Fast ForWord is a series of educational computer training programs that exercise students' brains to help them process more efficiently, the way physical workouts train the body to be fitter and stronger.
The engaging visuals used in the Fast ForWord programs keep children and adults engaged in the multi-sensory exercises.
Fast ForWord Develops Fundamental Cognitive Skills
Fast ForWord trains the brain to optimise learning potential. It does this by developing & strengthening the four fundamental cognitive skill sets which are essential for learning and reading. These skill sets are:
Memory is essential for word recognition, comprehension of complex sentences, and remembering instructions. Fast ForWord enhances working memory, short and long-term memory.
Attention is essential to focus on information and tasks, and ignore distractions. Fast ForWord is designed to improve both attention and focus.
Processing rate is the speed at which a student can discriminate images and speech sounds and identify letter and word forms in order to create meaning. This is a prerequisite for phonemic awareness and reading. An adequate processing rate enables students to accurately perceive and manipulate information.
Fast ForWord increases the rate at which students are able to process information.
Sequencing is placing the detail of information in its accustomed order (eg: days of the week). In the context of reading, sequencing is the ability to determine the order of letters within words or words within sentences. This is a cognitive skill that relies on memory, attention and processing and is essential for phonics, word fluency, reading and oral comprehension.
Fast ForWord improves the recognition of the order of sounds, letters, and concepts.
At the same time as it builds the key core skills, Fast ForWord simultaneously develops the foundational reading skills of vocabulary, phonemic awareness, decoding, fluency and comprehension.
All Brains Can Benefit from Fast ForWord
Auditory Processing Disorder
Fast ForWord is effective for people with auditory processing disorder. It’s digitally “stretched” sounds give the brain more time to process speech sounds (phonemes). As the student’s auditory processing ability improves, Fast ForWord progressively speeds up the sounds to the pace of natural speech.
Fast ForWord’s technological ability to “acoustically modify” speech helps students recognise speech sounds, first as isolated sounds, then in syllables, then in words, and finally connected strings of words such as phrases and sentences.
Dyslexia / Struggling Readers
Students with Dyslexia and struggling readers, with and without auditory processing disorders, generally make gains in reading fluency after Fast ForWord participation.
Brain imaging studies have shown that students with dyslexia have changed brain activation patterns, and significantly improved reading skills after working with the Fast ForWord exercises.
English as a Second Language
Because Fast ForWord trains the brain to recognise and discriminate the sounds of the English language, it is effective in helping English language learners. Use of Fast ForWord makes the student’s English lessons more effective as it teaches vocabulary and grammatical structures as well as improving phonological awareness and English language comprehension skills.
While Fast ForWord is not a specific treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder, it increases auditory attention span as it develops sustained auditory and visual attention.
Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
Fast ForWord helps many children on the autistic spectrum. It improves their language skills and attention. Parents and carers often report recognisable gains in the childrens’ language functions.
Children with Autism find the Fast ForWord programs very engaging because of the visual appeal of the exercises and the frequently repeated tasks.
Children diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD) can make significant gains in their oral language skills after doing Fast ForWord programs.
Unexplained behaviour problems, at home or school, may be caused by unidentified learning difficulties. Parents and teachers often report that their child/student exhibits improved behaviour and better social skills after completing Fast ForWord programs.
Fast ForWord benefits all students because it improves their learning capacity.
Learn more about the Fast ForWord programs.