Fast ForWord is a neuroscience program that builds the brain’s learning capacity using the scientifically-based neuroscience principle of neuroplasticity, making learning easier and faster.
Fast ForWord automates and strengthens the brain the same way a fit athlete builds muscle memory, through repetition. Each day, the child is prompted to answer a multitude of questions, or respond to specific stimuli, whereby based on their responses, the program’s adaptability automatically increases or reduces the level of difficulty based on the child’s performance until the game is completed.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Brain plasticity, also known as neuroplasticity, is a term that refers to the brain’s ability to change and adapt as a result of experience. Neuro refers to neurons, the nerve cells that are the building blocks of the brain and nervous system, and plasticity refers to the brain’s malleability. There are two types of brain plasticity: functional and structural plasticity. In functional plasticity, the brain has the ability to move functions from a damaged area of the brain to other undamaged areas. In structural plasticity, the brain has the ability to actually change its physical structure as a result of learning. By developing new connections and pruning away weak ones, the brain is able to adapt to the changing environment.
Brain Plasticity helps promote:
- The ability to learn new things
- The ability to enhance existing cognitive capabilities
- Recovery from strokes and traumatic brain injuries
- Strengthening areas if some functions are lost or declining
- Improvements that promote brain fitness
For the brain to re-wire, certain conditions must be met. These conditions, or learning principles, have been identified as repetition, adaptivity to a person’s skill level, motivation, and immediate feedback. In this manner, Fast ForWord targets fundamental cognitive skills in order to support learning in the areas of auditory processing, language delays/disorders, and reading difficulties, just to name a few.
Cognitive skills strengthened by Fast ForWord
- Memory – working, short-term and long-term memory which are essential for word recognition, comprehension and recall.
- (Sustained) Attention – the ability to focus on information and tasks while ignoring distractions.
- Processing Speed – the rate at which incoming information is processed. For reading, this is how quickly one can distinguish speech sounds and identify letters and words to create meaning.
- Sequencing – the ability to determine the order of letters within words, or in words and concepts within sentences and paragraphs, visually and auditorally.
Reading & Language skills strengthened by Fast ForWord:
- Phonemic awareness
- Sound-letter association
- Grammatical structures
- Passage comprehension
- Reading fluency
Nuts and Bolts
- Fast ForWord is a personalized program. Before starting the program, an orientation session is scheduled to determine if the program is a good fit for your child. If Fast ForWord is recommended, then the child is registered and then takes an initial assessment online, placing the child at their level within the program. Subsequent assessments are taken after each completed level so that the parent and child can see the progress and continued areas of need until the child reaches their highest potential.
- There are two cognitive skills levels and many reading levels from pre-k through high school. Kids can complete as many levels as necessary for their needs. Some may start with cognitive levels, others with reading levels.
- Intensive 5 days/week (until completion). Approximately 6-10 weeks for each level, generally speaking, with compliance to the 5 days/week recommendation. Compliance can be challenging for some kids. There are built-in incentives within the program, and the speech/language therapist can make recommendations to parents on how to maintain engagement if that is needed.
- Continually adapts to each individual’s learning needs. This ensures that the child is not overwhelmed or bored, but is working at their level of optimal challenge.
- Interactive computer games makes learning fun. There are graphics, points, and engaging learning games to make it fun while learning.
- Quick, lasting learning gains. With compliance to the program, the brain’s neuroplasticity makes the gains they make last, and they continue to build new neuroconnections.
- Data. There is an incredible amount of data that can be shared of the reports for progress monitoring. The reports are sent via email with the preferred degree and frequency desired.
- Recommended by many professionals and parents: speech and language therapists, educational therapists, neuropsychologists, teachers, medical practitioners, parents, university researchers, neuroscientists, and audiologists.
At Vibe, we work with Fast ForWord in conjunction with providing weekly speech/language sessions to ensure that your child is comprehensively supported in both the program and in all their areas of need.
Our speech therapists are trained to work with children and adults of every age, and in every facet of speech and language. We are experts in our field. The clinical and personal relationship we have with you is at the core of everything we do. From the resources we bring to support growth in communication, to the highly individualized therapy sessions. We offer collaborative partnerships with other providers, family and caregivers and we are committed to exceeding your expectations. We look forward to helping your child bring their best self into the world!
Contact Vibe Speech Therapy to learn more about how we can help you!