"He is reading on his own, his focus
is better, and confidence is growing."
- Kay M., parent of dyslexic 6th grader
Dyslexia Software Science
How Our Programs Help Dyslexia
Fast ForWord software for dyslexia uses neuroscience principles to treat the underlying causes of dyslexia. A series of 50+ exercises, worked on in an individualized sequence, create new neural pathways -- making reading more natural -- by targeting:
Processing delays, common in most dyslexic children
Focus and attention skills
Vocabulary & language structure
Concepts Behind The Software
The Scientific Basis For Fast ForWord
Reading is a language based activity -- as much as 90% of dyslexic children have processing delays that make decoding and reading comprehension a challenge. Until those underlying causes of dyslexia are addressed, reading cannot be automatic, efficient or effective.
Auditory processing difficulties create friction and noise in how a student processes sound, compromising the phonological awareness required for reading. Fast ForWord dyslexia software exercises and strengthens processing and related skills.
Fast ForWord offers individualized, adaptive training with a level of intensity and depth of language and reading content that can't be matched by direct human instruction or by modular, instruction based dyslexia software. The program provides participants with cognitive training they can't get through classroom learning, tutoring, therapy or the workplace.
Individualized dyslexia programs by need
Included below are some key concepts for understanding this process and cognitive brain training in general.
Frequency, Intensity and Shaping
Just as with learning new physical skills e.g., tennis, or building upper body strength, developing new learning capabilities requires consistent exercise. Fast ForWord adds speed and complexity in tiny, incremental steps, called "shaping."
Steps to treating the causes of dyslexia
Each child brings unique strengths and weaknesses to any new task. A task that is quite easy for one student will be difficult for another. To derive benefit from training, the level of difficulty must be challenging without being discouraging. This level is different for each student, and it will change over time as performance improves.
A critical factor in the success of dyslexia software is how to make the most of every minute of exercise. Each task needs to be adapted in a way that optimizes training intensity and improvement in that skill. The ability to adjust task difficulty in response to individual users’ performance on a moment-to-moment basis is one of the key innovations of our software made possible by computer technology. Fast ForWord software for dyslexia constantly assesses the participant's skill level, progressing at the student's own pace.
Creating New Neural Circuits
Every dyslexic Gemm student experiences some version of the "activation" shown in this fMRI picture of a child with dyslexia, before and after Fast ForWord.
This activation occurs in the language areas of the brain. By improving processing accuracy, language is heard more clearly, encouraging the brain to integrate this input into reading. Over time, after Fast ForWord, fMRIs show that dyslexic students will transition from scattered activity all over the brain while reading -- reflecting a frantic, multiple strategy approach to decoding -- to more focused activity relying almost entirely on language processing. This is the ultimate goal of our dyslexia software.
Lasting gains are achieved when cognitive, language and literacy skills are trained simultaneously. This is a major element of Fast ForWord.
To get the most out of dyslexia software, students should train consistently. For this to happen, the software must be engaging with an effective reward structure. When the brain is in an engaged and rewarded state, it is much more open to learning and change. A reward for correct performance tells the brain, “That worked, do that again in the same situation.”
Early childhood learning is natural. Children learn through discovery, tested in the real world settings, then integrated into knowledge and behavior. It is a powerful learning process where in-the-moment feedback promotes deep understanding and enduring gains. Fast ForWord dyslexia software uses natural learning principles throughout.
Taking Advantage Of Brain Plasticity
Over the past 30 years, neuroscientists have studied the human brain to determine how it learns and what factors affect learning. Prior to this research it was thought that the brain was hardwired or fixed but scientists have since made the ground-breaking discovery of brain plasticity, the capacity of the brain to develop and change its structure and function through experience and training.
It used to be thought that a child's learning skills develop in the first three years of life. We now know that while change is more difficult after this early period, the window for building fundamental cognitive skills remains open throughout life.
The opportunities presented by brain fitness training
Why Instruction Does Not Help
The vast majority of tutoring and educational software for dyslexic children is really just more-of-the-same instruction that works around the underlying problems. And so, while students can make progress, reading is no easier -- a fluency problem in early elementary school morphs into a reading comprehension problem in later grades.