When My Professional Life Became Personal

November 13, 2009 by Geoff Nixon

When My Professional Life Became Personal

My Fast ForWord Success Story

Tina-180-180For years I had watched my nephew, Sean, block his ears in my car when I turned on a book on cd. He would grab his personal cd player and turn his music up so he would not have to listen the narration. I often wondered why he had such an aversion to my listening library. When I asked him, he replied, “Auntie, I just don’t like it. It bothers my ears.” I wondered if he struggled with Auditory Processing

Sean is diagnosed with Aspergers. He has always been able to “read”, though comprehension has been a struggle for him. I recommended Fast ForWord to my sister as a supplementary reading program/intervention for Sean. She agreed to let him try the program. Upon completion of his first module, my sister reported a noticeable change in his reading comprehension. I was thrilled. My expectations for the program had been met. I didn’t expect the surprise that was in store for me.

The next time I picked my nephew up to visit his cousin, I had Harry Potter playing in the car. We were driving for 10 minutes before I realized that he did not have his cd player with him. I had assumed that he was quietly suffering through my book, so I tried to switch to his favorite radio station. He stopped me and said, “Wait, Auntie, I want to see if Hermione gets mad at Ron.”

I nearly drove off of the road. Not only was he listening to the story. He was actively engaged with the material. Once I had recovered my composure, I asked him if he liked listening to the book. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Yup, it doesn’t bother me anymore.” It was such a simple statement, but it brought tears to my eyes. For years, he couldn’t enjoy listening to a story because he could not follow along.

I have witnessed hundreds of Fast ForWord success stories in my tenure at Gemm Learning. It was exhilarating to be a part of one.

-Tina Liberatore (Gemm Learning)