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Fast Forward Review

Company: Scientific Learning
Assessment: No
Instruction: Yes
Grades: K-12
Subject: Reading
Delivery: CD-ROM
Originated from brain theory research. It says if you slow words down for students in an intervention setting it will improve their reading. Hinges on the assumption that students' reading issues stem from auditory processing deficits. They have data that says it works but the confound is of course if you put kids with decoding issues in an intensive 4 hour per day intervention for 8 weeks, you'll get results. Does it work for all reading issues? Probably not. Not all reading issues are decoding/auditory. Program is very expensive and is meant to be implemented via intensive labs. The difficulty they have run into is that selling it as a reading intervetion is hard when it focuses so much on "brain theory".

  1. Richard Capone
    Reply 03/13/17
    Jill, when something like this comes up, it is important to diagnose the issue right away. And generally, there are specialists who do this who are certified and have worked with many students with similar issues. Initially, you could use our DORA assessment. For $20 you get an assessment that tests students in 6 or 7 areas of reading. This at least will give you some more information. But ultimately, if the issue is a visual processing issue, then someone needs to diagnose the issue. I've heard about some students who simply had tracking issues. So using a ruler under each line helped. But with others it can be the letters in the words, etc. Again lot of possibilities and you don't want to waste time because it means your son not advancing his learning and also losing confidence. Good luck.
  2. Jill
    Reply 03/07/17
    I'm pretty sure our son has a visual processing issue and not an auditory one. If he hears it he will know it and understand it. Is this something that will work for him or do you have recommendations on another option. Thank you!
  3. Richard Capone
    Reply 02/10/16
    New inquiry came in from Lisa. Here is my response about how SciLearn and Let's Go Learn differ... Hello Lisa: You are right Scilearn focuses on a brain theory that if you slow sounds down for kids it helps them learn to read. This in practice is really only good for students who are early readers. Meaning they are learning to decode. Whether someone teaches students to decode via a slowed-down audio instructional process or simply sticks to teaching traditional phonics is debatable. But the part about decoding is that it isn't just about phonics. Students learning to read also have to memorized their sight words which are NOT phonetically regular. In other words, it isn't possible to just sound them out. Students have to learn how they are read and then commit them to "sight" memory. But the bigger picture for us is that this doesn't work for all students. We are a diagnostic assessment company first and then link online instruction to our assessments. Or we simply provide information for the parent or teacher to use to teach as they see fit. Case in point, many student struggle in reading and it isn't a decoding issue. It could be a vocabulary or comprehension strategy skills issue. Or both. In other words it's complicated. Our multiple measure assessment DORA, looks at 6 to 7 sub-skills for each student and finds the student's instructional point within each. This is the launching point for how to help a student. Sincerely, - Richard, CEO, Let's Go Learn, Inc.

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