Computer-Assisted Language Intervention Using Fast ForWord® Theoretical and Empirical Considerations for Clinical Decision-Making Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   October 1999
Computer-Assisted Language Intervention Using Fast ForWord®
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ronald B. Gillam
    The University of Texas at Austin
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: rbg@mail.utexas.edu
Article Information
Development / Professional Issues & Training / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Clinical Forum   |   October 1999
Computer-Assisted Language Intervention Using Fast ForWord®
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1999, Vol. 30, 363-370. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3004.363
History: Received August 17, 1998 , Accepted June 30, 1999
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 1999, Vol. 30, 363-370. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3004.363
History: Received August 17, 1998; Accepted June 30, 1999

A computer-assisted language intervention program called Fast ForWord® (Scientific Learning Corporation, 1998) has received a great deal of attention at professional meetings and in the popular media. Newspaper and magazine articles about this program contain statements like, "On average, after only 6 to 7 weeks of training, language-learning impaired children ages 4 to 12 showed improvement of more than one and a half years in speech processing and language ability." (Scientific Learning Corporation, 1997). Are the claims that are being made about this intervention approach just a matter of product promotion, or is this really a scientifically proven remedy for language-learning impairments? This article critiques the theoretical basis of Fast ForWord®, the documented treatment outcomes, and the clinical methods associated with the procedure. Fifteen cautionary statements are provided that clinicians may want to consider before they recommend Fast ForWord® intervention for the children they serve.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author wishes to thank LaVae Hoffman and Sandy Friel-Patti for their helpful comments and suggestions concerning an earlier version of this paper.
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