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The Learning Success Blog

Colin Klupiec

After initially working in the design industry, Colin transitioned to education in 1998, and has worked in several independent schools in Sydney teaching technology and design subjects. Throughout this time he has also maintained strong links with industry, working with local businesses to better understand how to integrate technology into their workflows and improve productivity using CAD, and more recently the cloud. Colin is also an evangelist for the maker movement, and strongly believes in the value of teaching people skills in designing and making real things that perform a function and add value to life. He considers this particularly important in the context of school education. Colin's preferred material for designing and making is steel, creating works for personal pleasure and selected clients. Colin believes that educational theory and practice can be positively impacted by creative and innovative use of new media and is a keen commentator on these issues.

Recent Posts

How Fast ForWord Helped Finn: Autism, Language & Reading Improvements

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 30, 2016 at 10:46 AM

Colin Klupiec

Watching your child grow up is exciting and wondrous. You marvel at what they pick up and how they develop.

For Kim Rackemann and her husband, the journey with their son Finn wasn’t quite so straightforward. Finn wasn’t really hitting the usual milestones. He was found to be on the Autism Spectrum, and the main indicator was his language delay.

Despite some scepticism, Finn started the Fast ForWord program, and in what seemed to be a short space of time, the improvements started. I spoke to Kim on The Learning Capacity Podcast where she shared Finn’s story.

Listen to the podcast.

 

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Topics: Reading, Autism, Fast ForWord, Podcasts

How Fast ForWord Helped Heal and Restore a Life: Ester’s Story

Posted by Colin Klupiec on June 26, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Colin Klupiec

This is a story that defies the odds. It involves years of illness, crushing diagnoses by doctors, and miraculous recovery. It demonstrates how the brain really can change itself.

And it also involves Fast ForWord, a neuroscience based program used for both remedial learning, and learning enhancement. In a special episode of the Learning Capacity Podcast, I spoke to a mother about her daughter’s journey through illness to recovery. 

Given the nature of the details involved, I refer to my guest only as Esther, which is her real name, and her children. 

Listen to the podcast.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Fast ForWord, Podcasts

How to Deal with Oppositional Defiant Disorder? Dr Shan Ong Explains

Posted by Colin Klupiec on April 15, 2016 at 4:06 PM

Colin Klupiec

Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or ODD, can be traumatic to deal with. 

A child's oppositional or defiant behaviour needs to be consistent and obvious for about 6 months, before it's classified as ODD. This can seem like a long time before parents make decisions to do something about it. 

Dr Shan Ong is a developmental paediatrician with deep experience in this field.

I spoke to him on the Learning Capacity podcast, and asked about ODD. What does it mean for parents to take the first steps in handling the situation? And what can parents expect?  Dr Ong  explained that for parents it's a mixture of emotions from relief to denial.  They have to come to terms with the long road ahead. 

We also talked about the role of the child's school. How the school fits in with strategies at home. And  the relationship with a medical professional. 

I started by asking Dr Ong to clarify what defiant behaviours might look like.

Listen to the discussion:


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Topics: Podcasts, Behaviour

How Fast ForWord Improved Student Outcomes in Canada School District

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 13, 2016 at 5:25 PM

Colin Klupiec

Mike McKay is a retired superintendent of the Surrey County schools district in British Columbia, Canada.

He was a public educator for 35 years. The area he supervised has over 160 languages spoken. 

You can imagine it would be difficult to measure the potential problems with language and reading development in such a large and diverse region. 

But back in 2008 he attended a conference hosted by Scientific Learning Corporation, where he saw the research behind the Fast ForWord programs. 

When he came back, he asked his board to trust him, and give him $300,000 to get started. It was bold pitch. Mike tells the story of how things have panned out in this Learning Capacity podcast episode:

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Topics: Reading, Confidence & Resilience, School, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Literacy, Podcasts, For Principals

Fast ForWord Helped Mac with Auditory Processing, Writing & Spelling

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 8, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Colin Klupiec

Sally Wilcox noticed that her son Mac was becoming increasingly frustrated with writing and spelling when he was in grade 5. 

In Mac’s words, it was very simple - he hated writing.

Thinking back, Sally recalled that the early markers were already appearing in grade 1 when Mac had difficulty following instructions.

On deeper investigation, Mac was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. At first Sally was told that this was developmental and that Mac would grow out of it, and to some extent this was true. Yet the problems persisted and Sally knew that something else needed to happen.

Eventually she found the Fast ForWord programs, and that’s when things started to change for the better. Fortunately Mac was very receptive to resolving his issue, and his teacher was also familiar with auditory processing disorder.

This combination helped Mac make significant gains at school with his academic results. He also increased his self confidence and became more willing to try.

In this episode of Learning Capacity Podcast Sally shares Mac’s story.

 

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Fast ForWord, Spelling, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

Amelie & Fast ForWord: 2 Years Gain in Reading & Maths Despite ADHD

Posted by Colin Klupiec on March 4, 2016 at 4:57 PM

Colin Klupiec

This is the story of Amelie, who as a young primary aged girl was often described as a ‘busy child’.

When Amelie’s parents, Jane and Craig were given the diagnosis for Amelie of ADHD, there were mixed feelings of relief, but also devastation as they knew there was a problem that needed to be addressed.

Amelie was assessed at well below the relevant standards, being two years behind in writing and maths when she started grade 3.

After researching extensively, Jane and Craig eventually turned to Fast ForWord. They faced some big challenges along the way, but in the end they and Amelie persevered with some amazing results.

In this episode of The Learning Capacity Podcast, I spoke to Jane where she shared Amelie’s story.

 

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

“Phenomenal” improvements for son after Fast ForWord, says Father

Posted by Colin Klupiec on February 28, 2016 at 12:20 PM

Colin Klupiec


Dr Con Kafataris, father of six, describes the changes he saw in his son George, aged nine, as phenomenal” after George completed the Fast ForWord program.

It was a little bit of a journey to find Fast ForWord for George but after trying a few avenues, including speech pathology, Dr Kafataris came across the program through a book titled, “The Brain That Changes Itself” by Dr Norman Doidge.

“The science seemed plausible”, said Dr Kafataris, so he decided to give it a go.

What were these “phenomenal” improvements? Listen to the podcast to find out.

Or read more below for the complete podcast transcript.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Reading, Autism, Fast ForWord, Learning Capacity, Learning Capacity Success Stories, Podcasts

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