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Here’s an interesting trend.  The Australian government has agreed to pay for parents to use Fast ForWord software as an early intervention for autism. 

We wrote recently about processing delays being used at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a biomarker for autism.  This points to a growing belief that processing difficulties, targeted directly by Fast ForWord, are a core issue for most children diagnosed with ASDs. 

Which in turn explains the growing use of Fast ForWord as an autism program.  Its adaptive technology is ideal for this population as it allows the software to engage but not frustrate.  This makes it accessible to most autistic children.

Here is the press release:

OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Scientific Learning Corp today announced that the Australian Government’s Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has named the Fast ForWord® family of products as an approved intervention for children under age six who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs).

Designed to accelerate learning by developing the student brain to process more efficiently, the Fast ForWord educational software consists of scientifically proven, intervention programs that apply neuroscience principles to build the fundamental cognitive skills required to read and learn. The strengthening of these skills results in a wide range of improved critical language and reading abilities, such as phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, decoding, working memory, syntax and grammar.

In Australia, the Fast ForWord program is available to eligible children under the Helping Children with Autism funding package. Through this package, the Australian Government is working to address the need for support and services for children with ASDs.  As part of the package, the government offers funding for early intervention services for children ages zero to seven who are diagnosed with an ASD. 

Our associates in Australia, LearnFast, have been identified as a primary provider for this population.  Gemm Learning also provides an autism treatment based mainly on Fast ForWord.