T. Orton, a pioneer in learning differences research. Trident Academy was also involved in the beginning stages of forming the Orton Society, now known as the International Dyslexia Association.
The College of Charleston and The Citadel subsequently developed a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education program to help further educate Trident Academy teachers in learning differences education.