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Girl reading on bed

"This is the only program that has worked. She

is now reading above grade level. Thank you!"

  - Christina C., parent of 2nd grader

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Intro Video

Find out about our programs and
who we help in this short video.

Cognitive Skills Can Be Improved

Building A Cognitive Foundation To Improve Reading

How to improve cognitive skills

Although most reading issues stem from cognitive skill delays, schools typically do not address cognitive skills in children.

This means that your child is not benefiting from the most effective way to help children improve learning, namely neuroplasticity, the potential for the brain to change. Cognitive skills can be improved.
Why cognitive training works

About 25% of kindergarten age children go to school and just read naturally, because they were born with strong cognitive skills, and so transition from listening to reading with ease. Our first goal at Gemm Learning is to help struggling readers develop these cognitive skills, so that they to can become so-called natural readers.


Cognitive Skills for Reading

Processing
Most struggling readers have weak auditory processing skills. This cognitive skill delay may not be evident in spoken language where the requirement is only that words be understood as whole sounds. But reading requires another big step up in processing accuracy, being able to break words into component sounds.

Cognitive skills foundation

Stored spoken language (word memory) is how we learn and think. And so it is what we use to read. We read text and match the words up with word memory to get meaning. These reading matches require the brain to be able to pull apart and store in word memory every sound in every word. It needs to hear that "cat" has three sounds "c-a-t" and to store it that way. If the word "sneaker" was heard as "s-n-ee-ga" that word can not be read fluently, without requiring some concentration.

Working Memory
Reading also requires the ability to absorb and retain information while reading. This is the key to reading comprehension, and to critical thinking. If this cognitive skill is not developed properly, grade level reading comprehension will be a challenge starting in 4th or 5th grade.
Working memory definition

Attention
Sound reading comprehension requires focused attention. This is a learned cognitive skill, often under-developed when reading is a struggle.

Sequencing
One of the least understood cognitive skills is sequencing. It is a high level processing skill, required for decoding, spelling and extracting meaning from text. This tends to be a weakness in children with auditory processing delays, mainly because it is a cognitive skill not practiced.


How We Improve Cognitive Skills in Children

Gemm Learning provides cognitive skills training using the Fast ForWord program. It strengthens processing, working memory, attention and sequencing.

How to improve cognitive skills

Fast ForWord finds each student's starting level. It then adds speed and complexity in tiny increments. Every student will respond to this kind of exercise -- as with any physical exercise that uses repetition in this way -- and most are capable of processing at 40 sounds a second if they are given a pathway to that goal.

Fast ForWord can take a student's processing speed all the way to 40 sounds a second! At that speed every word can be pulled apart accurately.
Fast ForWord reading program summaries

In some cases, particularly where there is evidence of cognitive impediments to reading not related to auditory processing -- such as visual processing, attention issues related to sensory integration issues, longer term retention issues -- Gemm Learning will add BrainWare Safari into a student's cognitive skills training protocol.
More about BrainWare Safari