Fast ForWord Is Much More Than A Computer Game

April 6, 2010 by Geoff Nixon

Here is a very relevant and practical comment from a Speech and Language Therapist (and a qualified Audiologist) on her experience of using Fast ForWord with people with auditory processing difficulties from our friends at Neuron Learning in the UK.

 It matches our experience at Gemm Learning of using Fast ForWord to improve auditory processing.

” Fast ForWord trainings were purposely developed to minimize novelty and amusement. That is a crucial aspect of the training. The goal is to train the auditory system with auditory stimuli that requires vigilance and attention, the same skills as are required when listening, reading and writing.

A major fault in many “educational” computer programs overall, is that they are really eductainment, with so much novelty and lengthy reinforcements, that the child expects to be entertained, and this is what happens.I might add that I would do Fast ForWord with individuals through the teen years, and even into their twenties, but have recommended Brain Fitness to adults, usually ages 30 and older, WHEN their profile of CAPD and their functional needs warranted such. That is, I make careful clinical decisions about whom I recommend for Fast ForWord, which is applicable to adults, or when I recommend Brain Fitness.

Many factors go into my recommendations for one or the other. Yet, I very much favor use of Fast ForWord training for even young adults, and particularly if they are still involved in an educational program (i.e, graduate school, medical school, career school, etc.).”

There are on-screen reinforcements, brief and cute, the trainee earns points, and ALL trainees should have a reinforcement program in which something is “earned” for having trained. This was part of the original research and is done so that the limbic system is involved, a major factor involved in learning, proven in research. All this is part of the training and the provider with whom you work will explain all.

It works well! I have put thousands through the training with great success. Our society has led children and adolescents to think that everything is “novel” and exciting, and while some of education is, the need for immediate reinforcement and novelty greatly impairs one’s ability to develop vigilance and attention. The fact that Fast ForWord does not offer such is one of its greatest strengths, yet with the right approach, even though there may be some tedium, the outcomes are worth it. 

Good Advice.