FAQ on our treatment for autism at home.
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Gemm Learning Autism Program FAQ
Logistics, Science and Efficacy of Treatment For Autism
How does the software work?
We first strengthen the processing skills at the heart of autism, and then build language and reading skills. Each game requires your child to make a series of quick decisions, at his own pace, building a range of skills in tiny increments. It is a science-based treatment for autism, using the principle of neuroplasticity to create new neural circuits each and every day.
More on how the software works
How much does your program cost?
Pricing options range from monthly rates to a 12-month program, with a 14-day risk-free cancellation policy.
- Monthly: 30 or 50 minutes/day, $500/month + one-time $125 registration fee.
- 4-Month Plan: 30 or 50 minutes/day, 4 months for $1,500 total. $295/month to continue.
- Installment plan: 4 months of service, $320 to start, then $140/month paid over 12 months.
- 12-month plan, designed specifically for autistic students who often need more time. Request a fee schedule to learn about all of our options.
Do students have to follow a schedule?
The assignment of games for each session is timed and changes daily. Most students complete 30 minutes of the program every day, but based on the pricing, timing and learning needs listed above, this can be catered to the individual student.
How long does it take?
The time to complete varies widely for autistic children, generally longer than the 4-6 months spent by higher functioning students. Many children really enjoy the game aspects and stay with us for a year or more, making our treatment part of their school year routine.
What ages is it for?
This is an intense treatment for autism requiring sequencing and auditory-to-visual skills that develop around 5 years of age. And so children need to be 5 years of age to start, sometimes older. We have a generous refund policy -- a full-refund in the first two weeks -- and so if your child cannot get started, no harm done. You can receive a refund, take a break and try our treatment again in a few months later.
Is this software intensive enough to make a difference?
Our Fast ForWord software is growing in popularity as a treatment for autism because it directly tackles the processing delays that are at that heart of an autism diagnosis. The intensity to rewire learning is definitely present.
Can I handle this program at home?
For sure, home-based programs have a mixed record due to compliance issues. This is where we come in. We have a very high compliance rate because we are actively engaged in every aspect of the home experience -- maintaining the schedule, completing the exercises correctly, managing rewards for the children, providing tips and encouragement for the parent. Your role as parent is to be the time manager and a cheerleader. No other training is required.
Do I need a clinician to help with Fast ForWord?
Fast ForWord is a powerful clinical software used by many Speech and Language Pathologists and Neurologists. But think of Fast ForWord as the exercise regimen after a surgery or diagnosis. Our staff -- certified Fast ForWord providers and teachers -- are involved, but Fast ForWord does most of the heavy lifting, making the minute to minute changes to adapt to your child. There are no ongoing diagnostic decisions required once the program starts.
Gemm Learning or a clinician?
Which symptoms does your treatment for autism help?
Inability to Follow Directions
Children struggle to follow directions because they are not processing fast enough to take the words in at natural language speed and/or they are not able to retain what they hear.
Fast ForWord tackles these two issues separately. Its most important exercise targets processing speed and accuracy, using a high/low sound exercise game that adds speed at the student's own pace. Working memory also has a dedicated exercise, a matching game, but is an important cognitive skill that to some extent is developed in almost all Fast ForWord exercises.
Many autistic children struggle to attend to language oriented tasks. This includes sitting in class, doing homework and reading. This inattentive behavior is often due to internal "churning" that makes it hard to absorb the content without a lot of exhausting effort. This churning also distracts from listening or reading comprehension -- if your child was better able to absorb the content, he/she would likely find it more interesting and so would engage more consistently.
Fast ForWord takes a two step approach:
Eliminate the impediments to effortless absorption of material, written and spoken
Help the student develop attention skills with exercises that diminish impulsivity and develop attention stamina, the ability to stay engaged even if the material is not that interesting. Fast ForWord builds this skill using exercises that require intensity of focus in durations that increase over time.
The processing delays experienced by most children with autism make words sound muddy, thereby making it hard for them to sound out for reading. Our intervention helps reading comprehension by automating the decoding task, freeing up the mind for comprehension; no more multi-tasking, juggling decoding and comprehension at the same time.
Vocabulary, Articulation and Conversation Skills
Many autistic children have a limited vocabulary and/or struggle with articulation or conversational, expressive language skills. These seemingly varied issues come down to the same problem, weak listening skills. If you cannot hear a word clearly, you will not use it in conversation, preferring simpler words you are sure you heard right. Mispronunciation or muddy articulation is a direct reflection of how the words are heard. And finally, if a conversation is moving too fast or if you miss big chunks of it, you will tend not to participate.
Many families choose our treatment for autism to help improve their child's language skills. We treat speech and language issues by improving listening efficiency -- this involves clear listening, accurate sequencing of the syllables (for vocabulary and articulation) and words (for conversation) and working memory skills that can capture and hold words at natural language speed. These important skills are all covered in the first program, Fast ForWord Language v2 for elementary age or Fast ForWord Literacy for middle school and older.
Language Structure and Writing
Observation of how language is structured, the nuances, grammar, spelling and syntax, requires the ability to think critically while listening or reading. Processing inefficiencies prevent this level of observation -- the mind is too occupied with the words themselves. Our program series improves the cognitive skills required to be able to learn through absorption, it has exercises that teach language structure as needed for writing, and it helps children read more frequently, a necessary precursor to improved writing skills.