Why It Works
How Fast ForWord Helps So Many Children
Fact #1: Cognitive skill gaps, primarily phonological awareness, cause >90% of reading & learning difficulties.
Fact #2: These skills will respond to exercise, just like muscles.
Conclusion: For most students, targeting cognitive skills is the fastest and most reliable way to impact reading and learning difficulties. As long as we can identify a cognitive weakness AND your child is willing and able to do our exercises -- almost all children over five qualify -- Fast ForWord can produce profound and enduring gains.
Cognitive Gaps Cause Most Reading Issues
A Wolf and Browers study found that 88% of struggling readers shared a phonological awareness deficit, related to auditory processing. Other learning skills are similarly undermined by cognitive weaknesses. For children with speech delays or who struggle following directions, the weakness is obvious. But most of the time, these cognitive weaknesses are not detectable.
Precise phonological fluency required for reading is challenging. Distinguishing syllables comes down to differentiating sounds in milliseconds. The brain needs to not only process language accurately, it needs to do so effortlessly -- automatically -- to make room for comprehension and higher level thinking.
The Brain Is Plastic: Cognitive Skills Can Be Rewired
In the mid 1990s, with the invention of the fMRI, it became settled science that the brain is not hard wired, that learning is not fixed. In fact, quite the opposite, it self-organizes, integrating new skills as they are acquired. This is brain plasticity. It means that the window to new learning ability is always open.
Cognitive skills can be strengthened the same way athletes build muscle memory, with repetitive exercises that add speed and complexity in tiny incremental steps.
This is how Fast ForWord works. It exercises a range of cognitive skills, eventually narrowing in each student to intensive work on his/her particular needs. It follows this up with exercises to accelerate the integration of these newly acquired cognitive skills into reading and writing.
Fast ForWord Proven Effective
Fast ForWord was developed by four of the world's leading scientists, drawing on breakthroughs in two aspects of learning science: cognitive research, how we learn, and neuroscience, how to lead the brain to higher achievement.
After numerous trials and experiments over a thirty year period, this breakthrough program was launched in 1997, hailed by Time magazine as being on the "cognitive frontier" of learning. Over 200 scientific trials conducted at schools and universities across North America, plus Neuron Learning's own results over the last five years, confirm the promise of this science. It is able to:
Build cognitive skills. Studies using fMRI before and after charts show new neural activity after Fast ForWord in every case tracked.
These cognitive gains do lead to reading, academic and behavioural gains.
Fast ForWord achieves these gains efficiently, delivering years of brain exercise in a few short weeks leading to gains in reading and learning, for children and adults at all academic levels.
Will This Work For My Child?
Most people have the same question: will this program work for my child? Call a Neuron consultant to find out if we can help in your case. Here is our consultation approach:
First, we look for clues of a cognitive glitch -- there are many symptoms you may not be aware of that point to gaps where Fast ForWord is effective.
Second, we will check negating factors that might block the success of our program. In these cases, we may recommend against Fast ForWord.
Third, we cover logistics. Is this your best next step? When is the right time? Do you have a manageable and/or motivated student?
If we recommend the program, your Neuron consultant will then explain our service, a critical part of our success. We have educational professionals who review progress, make personal contact regularly, and will be in touch to suggest interventions and protocol changes as needed. We also provide regular reports, and extensive resources.
The Scientific Learning® family of programmes is designed to strengthen brain processing skills and increase reading proficiency in children of all ages, with results that are enduring.
Brochure for Home Study
Video Interview with Sherelle Walker explaining how Fast ForWord works