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learning programs for autism

Learning Programs For Autism

In addition to the indications in DSM-5, many autistic children have learning and reading difficulties, most often related to delayed language processing.

These processing skills generally respond to exercise, meaning reading and learning can improve.

Gemm Learning provides Fast ForWord – self-paced online learning programs for autism that targets processing and related skills such as attentiveness and working memory. Fast ForWord has 50+ quick-fire language, cognitive and reading exercises that escalate in speed and complexity, pulling the student up in tiny incremental steps.

If your child can get started on Fast ForWord, then we should be able to make a difference.

Self-Paced Online Exercises

There are nine age-appropriated Fast ForWord programs, each with 4-6 exercises. Most students complete 3-4 programs completed in a sequence determined by Gemm Learning professionals – starting with cognitive skills, then moving onto reading and reading comprehension.  The goal is to improve:

  • Language
  • Social interaction
  • Reading
  • Attention

Exercises for Language

Many children with autism find more complex language functions such as understanding figurative language or making inferences difficult. These skills cannot develop until language processing is automatic. Only then can the student think while listening.

Our program for autism uses auditory pattern recognition and language processing exercises that escalate in speed and complexity to develop these auditory skills.

Improving Social Interaction

Social deficits, which separate autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from other delays. Part of the issue is language — the effort required to process conversation crowds out mind space that might otherwise read social signals.  By improving receptive language efficiency, our software aims to improve social interaction.

Exercises for Reading & Comprehension

For children with autism reading comprehension is often a challenge. This is because reading is a language skill. While children with ASD vary greatly in their reading skills, the lack of language mastery can be an impediment to reading. Our program works on language processing skills first and then reading-specific skills.

Exercise for Attention

Sensory abnormalities are common in children with autism, as are challenges with fine motor skills.  These sensory integration difficulties are not addressed by our software.  However, we do address inattentiveness, ADD, caused by processing inefficiencies that make listening or reading exhausting.

Available at Home

Our online learning programs for autism is a partnership between parents (onsite coaches) and Gemm Learning professionals who monitor results and provide guidance and support as needed.  We call regularly to review achievements and challenges, and email a detailed report on exercise activity weekly. We also offer remote sessions with staff to assist students with individual exercises when needed.

Individualized Programs

Every child is different. Because of this, the software will adapt and create an individualized path through the program, at your child’s pace. In addition, we select exercises and regimens that will provide a starting point and a path to success that may be less intimidating or frustrating for your child.

The Science – Autism Learning Difficulties Are Not Unique

There are many contributing influences to autism — immune system dysfunction,  sensory sensitivity, etc. — that our program does not address. However, many of these symptoms, such as reading and language difficulty, are not unique to autism.  Fast ForWord founder, Dr. Michael Merzenich, makes this observation:

Autistic children make the same errors in language and reading as higher functioning children, they just make more of them.

The strategies and thinking around helping autism symptoms are changing because of this understanding.  It is an important new way to think about learning programs for autism and what is possible. If software like Fast ForWord can help struggling neurotypical readers, then it should also be able to help autistic children with similar challenges.

Intensive Interactions Rewire Thinking and Learning

The key to Fast ForWord is its ability to interact with the user with precision, responding to correct answers with tiny increments in speed and complexity, pulling the student up to ever higher levels of capability.  This intensity, where every click counts, goes beyond what is possible in one-on-one teaching.

Find Out If We Can Help

We do not claim equal outcomes as our learning programs for autism cannot always help learning in every case. And so to find out if we can help your child watch this video or call for a free consult or contact us here.

Help for Asperger’s here

Efficacy of Our Program – Disclaimer

Behaviors and learning difficulties related to autism vary widely. And therefore program outcomes and definitions of success vary widely. We work hard on setting appropriate expectations in our consultation before you start the program. That being said, the anecdotal success of Fast ForWord for autistic children has created real interest in Gemm Learning. We have had some wonderful feedback from our families regarding results.

learning programs for autism

“We are seeing all kinds of gains now. His focus is so much better, he is taking his time over tasks and is less impulsive. We are also noticing he is asking more questions and has a better, more direct interaction with people. He is a much more confident and better behaved little boy and we think your program is what made the difference. So, we could not be more pleased.”

Marilyn J

Parent of 1st grader with autism



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“He has experienced dramatic gains in his oral language abilities … simply amazing results, with language scores increasing from what we consider to be low average for him (31st percentile two years ago) to now high average levels (86th percentile of peers his own age). We actually knew that his language skills were immediately improving during the Fast Forword program, but improvements were confirmed during more formal testing conducted privately.”

Jane K.

Parent of ASD 4th grader


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