This research relates to the Fast ForWord home practise exercises we use. The research relevant to you will depend on your plan goals, however we have listed some research here that is commonly relevant to our NDIS therapy clients. This list does not contain all of the research. You can also find more research on this page or contact us to learn more.
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A random control study by Courtney Stevens at the University of Oregon found that children who used Fast ForWord showed improvements in the neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention.
The study focuses on three groups: language impaired (SLI) students using the intervention, typically developing students using the intervention, and a control group of typically developing students not using the intervention.
Methodology and measures
Twenty children received Fast ForWord computer training, including 8 with SLI and 12 with typically developing language. An additional 13 children with typically developing langauge received no specialised training. Before and after training, children completed standardised language assessments and an event-related potential (ERP) measure of selective auditory attention. Relative to the control group, children receiving training showed increases in standardised measures of receptive language, as well as larger increases in the effects of attention on neural processing. phonemic decoding ability.
These findings indicate that the neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention can be remediated through training and can accompany improvements on standardised measures of language.
Stevens, C., Fanning, J., Coch, D., Sanders, L., & H Neville (2008). Neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention are enhanced by computerized training: Electrophysiological evidence from language-impaired and typically developing children. Brain Research, 1205, 55-69.
This pilot study involved eleven children with cochlear implants aged 4 – 11 years. The average length of implant experience was 2 years 5 months, and experienced language and auditory processing deficits associated with their hearing loss.
The Fast ForWord program was presented without modification for this population, with the exception of signal delivery – patch cords were used to couple the speech processor directly to the computer’s audio.
Tests used to evaluate outcomes
- Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF-3)
- Test of Auditory Perceptual Skills – Revised (TAPS-R)
- Token Test for Children
- Assessment of Children’s Language Comprehension (ACLC)
- Phonological Awareness Test (PhAT)
Fast ForWord research results
The children in this study showed consistent benefits on these 5 standardised measures of language and auditory processing. In addition to these objective measures, parents were asked to complete a 45-item survey of perceived changes in communication skills after training on the Fast ForWord program. Improvement was noted on 83% of the survey items.
Schopmeyer, B., Mellon, N., Dobaj, H., Grant, G. & Niparko, J. (2000). Use of Fast ForWord to enhance language development in children with Cochlear Implants. The annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology, 109(12) p.95
This pilot study involved twelve people suffering from aphasia after a stroke, aged between 40 and 78 years. The majority of participants had experienced a stroke more than one year previously. All participants underwent a battery of tests and evaluations before receiving Fast ForWord treatment for eight weeks.
‘All patients received Fast ForWord training for 1.5 hours per day for a period of 8 weeks, for a total of 60 hours. They also received intensive one-on-one speech therapy with a speech language pathologist for exactly the same amount of time in the 8 weeks either before or after their Fast ForWord training. Order of treatment type was determined by random assignment.’
When the researchers re-tested all the participants at the end of the trial, they found that some of them had made significant improvements, while others had made no improvement. They concluded that the site of the brain injury determined whether Fast ForWord® exercises could help people to make progress using this treatment. They explained that the ‘…lesion site (as evaluated in Dronkers, 1996) was an excellent predictor of improvement in auditory comprehension with Fast ForWord. Severe-to-moderately impaired patients with lesions restricted to the superior temporal and inferior parietal cortex were seen to improve by 5 to 18% while those with larger lesions that also encompassed perisylvian frontal lobe structures did not improve.’
Dronkers, N.F., Husted, D.A., Deutsch, G., Taylor, K., Saunders, G. & Merzenich, M. (1999). Lesion site as a predictor of improvement after Fast ForWord treatment in adult aphasic patients, Brain and Language, 1999, 9(3):450-452
- Burns, M.S. (2008). Application of Neuroscience to Technology in Stroke Rehabilitation. Stroke Rehabilitation 1074-9357: Volume 15, Number 6.
- Research and Hope for Stroke Foundation’s review of Fast ForWord programs