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Fast Forword


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Joined: Nov 28, 2006
Posts: 2
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Posted Nov 28, 2006 at 5:21:28 PM
Subject: Fast Forword

I am curious to hear if anyone has been given the referral of utilizing Fast ForWord for thier children who have APD?

My story is that our son from the time he was an infant had cronic ear infections, no tubes we ever put in. He started to show some signs of behavioral problems at home and school. We were told to go see a ENT specialist,he told us the symptoms seems to sound like APD. I found a specialist who did this testing and was he definatley diagnosed with APD.
We went to the school district and they did additional testing but said his testing was in the superiorty range and nothing could be done to help him and he needed anger management classes.
I heard that no matter what I do, in our school district, they will not do anything to help unless you get an attorney. We decided to do things on our own to help our child. I have had him in private speech and language lessons and now we are taking him to a Psycologist to help him deal with his frustration.
We are now trying to see what programs can assist him with APD, any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Nov 29, 2006 8:38:12 AM

I haven't heard much good about FastForward. When we were discussing programs for my DD the SLP recommended Earobics or Lindamoodbell. The SLP said that FastForward really didn't have a good record for helping. I also have a friend whose DD tried FastForward and found it very frustrating. They ended up dropping it.

We used Earobics for 2 years. We also used an auditory integration program called The Listening Program. These were very helpful and she does very well in class now.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Nov 30, 2006 2:49:09 PM

We provide Fast forWord in the public school district where I work as a special education teacher. I also had my son, who has auditory disabilities, go through FFW. FFW provides very intensive auditory training in a variety of areas. Our school also uses The Listening Program (TLP - Advance Brain Technologies) to provided auditory stimulation and I personally think that it is best to do this type of program before doing FFW. While I like Earobics, the cost of which is vastly less expensive than FFW, I do not think it has the intensity which FFW has. Summary of my opinion - The Listening Program (or related product) first, then FFW. Earobics later to maintain skills. That said - TLP takes at least 8 weeks, FFW will take another 6 to 8 weeks. Both are expensive. Both require professional supervision. Will it help? Don't know. Try to get more advice from professionals you trust. Try to see if the school district is paying for anyone else to have these programs. Become a squeaky wheel if need be.

Angela

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
Posts: 621

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Posted:Nov 30, 2006 3:27:31 PM

My 13 year old son did FFW at the end of first grade. It made a huge difference. Suddenly, he understood the world around him. I remember clearly when he began to "eavesdrop" on the world. I had always thought he was less nosy than my other children. The truth was he couldn't comprehend unless he was extrodinarily focused.

He couldn't do Earobics until after he did FFW. If your child can do Earobics, then I would. But do it intensely. If you do FFW, follow up with Earobics.

That said, it still was a struggle for him to learn to read. I think the reason why FFW has so many mixed opinions is that it depends what your goal is. It improves auditory processing which is one of the prerequisite skills for reading. In my son's case, there was a whole constellation of disabilities underneath his reading difficulties, which required years of hard work and much intervention.

We didn't do TLP before FFW but, given what I know now, I would have. It seems to make other programs easier. Much later we did TLP and immediately other therapy we were doing became much more manageable.

TLP is easy to do though--just listen morning and night. FFW is plain hard work.

We paid for it all ourselves--the school district said it all was "unproven". But had we waited for "proven" techniques my son would still be in special ed instead of a B student.

Angela--how is your son doing in college? I was thinking of you the other day--because our sons are so similar in profile. My son is doing well in middle school and so I am daring to think he might actually go to college some day (I used to wonder if he'd get a regular diploma from high school).

Beth

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Nov 30, 2006 5:26:34 PM

Hi, Beth - WOW middle school, it is amazing how the time goes by and our boys grow and learn. College!!! It has been a rough ride this first semester. So many diverse demands from reading and writing assignments, to computer issues, to dorm adjustments and social challenges. He has the easiest schedule we could have hoped for. Unfortunately the staff at the disability services is all new and he wants nothing to do with them. He is about a two hour drive from us and several times we drove there thinking he had had it and was coming home and then he would refuse to give up, send us away and call ranting again the next day. Two more weeks and then finals and he is still there. He might even be getting Cs in his classes. There is a January interim where he is not taking a class and the second semester starts up in Feb. I don't know if he will return. Still, as hard as it has been, we see growth made and challenges met. I don't know of any way we could have prepared him better, but we have listened and encouraged through this huge step. Whatever his decision, he has had remarkable experiences.

