about gemm learning
about gemm learning

About Us

Gemm Learning was founded by Geoff Nixon in 2006, after Fast ForWord helped his child.  Almost everybody at Gemm Learning has either raised a child with learning difficulties or is a teacher.

Consequently, we know firsthand about the tutoring treadmill, homework battles and the eroding self-esteem that stems from learning frustration.  Gemm Learning was founded to break this cycle, to help children fulfil their unique potential. Tutoring can’t do that.  To truly transform a live you need to target the underlying learning difficulties that restrain progress. Until those impediments, headwinds to growth, are removed, learning is a challenge and potential is not realized.

That is our purpose, to unleash that unique potential.

Our Pledge

Children want to please, they want to read, but they need the skills to do so.  We provide Fast ForWord and other programs that provide a foundation for learning success.  We are proud the often life-changing results we achieve. Our pre- and post-testing shows an average 2+ years of reading gain in ~ 6 months.

We will move heaven and earth to help your child, if s/he is a candidate for our program – that’s our pledge.

Brief Background

Founded in 2006, we are the pioneers of providing Fast ForWord at home. We partnered with the software developer, SLC,  to implement the at-home program. Over time we have learned how to best support our families and ensure our students see the best gains possible.

We started with centers in the NY and CT region – to accommodate in-center and at home protocols. However, we migrated to an at home model only in 2011 or so, when the Fast ForWord software moved to a browser-based version. This move to a pure at home model had no impact on our success rates. In fact, if anything, our results improved because center visits are harder to fit into a child’s schedule.

We have program managers and consultants, who what they do.  Most of our staff have been with us for 10+ years – the thrill of a success story, and the satisfaction you feel from changing the world one child at a time is addictive!

Finding Our Purpose, Our Why

If you have a  child with learning issues, you know the drill. There’s a lot to fear — dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, APD, SPD. You can pay for an evaluation or to get a tutor in for a few sessions. But then what? Nothing really changes.

Brain Plasticity

You have heard about brain plasticity. The brain is not hard-wired as was once thought. It’s a living organ, like muscle, that will respond to exercise.

And really, that explains a lot. Think about stroke victims. Even when the majority of brain cells are killed, many relearn lost skills – using new brain cells. Their brain reorganizes.

And so, if the brain can change, then your child’s learning can change.

Researching Fast ForWord

In the world of tapping into the opportunity of brain plasticity to change a child’s learning trajectory, nothing comes close to Fast ForWord.

It has a way of tracking activity remotely making it ideal for home use with remote coaching (our model) and it is backed by 200+ studies and white papers. We called a few clinicians using Fast ForWord and the success stories we heard were amazing. Not to mention, our founder’s son also made significant gains using Fast ForWord, where nothing else worked.

From there we built a wrap-around individualized service at home that is second to none. That was in 2006. We have now helped thousands of families in the US and Canada.

There is nothing better than the steady stream of notes we receive from parents about the changes they are seeing in their children’s lives.. These success stories are what get us up in the morning. That’s why we work here!

Our Story

Our service staff are educators who have seen the limits of instruction and tutoring first-hand, and so love being able to offer a new window of opportunity to struggling learners. Their insight into activity at home involves them in a personal way that leads to great outcomes.

Gemm Learning was founded by Geoff Nixon, whose 7-year-old son, Matthew, did Fast ForWord. About halfway through, Matthew’s vocabulary exploded. He was more able to follow directions, became more talkative and finally started reading, a wonderful development for a child who had made minimal progress in the prior 2-3 years.

G.E.M.M. is the Nixon family  member initials, a personal name reflecting the personal story behind Gemm Learning.

“The other day my daughter said she needed quiet time and just wanted to read! She has never said anything like that before. Also, thanks for the info. The service from everyone has been so great. You guys are so enthusiastic!”

Mary J.

Parent of 5th grader



Online reading test