Fast ForWord Auditory Processing Research

Auburn University – Children Improve Auditory Processing and Show Evidence of Neuroplastic Changes

Researchers at Auburn University, a leader in the study of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), published controlled research in International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology on the benefits of intervention with children diagnosed with APD. The researchers evaluated brainstem responses to speech sounds in elementary school children who participated in the Fast ForWord program 50 minutes a day, five days a week for eight weeks.

The researchers found that the Fast ForWord program not only improved auditory processing skills and listening skills, but they found evidence of brain changes in the children with APD. These “neuroplastic” changes in brain function occurred in regions specific to and important for accurate listening and language processing.

Source: Krishnamurti, S., Forrester, J., Rutledge, C., & Holmes, G. (2013). A case study of the changes in the speech-evoked auditory brainstem response associated with auditory training in children with auditory processing disorders. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 77(4), 594-604.


Rutgers University – Children Improve Brain Wave Efficiency, Rapid Auditory Processing Accuracy and Language

The ability to efficiently perceive and sequence two non-speech sounds presented as quickly as speech sounds are in words is often referred to as Rapid Auditory Processing(RAP). RAP is important because it affects not only language learning, but also reading and other school achievement.

In this study, twenty-one elementary school students diagnosed with language learning impairment (LLI) participated in Fast ForWord intervention for an average of 32 days. Pre- and post-training assessments included standardized language/literacy tests and EEG recordings. A control group of twelve children with no language difficulties received the same testing, but no intervention was given.

The authors concluded that measures of brain wave efficiency are not only correlated with auditory processing problems in children with language-based learning disabilities, but that the Fast ForWord Language program improves at least one measure of the brain wave efficiency and that is in turn correlated with improvements both in RAP accuracy and also language skills.

Source: Heim, S., Keil, A., Choudhury, N., Thomas Friedman, J. & Benasich, A. (2013). Early gamma oscillations during rapid auditory processing in children with a language-learning impairment: Changes in neural mass activity after training. Neuropsychologia, 51, 990-1001.


University of WA – Improved Reading Skills and Behaviour in Children with APD

Students in Singapore diagnosed with (C)APD demonstrated significant gains in reading skills after using Fast ForWord in a study conducted through the University of Western Australia.

Two groups of students from a public primary school in Singapore used the Fast ForWord Language program. The students in both groups were poor readers, but the students in one group also had Central Auditory Processing Disorders ((C)APD).

Source: Ho, Cheryl (2004). An examination of Fast ForWord language intervention for children with poor reading abilities. Unpublished honours thesis, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia.