So, I went to a seminar by Dr. Steve Miller yesterday. Dr. Miller is a co-founder and Vice President of Scientific Learning Corporation which is the developer of Fast ForWord.
Really fascinating stuff.
It’s interesting to see what happens to the energy dynamic in a room once people get the gist of what he’s proposing — that we’re on the verge of remediating learning disabilities, not just improving or working around them through compensations. It becomes like a gospel revival meeting. The entire room leans forward, there are gasps of insight, and occasionally even spontaneous exclamations like “Amen!” and “You say it brother!” when someone has a flash of recognition.
The room was full of educators (my friend and I were the only just-parents there), so it was especially good to see that particular group of people excited about the possibilities.
For me, it remains to be seen how much good it will do for my kids, but we should know soon, as school starts next week.
If you want to find out more about Fast ForWord go to scholar google. Type in Fast ForWord. You can also look for articles by Taller and Merzenich. I did it, and came away disheartened by the first few abstracts I read, which basically said the promise of Fast ForWord isn’t borne out in reality. But. Then I looked at how long the testing went and we’re talking about small groups of students, usually about 65 total who did the Fast ForWord program, or another program or nothing at all for about a month. I don’t think a month is long enough. But there’s over 1,000 articles so it will take some time to get through them.
If you’re interested in testing out some Fast ForWord-esque games, try this site…
Any parents out there whose kids have done the Fast ForWord program? Please let me know in the comments what was your experience? Did it help? Did it make no difference at all?
Update: I now have a Fast ForWord Page where I’ve collected all my postings about Fast ForWord plus some other useful links.