Here is the link to the article and video on the Harvard University research using Fast ForWord to improve brain functioning in children with dyslexia. Very interesting interview with Nadine Gaab Click here
Carnegie Mellon scientists estimate that it takes 100 hours of teacher remediation to impact the brain of a dyslexic reader. Their review confirms the efficacy of neuro-based interventions. This follows up the recent study in Harvard University showing changes using a Fast ForWord which is a computer based intervention. (See here for this study and others). Good news for students and teachers.
Here is an extract from the Carnegie Mellon report.
PITTSBURGH—Just as a disciplined exercise regimen helps human muscles become stronger and perform better, specialized workouts for the brain can boost cognitive skills, according to Carnegie Mellon scientists. Their new brain imaging study of poor readers found that 100 hours of remedial instruction - reading calisthenics, of sorts, aimed to shore up problem areas - not only improved the skills of struggling readers, but also changed the way their brains activated when they comprehended written sentences.
The results may pave the way to a new era of neuro-education.
Carnegie Mellon researchers say poor readers initially have less activation in the parietotemporal area of the brain, which is the region responsible for decoding the sounds of written language and assembling them into words and phrases that make up a sentence, than do good readers. However, remedial instruction increases the struggling readers' activation to near normal levels.
This also was the first brain imaging study in which children were tested on their understanding of the meanings of sentences, not just on their recognition of single words.
"This study demonstrates how the plasticity of the human brain can work for the benefit of remedial learning," says neuroscientist Marcel Just, director of Carnegie Mellon's (CCBI), See the full article here
The past couple of summers, I have had the opportunity to work at Smoky Hill Education Service Center (SHESC) in Salina, Kansas. While working there I have been introduced to two different Reading programs that have become very popular around Kansas and the United States. One program is called Fast ForWord. It is a computer simulation that retrains the brain how to read and comprehend what has been read. I can say first-hand that this program works. During my time working at SHESC, I spent time coaching students of different ages and learning styles. My most successful story was an Autistic boy that was going into 7th grade when I first started working with him. When starting, he could not comprehend information that he read to save his life. After working with him on this program for the past three summers, he is now reading at his grade level and comprehends what he read with great detail. Not only have I seen an indescribable change in him but I have seen one in myself as well. I was “diagnosed” with a reading comprehension problem in the 5th grade and did not know what to do. My parents tried every strategy they could to get me to read better and comprehend faster. Nothing seemed to work, until my father found out about Fast ForWord and made me go through it. I was not successful at first but then when I got the job at SHESC and was forced to become familiar with the program, I was blown away at how well it works. In order to get the full picture, you must go to the website and check it out. It is sweeping the nation and I am sure you will be in a school someday that will have it (at least that is my dad’s goal). Anyway, the website is:
I encourage everyone to look at what this program can do for your students and urge your school to get it implemented into the school. It is not only successful for special education students but gifted and in-between as well. If you would like even more information about it, reply to my blog and I will give you as much information as I can. If I can’t answer your questions, then I will connect you with someone who can
We were delighted to see these results. Its for an adult learner. Note how the comprehension has improved even though the vocabulary has not appeared to move. The reading scores have improved also. Many things kick in not least speed of processing but also knowledge, fluency and language structures