Kim, like Beth, there has been no one answer for our son. It has been a continuing search for ways to help him learn and grow. The effort has made a difference for him and for us.

Angela

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Kim5119
Joined Nov 28, 2006
Posts: 2

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Posted:Dec 01, 2006 6:16:21 PM

Thank you so much for the information and insight into Fast ForWord. Any bit of information so helpful when you are confused yourself! It is really nice to know you are not alone and there are things to help your child with APD.
Thanks again-
Kim

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
Posts: 621

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Posted:Dec 08, 2006 9:29:54 AM

Angela,

First semester is rough for many kids, not just LD kids. One idea that I have seen implemented successfuly an LD kid is to go to community college first. My neuronet provider has a child with LD. She had him go to the community college first--he took three years to do two years of work and then he transferred to a regional state college, where he lived away from home. Her goal at the community college was to make him an independent learner--not rely on her support. He graduated with a B- average from the regional college and believe it or not has now completed a masters degree and is teaching history at the same junior college he once attended.

He has a profile similar to our sons.

Kim,

Truly, kids with disabilitie can be quite successful, with proper intervention and lots of parental support.

Beth

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Dec 08, 2006 5:19:40 PM

Just curiouis about something. We are scheduled for the APD testing on Jan 4th. After that she said she will give us a list of recommendations. Do you think she will recommend the order in which to do things?

Kathryn

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atlynam
Joined Dec 10, 2006
Posts: 1

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Posted:Dec 10, 2006 1:27:53 PM

Hello,
I was wandering if anyone can help me. We have had our 9year old privatly tested by a psychologist and it has been determined she is NLD. Out tutor has recommended fast forward for her, however we are hesitant to use this because she does not have and auditory problem. Does anyone have any advice for us about where to go to help her with her comprehesion?

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 16, 2008 9:40:31 PM

I'm resurrecting this post....

My 9 yr old is in the midst of Fast ForWord and it is an absolutely incredible experience. I'm not sure HOW helpful it will be, but I am learning where she has some weaknesses that no one ever told me about. For example, when she hears the /g/ sound, she thinks it is /d/. For "gap" she says "dap" as if she is repeating the word she heard. Even when I said "Not dap, it's gap" she said "No, it's not gap, it's dap". So, even when I pointed out that they were different she insisted I was wrong. Also, the private therapist is able to work with her on areas of weakness.

I doubt seriously that hearing a /d/ in place of a /g/ is hindering her language learning abilities, but it just makes me realize that there is probably a lot more going on than we are aware of.

So, if you can do FFW then I would recommend it. It's a lot of work and we are working with rewards and incentives for "playing with a cheerful attitude" and that we don't care about right or wrong answers. We only care that she tries her best and boy does it show when she tries her best.

Kathryn

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Mar 17, 2008 12:02:50 AM

Kathryn,
I'm glad you are finding Fast ForWord useful. I still am providing it to students through my public school district. I find it to be an intensive training program that addresses a variety of auditory skills. I'm sure your encouragement is helping your child.

My son is still at college and it has gotten easier, thank goodness.

Angela

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 17, 2008 3:20:01 PM

Oh yeah, glad to hear that he is still in college. I was wondering because your last post (in this thread) said you were not sure what he had decided.

Did you say that you once thought he would not go to college? That's where we are right now. My daughter is 9 and in 3rd grade. I just can't see her wanting to go to school since the academics are so hard, but the social side of her may be what makes the difference.

The district is REALLY pushing the special day self contained class for her, but she is so happy where she is right now that I hate to upset the apple cart. She is completely social and loves being with her friends. She tells me all sorts of horrible things about the kids in the SDC. She knows that those kids are different and while she knows that she has issues as well, she does not associate herself with that class. She has begged me to let her stay with her friends. Her pediatrician also says to keep her where she is because changing her environment would not be good for her with her anxieties.

Thanks again for the update. Can you tell me if the kids your district provide the program for are in special ed? Are they language impaired? Do they have other issues as well such as autism or other PDDs? How have they done with FFW? Have the teacher/parents noticed a difference after using the program?

