Fast ForWord FAQ

What is Fast ForWord?

Fast ForWord is a revolutionary method for rapidly building skills necessary for language competence in children. It is a CD-ROM and Internet training program which uses the principles underlying the human learning process, together with acoustically modified speech to stimulate the rapid development of language and processing skills. Fast ForWord uses a series of adaptive games, which automatically adjusts to each child’s improving level of competence, to combine these principles for improving all the skills necessary for competent language use.

How do I know if my child would benefit from the Fast ForWord family of programs?

Please read: Does Your Child Have a Language, Reading or Learning Problem?

What programs are available?

Fast ForWord Basics develops basic learning skills for 4-7 year olds, including:

Color, shape and size identification
Letter-name and letter-sound association
Phonological awareness

Fast ForWord Language uses patented technology to clarify sounds and rapidly develop the oral language skills that provide the foundation for reading, for 5-7 year olds, including:

Phonological awareness
Working memory
Listening accuracy
Language structures

Fast ForWord Language to Reading targets the skills that help students ages 5-12 years old make the link between spoken and written language including:

Organization and focus
Listening comprehension
Word analysis
English language conventions

Fast ForWord Reading rapidly and systematically builds reading skills that correlate to school curriculum standards, including:

Word recognition and decoding
Spelling and phonology
Passage comprehension
Sentence comprehension

Fast ForWord Middle and High School rapidly reinforces the skills critical for fluent reading and communication for adolescents and adults including:

Phonological awareness
Working memory
Language structures
Listening accuracy

Why does Fast ForWord work?

Most children naturally acquire language during the first few years of life but research has demonstrated that a significant number of children fail to develop these skills on their own. About 10 percent of children have a specific difficulty making reliable distinctions among elements of speech. Every child needs to acquire the ability elements of speech. Fast ForWord is the first proven method to teach this skill to children who do not learn it naturally.

Who can benefit from Fast ForWord?

At present, the majority of children benefiting from Fast ForWord are children ages 5 to adult. Other programs are being formulated which will help the older and younger populations. Children must be able to sit in a chair and attend to the computer for various lengths of time.

The child with language concerns will benefit from training, especially if the problem areas are receptive phonology, listening comprehension and complex grammar and syntax.

The child with central auditory processing weakness will benefit from training, especially if the problem areas are phonemic synthesis, listening in the presence of background noise, auditory sequencing, slow processing of auditory information, attending and focusing.

Which classification or placements are appropriate?

The following classifications are appropriate for referrals for treatment: Communication Handicap, including receptive/expressive language impairments and specific language impairment; dyslexia, language learning disabled; sensory integrations deficit; central auditory processing disorder; and pervasive developmental disorder; including autism. Children who have ADD/ADHS (Attention Deficit Disorder) or behavior problems may also benefit from training.

What does the Fast ForWord programs involve?

Each child to be considered for treatment must be seen for an evaluation. The evaluation will include comprehensive language measures and auditory processing measures. Specific language tests from the child’s Speech and Language Pathologist and test results from the Central Auditory Processing Test Battery are also helpful. If such tests are not available and deemed necessary, testing can be performed at the TRI STATE SPEECH CENTER L.L.C..

A part of the evaluation will be a client intake form which is included in the introductory packet.

The child must be able to focus on the computer for 20 minute segments. The total treatment time per day is one hour and 45 minutes, five days a week for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes treatment may need to last longer than 6 to 8 weeks. The child must be able to tolerate the use of headphones during the treatment. Treatment is done at the TRI STATE SPEECH CENTER L.L.C. with a monitor supervision.

The child will play a series of computer games which automatically adjust to each child’s improving level of competence. The child’s performance is monitored daily, weekly and monthly to evaluate progress.

At the end of treatment, a final evaluation is administered to determine the child’s progress. In some cases, a continued treatment may be suggested.

Are there any side effects to the treatment?

There are no known side effects to the treatment. Each child may react differently. Some irritability may occur as improvement is taking place but this is not the norm.

What known benefits have been demonstrated with treatment?

Improvements in language test scores have been outstanding as demonstrated in the initial Beta Trials. The improvements have been consistent with the general understanding of learning disability origins and expressions.

What conclusions about Fast ForWord were demonstrated from the Beta Trials?

One conclusions was that virtually EVERY child that is engaged effectively in game play measurably benefits from it. This includes children that are severely impaired, eg. mild autistics and children with brain pathology histories, as well as children that are moderately or only marginally impaired.

Another conclusion is that these extraordinary rapid and large gains at a wide variety of perceptual, cognitive and expressive skills indicate that the training is “clarifying” complex speech signals through hearing. For these children, the language abilities effects can be compared to having “Glasses for the Ears”.

Will Insurance cover the cost of Fast ForWord?

In some cases, Fast ForWord has been covered. We do not know if your insurance company will pay for coverage. It is suggested to investigate whether your insurance will cover speech and hearing therapy. It may be helpful to obtain a referral from your family physician.