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The NY Times article about Rosie O’Donnell and her son who is diagnosed with auditory processing disorder has created a lot of chatter in our world of learning.  The theme of the article is that auditory processing disorders need to be coped with, worked around, that they stay with you for life.

Then how do you explain this video?


This a child who came to Gemm Learning for our auditory processing disorder treatment.  While it is a compelling video, it is not at all unusual for us.  For Blaise, his APD is gone and he is going from strength to strength.  His brain was changed by Fast ForWord.

The quote in the Rosie O’Donnell story that got me was this one:

“It definitely affected his whole world,” she said of her son. “Not just learning. It cuts them off from society, from interactions.”

Such a bleak picture, particularly as a life sentence that needs constant vigilance as learning needs change as a student ages.  But Dr Norman Doidge, now famous (again, in our circles!) author of The Brain That Changes Itself  has his own quote:

“Brian plasticity is the single most important scientific discovery of the last 50 years.”

In other words we now know with a certainty, that learning patterns and pathways are NOT hard wired like a computer.   They are more like muscle, that can be changed and strengthened.

Ironically, auditory processing is not only not fixed, it is actually one of the brain function where there has been the most scientific progress, mostly because it can be isolated and will respond to sound-based exercise like Fast ForWord.  In Blaise’s case the changes Fast ForWord made have been life changing.

For more videos on Fast ForWord and learning and reading, click here.

Here is a link to the original article.