Auburn University - Children Improve Auditory Processing and Show Evidence of Neuroplastic Changes
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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.
Rutgers University - Children Improve Brain Wave Efficiency, Rapid Auditory Processing Accuracy and Language
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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.
Before Fast ForWord participation, the (C)APD group was performing in the below average range in both sight word reading ability and phonemic decoding ability, while the non-APD group was at the low end of the average range in both skills. After using Fast ForWord Language, both groups demonstrated significant gains in both skill areas, with the (C)APD group moving into the average range in sight word reading ability and phonemic decoding ability.
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 Unpublished honours thesis, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia.