Fast ForWord is a computer based training program for language impaired children. It is founded on the recognition that a large portion of language impaired children have developed an inefficient way of handling the processing of “fast” speech sounds. It uses a special form of computer-generated speech to slow down certain sounds so that the children can hear differences in sounds that they could not hear before. Then, through progressive computer based training, children learn to understand speech in faster and more natural forms.
The Basis for the Fast ForWord Approach
Fast ForWord is based on the important research of Dr. Paula Tallal of Rutgers University and Dr. Michael Merzenich of the University of California at San Francisco. In their research project they developed techniques to involve children in intensive auditory processing training over several weeks. The initial experiments were extremely successful. Data indicated that children advanced nearly two years in language skills. Moreover, follow up studies indicated the changes were persistent and affected a broad range of language skills.
To share this approach, the researchers created Scientific Learning Cooperation which provides training and certifies speech pathologists to provide the service. Scientific Learning Corporation cooperates with Medical Support Services, via the Internet, to adjust and monitor the individual child’s treatment program.