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Terri Mauro

Did Fast ForWord Work for Your Child?

By April 5, 2007

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The special-needs parenting blog at AdoptionBlogs.com has had an interesting series on Fast ForWord, the program by Scientific Learning that uses headphones and computer games to work on auditory processing, memory and attention skills. The program is generally administered by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), who uses the child's scores to pinpoint areas of need.

Originally just a language program for younger children, Fast ForWord has branched out over the years to include reading programs to increase literacy in middle and high school students. Some schools offer Fast ForWord for their students, and the company makes some pretty lofty claims for how much and how quickly a student can improve. But does it really work?

For the AdoptionBlogs blogger's daughter, it did. She saw significant advances in the first phase of the program and is preparing to move on to the next. For my own daughter ... not so much. We did a less-costly at-home version a number of years ago -- still Fast ForWord, but with the SLP in a consulting capacity as opposed to an administrative one. It didn't hurt, and it might have been mildly helpful. No dramatic leaps, though. My children seem to be constitutionally unable to make dramatic leaps. We're a slow and steady bunch, helped a little bit by everything and not a whole lot by anything.

Has your child tried Fast ForWord? Share your experience on this and any other programs you've been successful (or not) with over the years.

Comments
June 4, 2007 at 10:50 am
(1) MaryAnn says:

My 7-year-old daughter has central auditory processing; she’s been recommend for the Fast Forward, in home, as well as vision therapy and occupational therapy. Can anyone offer his or her experience on this?

October 17, 2008 at 4:42 pm
(2) Kay says:

I cannot comment on it personally but you should read what research says about it:

http://www.evidencedbasedprograms.org

November 19, 2008 at 7:54 pm
(3) Christina says:

I had two children do Fast Forword and it helped them both. I’ve written about the experience and the results at my blog.

Fast ForWord Proof!

I hope the above link works. If not cut and paste this

http://tentativeequinox.wordpress.com/2008/11/06/fast-forword-proof/

Sorry, I’m not on speaking terms with html!

November 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm
(4) Sandy says:

It has worked for many and seems to be best suited for those who have auditory processing difficulties. The research cited on the “evidence.com” website tests whether or not it effected reading and comprehension scores. Fast for Word has been compared (by a child) to “glasses for the ears.” It helps students hear consonants they cannot otherwise distinguish. Then reading instruction can be more effective, just as getting glasses will not, by itself, create a better reader. The cited research study does not tell us what other reading interventions were used with these learners, and that’s critical. Where combined with good reading instruction, it has worked well.

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