How do you determine which reading interventions are truly research-based?


Checking their citations is a good place to start. But it’s also good to understand where they came from.

Fast ForWord was developed in a university lab and we stay true to those roots. In fact, we continue to be independently researched almost 20 years after the first products were released.

Some of our favorite independent research comes from Stanford and Harvard and shows actual physiological changes in the brain after struggling readers used Fast ForWord. Look below at the brains of proficient readers and struggling readers. See the difference? One has more concentrated activity in certain areas.

Think of it like this: you get where you want more quickly if you’re using a well-paved highway instead of potholed surface streets, right?

It’s as if the brains of the struggling readers (when doing reading activities) are functioning with bumpy surface streets– the pathways and connections are there, but the route is less efficient and slower, as evidenced by the lighter, more diffuse activity. Proficient readers, on the other hand, have nicely paved neural networks (highways) when doing reading-like activities and their activation is concentrated, more intense, more efficient.

Independent researchers at Stanford1 and Harvard2 found that brains of struggling readers became more like those of typical readers after they used Fast ForWord. There was increased activation in brain areas critical for reading after struggling readers completed 8 weeks of Fast ForWord.

The averaged fMRI data shown illustrates how the brain activity of students with dyslexia came to resemble the brain activity of proficient readers after Fast ForWord. Likewise, behavioral tests showed improved reading and language performance as well.

Fast ForWord addresses the core causes of student learning difficulties by targeting foundational auditory processing, phonemic awareness, language, memory and attention skills. It is one of the most powerful and unique reading interventions ever created. Proven effective for:

  • Struggling readers
  • English language learners
  • Students with learning disabilities: specific learning disability, language impairment, dyslexia, auditory processing disorders
  • Students on the autism spectrum

See more results by student population


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It’s the only online software that uses voice recognition to correct and support students as they read aloud—helping them decode just when they need it—and building comprehension and fluency along the way. Find out more!

1. Temple, E., Deutsch, G. K., Poldrack, R. A., Miller, S.L., Tallal, P., Merzenich, M. M., & Gabrieli, J. D. E. (2003).
2. Gaab, N., Gabrieli, J.D.E., Deutsch, G.K., Tallal, P., Temple, E. (2007).