Kathryn

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Mar 17, 2008 9:23:29 PM

My large school district has basically set up its own reading clinic. All students referred to us are in special education - usually RSP or Special Day Class. There is a screening process that looks at the type of disability and interventions that have been tried. Students accepted into our program usually have been in special education for some time but are not making significant progress. Most have average intelligence but auditory processing deficits. Some have other issues such as language and some appear to be ADHD or on the autism spectrum. We take kids in to do Fast ForWord first and then we assess them for our other programs, mostly decoding and spelling, fluency and comprehension. Students attend for two hours a day, five days a week for one to one instruction with educational assistants. The kids are bused to us and miss approx. 3 hour of their school day, so it is a very restrictive environment. Some kids do only Fast ForWord and then we recommend that they return to school to see how they do. Most teachers and parents are happy with the progress the kids make. FFW is not a reading program, but you see how intensive the auditory training is. Even in my old, backward district I was able to get FFW for my son. I felt that it was one attempt to address the processing issues that were affecting his reading. I had much more difficulty getting the intensive reading instruction that we provide. Most of his teachers had little training in research based programs. I did not allow my son to be moved to SDC. Those teachers did not have reading instruction training either and the curriculum is remedial. My son is very bright. He has excellent comprehension and an excellent memory for material that he hears. Using those skills he could participate in a general educaion classes and demonstrate his understanding. He did have some RSP classes, which provided some assistance and maybe a little less pressure. College only became possible when we moved him to a private college prep high school for students with learning disabilities. Left in the public high school we were told that he would not graduate. The private school provided a college prep curriculum and accomodations such as taking the SAT with a tape. Our son's biggest boost with reading came from the Read Right program where he was tutored over the phone. I know the road to finding help for your child is long and lonely. The people at this forum are the kindest I have met because they travel the same path.

Angela

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jmmom
Joined Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 9

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Posted:Mar 19, 2008 9:14:31 AM

Hi Angela,
I'm interested to know which Fast ForWord products your school district uses? Our district offers some of the programs. My son has completed Language and Language to Reading and he is ready to do Reading 1 (they purschased Reading 1 but have not rolled it out yet) He has language impairments as part of his PDD. Mostly with syntax. We have also had a private tutor providing the Wislon reading program for the past year, but I'm just not sure it's the right fit for him. He moves through his lessons realatively well, but I haven't seen much improvment with his reading. For the most part he decodes ok, but could still improve in this area. The bigger issues are fluency and comprehension. If you have had any experience with the FF Reading programs, have you seen positive results? Or is there a reading program that you know of that's a good fit for a kid with language issues. He is currently is 3rd grade, in regular ed, with a couple pull outs each week for comprehension work. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm trying to figure out what to do this summer. BTW, he has also had some vision therapy which we feel has been helpful too.

Thanks,
Linda

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 19, 2008 4:36:55 PM

She has hit a huge ramp up this past week or so with FFW. I just noticed it when I looked at her results, plus I have been watching her play. She's getting the hang of it and doing quite well. I'm not sure what to watch for in terms of improvement in language, except that she's able to do these exercises better and better. She's able to repeat longer and longer sentences. I'm not sure what else to look for and what to attribute her gains to. She is also doing the Lindamood Bell program at school, which I hear is a good one for reading comprehension issues.

Angela, How did your school district justify the use of FFW? The school psychologist said to us that FFW has never been tested on a model like our daughter. That was her response. And we were not even asking them to provide it since we were doing it privately.

Kathryn

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geodob
Joined Feb 06, 2005
Posts: 265

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Posted:Mar 20, 2008 12:51:35 AM

Linda, as Kathryn suggested, Lindamood Bell might be helpful?
Particularly their Visualising and Verbalising program, which often helps with comprehension.
Where it focuses on developing visual mental images, in association with words and reading.
How this helps comprehension, is expressed in the statement: 'A single picture can say as much as a thousand words'.
So that one forms a visual mental image of what one is reading, which brings all the elements together.
Which is basically comprehension.
Though if one hasn't learned how to visualise, then it just remains a long string of words, in auditory form.

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 20, 2008 3:11:19 PM

I agree. I did not realize that my daughter was not visualizing. We started working with her on a word level. Describing an object that she could hold in her hand. Feel, color, hardness, size, shape... then they went onto the sentence level. Drawing pictures of what the sentence says. It helps with word problems in math as well, as long as they truly understand all the components of the sentence such as "what is the difference between..." That is a great program for comprehension. Eventually they need to make a movie in their heads as they read, but right now we're still trying to draw pictures and make pictures of sentences.

I also noticed that her auditory memory is stronger when she makes pictures. I believe we all do it, but no one ever had to teach us this skill.

