And as soon as he started doing the exercises, they knew immediately that he was responding, because of his answers...we were just amazed. After three months, he was talking! It was just a miracle.
From birth, David Bueche had a rare auditory processing disorder that left him unable to understand what people were saying to him; and unable to speak.
"He never spoke back," says his mother, Deirdre Bueche. "It was very frustrating, because we thought he had understood us when we spoke to him. But the response was not there, and he would appear to be spaced out. We didn't realize what was going on, of course, so to us he just seemed really, really slow."
As concerned parents, Deirdre and her husband went to great lengths to find out what was wrong. "We had him tested and tested and tested," she says. "We went everywhere. We didn't find out that it was an auditory processing problem until much, much later."
In fact, it would be almost 20 years before David's problem was diagnosed and treated.
To look at him now, you'd never know about the monumental problems David Bueche has had to overcome. But, in fact, until he was 20-years old, he didn't speak a single word.
School was a nightmare for David. "He never benefited from schooling the way the other kids did," Deirdre says. "For one thing, he was put into special ed classes, with a peer group that had different problems than he did. For another, he couldn't understand what the teachers were saying to him, and, of course, he couldn't respond to them."
"He was taking terrible abuse from his fellow students," Deirdre says. "They were very, very cruel to him. So I took him out of public school, and for the rest of his education, through high school, it was learning by the book. He just used workbooks. You read the book, you answered the questions. No lectures. No raising your hand to ask a question."
David managed to get a high school diploma in spite of his disorder. But at the age of 20, he still hadn't spoken a single word. Then the miracle of neuroscience—came into his life.
At the behest of Dr. Michael Merzenich, a world-recognized neuroscientist and one of the founders of Scientific Learning Corporation, Deirdre Bueche brought David in to the offices of Scientific Learning to try Fast ForWord®.
"They put him in a room, and they put the headphones on him. And as soon as he started doing the exercises, they knew immediately that he was responding, because of his answers...we were just amazed."
For the first few weeks, David's family didn't see any change in him. Then, after two months, he started to say a few words. Deirdre recalls, "After three months, he was talking! It was just a miracle."
In fact, the team at Scientific Learning was the first to accurately diagnose David's problem as an "auditory processing deficit." David's brain couldn't process the spoken word because he literally wasn't hearing certain sounds.
The repetitive exercises of the Fast ForWord products elongated the sounds until David learned to identify them. As the exercises continued, the sounds became shorter and shorter until they approached the speed at which they occur in normal speech. That is how David learned to understand what people are saying to him, and to speak back.
Fast ForWord products "gave David a life," Deirdre declares. "You wouldn't know that there was something wrong with David now. He has residual problems, because of all that time he spent in special ed classes, but he is doing very well. And having him talk is just a dream come true."
David currently has a job working in the print shop of a bank in Oakland, California, near where he grew up. Both he and his mother are grateful to Fast ForWord software for the "miracle cure" it provided him. "It is just an amazing program," Deirdre says. "I have told the people who work there, "Thank you for giving me my son back. Thank you for giving him a life."