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fast forword software treats causes

Fast ForWord Program

Applying neuroscience to reading & learning

Fast ForWord software is unique learning and reading software to remediate reading delays, homework stress, ADHD and socializing difficulties.  It uses neuroscience principles and targets underlying cognitive skill gaps first – in two phases:

  1. Build a cognitive and learning foundation
  2. Train reading fluency & comprehension – Reading Level 1, 2, 3 and Comprehension

The uniqueness of all Fast ForWord programs – 9 in total,  most students complete 3 or 4 – stems from its science. The four founding neuroscientists combined cognitive research on how the brain learns to read with neuroscience knowledge on how the brain learns any new skill – for all ages.

  • 3+ million students helped in 50+ countries
  • 300+ efficacy and research studies
  • 55 patents in neuroscience and education
  • Average gain of 2+ years in ~6 months

Gemm Learning provides Fast ForWord at home in the US and Canada with the individualized support and coaching.

About the Fast ForWord Program

Each Fast ForWord program has 5-7 exercises – early programs build language and cognitive skills, later programs focus on reading and reading comprehension. This Scope & Sequence PDF summarizes each program in the Fast ForWord series.

For most students, Fast ForWord at home, takes around 6 months – 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Who Fast ForWord Helps

Because Fast ForWord works on deep-seated skills,  it helps a range of delays.

It helps reading fluency and reading comprehension in children, teenagers and adults.  It also addresses learning difficulties, including dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and inattentive ADD.  And it can help social issues.  Finally, Fast ForWord can reduce the symptoms of autism.

30+ Years of Research

Fast ForWord in an intervention that taps into neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change.  Its exercises create a ladder to higher function, new neural connections and consequently new learning abilities.

fast for word fMRI brain comparisonsThe changes in neural activity can be see in pre- and post-fMRI imaging.  Specifically, neural mass activity after training on Fast ForWord looks more like normal readers – there is more activity in the language regions of the brain when reading. The brain is relying more on language word memory, like a normal reader.

Why the Science Works

Fast ForWord neuroscientists were among the first to recognize that reading is primarily a language skill, not a vision skill. This cognitive research predicted the pathway to improving reading was to improve language, specifically language processing – using step by step adaptive exercises.

The founders built on this initial finding over a 30 year period. The end result was ForWord, which incorporates cognitive research, neuroscience, linguistics and natural learning science.

After publishing their initial findings in Science, the scientists persuaded several world-renowned universities to contribute and review data in randomized controlled studies. These and other studies validate the premise that language processing skills are the key to better learning and reading efficiency.

Fast ForWord Results

While the average gain across all research studies is 1-2 years, our results are better, because:

  • We don’t accept students we don’t think we can help,
  • Our monitoring is intense –  more intensity, more gains and
  • Our students complete more programs

Note, a program that has been around this long, which makes such bold claims has its skeptics, one in particular – reviewed here.

Here is a video of students in a school setting. We replicate all of this for you at home.

Find Out If We Can Help You or Your Child

Gemm Learning is the largest private provider of Fast ForWord at home in North America. If you are concerned your child might be resistant, don’t be. Most of the time we are able to get participation and results. To find out if your child is a candidate for our program, call one of our specialists at 877-914-4366 for a free consult.

Pronouncing Fast ForWord
Fast ForWord is a version of fast forward and so is generally said that way, fast forward. However, Marty Burns, arguably Scientific Learning’s most famous spokesperson, pronounces it Fast For Word. The idea behind the name is that by removing underlying impediments, Fast ForWord can quickly open the floodgates to higher achievement. The name evokes rapid acquisition of language skills. But it is an unusual name, often misspelled, such as fast forward software. Other names are fast for word program, fast for words, fastforward.com or fast forward.

fast forword software treats causes


After a reading gain of 4.7 years from Fast ForWord, mom shared, “On the final report card for last year, she was up in every class and all her teachers noted enormous improvements in her academic abilities! There’s still room for growth, but it seems natural age and behavior type growth like focusing on the quality of our work not the speed.”

Alicia L.

Parent of 4th grader, struggling reader


See how it works