“The results have been quite phenomenal. It's just been amazing to watch”
That's how Dr Con Kafataris described the changes he saw in his nine-year-old son George after the Fast ForWord program.
Dr Kafataris was speaking with The Learning Capacity Podcast about George’s language and learning difficulties, the improvements following George’s participation in the program, and why he decided that his six year old daughter, Eleni, should also do the neuroscience based exercises.
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George’s parents had known since he was about three years old that his language was delayed.
He had learning support since starting school, plus speech therapy.
“But things were just not progressing. George could read, he could sound the words out. But his comprehension was relatively non-existent and he would read in a very awkward fashion,” said Dr Kafataris.
“So I started to look around for other options and ended up reading the book, ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ by Dr. Norman Doidge. That's how we came to know about Fast For Word. The science made sense."
“I just knew that if we didn't do something, middle school and high school would become a real challenge.”
Improvements in following instructions, reading and communicating
As well as his reading difficulties, George couldn't follow instructions and his spoken communication was poor.
Dr Kafataris told The Learning Capacity Podcast “Within the first three or four months of doing the program all that's changed. He's now speaking clearly, coherently.”
“They say a daily prayer at school, and George volunteered to do it one day. His teacher said it was clear, lucid, understandable, and it was just a great joy to see the progress he's made.”
George’s reading, his comprehension and correct use of grammar also improved.
Dr Kafataris said that beside the "phenomenal results” there were a number of other things he liked about the Fast ForWord program. These include:
- Its flexibility: “We could do it around our time. We could do it in the morning if we wanted to. And the iPad app was really good,” he said.
- How the graphics and built-in rewards made it engaging for George.
Reading Assistant to improve fluency and comprehension
After completing the Fast ForWord exercises, George is now using Reading Assistant, an online reading tutor program with voice recognition, to consolidate his reading skills.
“That's working really well,” said Dr Kafataris. “He's reading the books himself. He's reading books that are meant for all ages, really. You know, some of the books are teenage standard.”