Learning Programs For Autism
Online programs to help autistic children with language, learning and reading
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 autistic child can get started on Fast ForWord, then we should be able to make a difference.
Targeted Online Exercises
There are 50+ Fast ForWord exercises, organized in a program series. Each exercise targets one or more cognitive and reading skills. Exercise content vary from auditory pattern recognition and sound discrimination early on, to spelling and reading comprehension later. The overall goal is to improve these areas:
- Social interaction
Exercises for Language
Many children with autism perform well on basic language tasks involving vocabulary and spelling. However, more complex language functions such as understanding figurative language, comprehension or making inferences can be difficult. Our program accelerates auditory development, helping to make language processing more efficient and automatic so that the student can also observe and think while listening, the key to high level comprehension.
Improving Social Interaction
Social deficits, which separate autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from other delays, usually become apparent early in childhood, before the age of 3. They struggle with social norms, make less eye contact and exhibit less social understanding than neurotypical children. 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 very common in children, as are challenges with fine motor skills. Both are sensory integration difficulties that can cause focus issues, which our software regimen does not address. There is another type of attention we can help though, inattentiveness, ADD, caused by processing inefficiencies that make listening or reading exhausting, leading to decreased focus or tuning out.
Available at Home
Our online learning programs for autism rely on parents to act as coaches for their children at home, with remote professional oversight to make sure your child is on track. We monitor your child’s progress daily, 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.
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.
Intensity to 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.
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.
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.
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