Kathryn

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
Posts: 88

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Posted:Mar 20, 2008 9:24:13 PM

My district's program carefully screens kids to see that FFW and our individualized lessons are appropriate interventions. Those kids that try the program have been in special ed for some time and have not made enough progress even though there has been quite a bit of training for special ed teachers in RSP and SDC classes. As the research indicates, most kids with reading delay have auditory processing deficits, so our district office believes that FFW is a good place to start. From there we teach decoding using the Lindamood Bell LiPS program and symbol imagery for reading and spelling the most frequently used words. We use Read Naturally for fluency and Lindamood Bell V & V for comprehension.
Regarding FFW we mostly use Language and Language to Reading. While we do have the FFW Reading programs, my experience is that for most of our students the reading level is too high. Most of our students struggle with decoding and we prefer one to one instruction rather than FFW Reading.
When my son we in 3rd grade we were struggling to get any kind of research based program. I did take him to a clinic, but two afternoons a week were clearly not enough and the school was doing nothing that supported his clinic instruction. Eventually, I did hire an advocate and got the district to pay for some instruction at the clinic including FFW, they were always looking at their calendars saying "See it didn't work".
For our son the biggest reading improvement was produced by Read Right which focuses on fluency and predictability of the text.

Angela

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jmmom
Joined Feb 03, 2007
Posts: 9

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Posted:Mar 25, 2008 10:30:28 AM

I was at a conference on inclusive education and they presented the strategy of drawing pictures
to aid in comprehension. We will give it a try. We do not have any certified LMB providers in this area, unfotunately. Our Special Ed resource room uses Preventing Academic Failure, which is an OG program.
My concern, just like with Wilson, is that it may be overkill for my son with regard to decoding. They don't have a specific program for Fluency or Comprehension, that I know of. Angela, would Read Right be appropriate only after a child had mastered decoding? I couldn't get the demos to work on their website. Thanks again!

Linda

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 25, 2008 11:21:25 AM

Is read right for fluency or comprehension? Do they have a website that you could refer me to?

I had a parent teacher conference on Friday and the teacher told me my daughter has gone up 10 reading levels for comprehension in the last 2 months. Not sure if that is from FFW, but I suspect the V&V has a lot to do with it. The resource teacher reported that she read a story one day and then 4 days later she asked her "Remember the story you read about the squirrel? Can you tell me what that story was about?" and she said she watched my daughter do something with her eyes and could tell she was "accessing her picture" that she had made about the story, so that sounded like positive news for her.

Kathryn

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Angela in CA
Joined Mar 17, 2005
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Posted:Mar 25, 2008 8:02:08 PM

I did some thinking and some looking. I have after all been in your shoes. My son was not very good at working with me, but I did try and suggest you do the same.

Lindamood Bell V & V builds visualizing skills and help kids to both see the details (structure words like size, shape, color) and the main idea. If you look at their website go to Gander Publishing and see the less expensive manuals to learn about the methods and perhaps teach some basic V & V.

A pretty user friendly program I use for reading comprehension is Curriculum Associates CARS (Comprehensive Assessment of Reading Skills) and STARS (Strategies ...Reading Skills). The assessments appears to only come in a classroom packet of 10 copies, but the STARS book can be purchased individually for less than $10 a book. The Strategies teaches how to find answers to the kinds of questions students have on tests, like where to look for main idea, key words for sequence...and is available on many reading levels. I try not to wait for the decoding to catch up before I work on comprehension. Many children understand at a much higher level than they can read unaided. So read to them or with them and teach them to understand concepts.

Read Right focuses on predictablitiy of the text and fluency. Dee Tadlock the founder has a book on the market that explains her theory and practice. Decoding is the tip of the iceberg. There is so much the brain does in the reading process. My son could not decode and still has difficulty with words in isolation. But with Read Right he learned to read fluently and we saw a huge jump in his reading skills from reading over the phone twice a week for an hour each time. Read Right aims for 6 months, but it took our son 2 years of twice a week tutoring. He did not want to stop and we could hear him read over the phone. He would only read to me for 10 minutes and then find an excuse to stop. He would read to his tutor for an hour. So we just kept going and feel it was the biggest help to our son. Their website is www.readright.com.

When my son was about 9 we had been here and yon looking for answers. I heard Joseph Torgeson, a noted reading researcher, speak and I asked him afterward if we should continue to try to teach our son to read. His answer was a strong, definite YES! So we did and we also learned assistive technology and used audio books and changed schools...but we never gave up. He is now in college...who could ask for more!!!

Angela

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