Fast ForWord is a family of educational software products intended to enhance cognitive skills of children, especially focused on developing "phonological awareness" (discussed below). It is marketed as a therapy for strengthening the skills of memory, attention, processing rate, and sequencing for children. It evolved from studies that showed children with abnormal temporal processing and language learning impairment could have their phonological awareness improved in parallel with their temporal processing. It is currently marketed for children with a broad range of reading problems, and perhaps other cognitive disorders as well. Fast ForWord software was developed and is commercially distributed by Scientific Learning Corporation, which became a public company in 1999.
Independent scientific analysis of the Fast ForWord product has shown little or no support for the effectiveness of the product in treating children's learning challenges. See Independent Scientific Analysis Controversy (further below).
... that pre-dated the commercial development of Fast ForWord, it was reported that 8–16 hours of training using Fast ForWord produced "1.5 to two years of progress in reading skills" ...
... Several studies have been published that have evaluated Fast ForWord Language using randomized controlled trial designs ... In 2004, a study of Fast ForWord in a large urban school in the Northeast of the US was published ... The students randomly assigned to receive Fast ForWord treatment did not show statistically significant improvement in most of the reading measures examined, although there were a few small gains for ...
... in which neuroplastic research had been used to develop a computer training program called Fast ForWord that offered seven brain exercises that improved language impairments and learning ... Feedback on Fast ForWord showed that these brain exercises even had benefits for autistic children, an unexpected spillover effect that Merzenich has attempted to harness by developing a ... that Merzenich started called Posit Science, Fast ForWord-like brain exercises and other techniques were developed with the aim of sharpening the brains of elderly people by ...
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