Does Fast ForWord Require Clinician Oversight?

January 19, 2012 by Geoff Nixon

FAQ Question #5. 

woman-on-phoneI have heard that only clinicians can monitor Fast ForWord.  If I work with Gemm Learning, who will monitor my son’s program? 

In its very early days, 1997-200, Fast ForWord was offered to the public without supervision. The outcomes were so disappointing, that the software was pulled from the market in favor of a clinician-provided service model.

Since then, Fast ForWord has been provided by clinicians primarily in-clinic in conjunction with other services and by K-12 educators in a traditional computer classroom environment.

Today, about a quarter of all clinicians — Speech and Language Pathologists, Audiologists, Neuro-Psychologists and others — utilize Fast ForWord within their practices as it is an extremely effective reading and dyslexia treatment, and learning intervention.

However, Fast ForWord was originally designed to be used independently.  It is adaptive, meaning that it finds the student’s skill level and then responds to correct and incorrect responses, creating an individualized experience for each student.  These powerful algorithms keep the student on-track, eliminating the need for any diagnostic intervention or course adjustment beyond what occurs in the software itself.

Fast ForWord oversight is a coaching role

That’s not to say that Fast ForWord does not require oversight — it does. 

Partly, it’s the personal trainer aspect — success requires consistent participation, helped by having a supervisor in the mix.  Second, many students encounter difficulty with one or more exercises, needing our help to overcome these glitches.  And finally, Fast ForWord has 11 different programs –while progress inside a program is controlled by the software itself, the pathway through the programs differs for each student, depending on student need and goals.

In 2006, Gemm Learning pioneered a virtual learning center model that extends beyond the classroom to the home.  Our program managers are certified Fast ForWord professionals and experienced classroom educators.  Their knowledge of the program as well as their collective backgrounds in various classroom settings allows them to provide exceptional support to our diverse student body.

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