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Poor Listening Skills - Could it be Auditory Processing Disorder?

Posted by Peter Barnes on August 1, 2022 at 4:30 PM

Peter Barnes

Do you have a child or student with poor listening skills?

At home you might ask your child to do something like, "go and put on your school clothes, get your jacket and put your library book in your school bag". He or she may look confused or just say "huh", or actually go and just get one or two of the three things done.

In the classroom, the student with poor listening skills will have trouble keeping up with classroom discussions, following instructions and learning information when it is presented to them by the teacher's voice.

Parents and teachers often assume that children like this are deliberately ignoring them, have something wrong with their hearing, or are just not paying attention.  They could be right, but if the child's hearing is fine, their poor listening skills may be due to an auditory processing disorder (APD).

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Dyslexia & Intelligence: Is there a Connection?

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 20, 2022 at 10:30 AM

Peter Barnes

Some teachers and parents can mistake a dyslexic child for someone who is lacking intelligence. But the truth is dyslexia has nothing to do with a child’s level of intelligence.

In fact many very intelligent people – like Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group of companies and Charles Schwab who pioneered the discount stockbroking industry – are dyslexic and had trouble learning to read.

To get some insight into this question, LearnFast recorded a video interview with speech language pathologist and dyslexia specialist, Devon Barnes.

Key points from the interview included:

  • Most people with dyslexia are, at least, average or above-average intelligence.

  • Often children who fail to read and spell don't think of themselves as bright.

  • It's very important that “dyslexic” students develop all their strengths.

  • Technology is making life easier for children who struggle to read and write.

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Topics: Dyslexia

34 Dyslexia Questions & Answers with Dr Martha Burns

Posted by Peter Barnes on April 26, 2022 at 11:45 AM

Peter Barnes

Dr Martha Burns Do you have questions about Dyslexia? 

What is it? What are the causes of this challenging condition?

How are brain scientists and researchers progressing in their quest to understand Dyslexia? And most importantly what are the latest interventions making a difference for people with Dyslexia?

Dr Martha Burns answers some of your questions here:

Question:  Why do some students miss some words to read while reading?

Answer by Dr Burns:  There can be several reasons. Sometimes students skip over words because their visual tracking isn't smooth and coordinated. Sometimes they just don't recognise the word and trying to figure it out seems too difficult, so they skip over it or misread it. Sometimes, if in a hurry, they just misread it because they don't take the time to figure it out.

Question:  How does dyslexia affect an adult learner?

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Topics: Dyslexia, Reading

Brain Wave Research: Fast ForWord Aids Language-Based Learning Problems

Posted by Peter Barnes on September 7, 2021 at 10:27 AM

Peter Barnes

Do you know what this means?:

"Brain wave oscillation bands appear to be a major mechanism co-ordinating billions of nerves across different brain regions to perform even basic cognitive tasks such as paying attention to someone who is talking and understanding what they are saying."

It's about brain science, language learning and reading, and it may help your children or students.

For most of us brain science is mysterious, a field of knowledge open only to neuroscientists. Much of what we read about how our brains work, how brains learn and what can go wrong with them is written by people who have no special knowledge of brain science. They are generally reporting summarised conclusions of scientific research.

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Topics: Auditory Processing Disorder, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Dyslexia - Symptoms & Treatment

Posted by Peter Barnes on June 22, 2021 at 1:53 PM

Peter Barnes

What is the best treatment for my child’s dyslexia? How can we improve his/her progress learning to read?

To get answers to this question, LearnFast recorded a video interview with speech language pathologist and dyslexia specialist, Devon Barnes.

Key points from this interview include:

  • Firstly check that the child’s eyesight & hearing are fine

  • Build the child’s phonological skills:

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Topics: Dyslexia

Dyslexia: Intervene Early to Improve Brain's Auditory Processing Speed

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 18, 2019 at 1:46 PM

Peter Barnes

Earlier intervention for children at risk of reading problems, and strengthening the area of their brains that distributes sound will probably prevent a lot of reading failures.

These are some of the conclusions from the latest (2019) research into dyslexia, according to Dr Martha Burns when she presented Scientific Learning Corporation's 5th annual webinar on updates to dyslexia research to mark Dyslexia Awareness Month, in October.

Dr Burns referenced many of the articles about dyslexia which were published in 2019.

Here are highlights from just two of the 2019 articles (courtesy of Amy Takabori from the Science of Learning Blog).

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Topics: Dyslexia, Reading

Fast ForWord & Dyslexia: International Dyslexia Association

Posted by David Stanley on March 9, 2017 at 12:37 PM

David Stanley

LearnFast provides the Fast ForWord program to schools in Australia and New Zealand.

A teacher from one of the schools using Fast ForWord sent us an email saying:  “ One of the students has dyslexia and the mother will not let the child do Fast ForWord because of this Blog from an official publication of the International Dyslexia Association.”

It is difficult for parents to source objective and informed opinions to help them make decisions to help their child. How sad for them when incomplete information like this International Dyslexia Association blog from 2011 makes them fearful.

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Topics: Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

How to Create Successful Readers: 5 Articles from Scientific Learning

Posted by Peter Barnes on March 29, 2016 at 12:19 PM

Peter Barnes

What do teachers need to do to make sure students become successful readers?

Scientific Learning Corporation, the developer of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs, has published five easy to read articles about the components of reading success.

In this blog, I have summarised the articles. You can read them in full by clicking on the links.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Comprehension, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Reading, Fast ForWord, Literacy

USA Congress Dyslexia Testimony - Fast ForWord Founder Dr Paula Tallal

Posted by Peter Barnes on October 16, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Peter Barnes


Dr Paula Tallal, one of the four neuroscientists who developed the Fast ForWord brain training and reading development programs, has given testimony to the USA Congress about dyslexia.

Speaking on Sept 30, 2015 to a Congress hearing on the Research Excellence and Advancements for Dyslexia (READ) Act, Dr Tallal's testimony included these points:

  • There is an epidemic of reading failure that we have both the scientific evidence and the interventions to treat.
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Topics: Dyslexia, Fast ForWord

Struggling Readers Need Programs Based on Science - Melbourne Age & Fast ForWord

Posted by David Stanley on September 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

David Stanley

A recent article in the Melbourne Age newspaper titled “Children with learning difficulties need programs based on science, not anecdote and neurobabble”makes some valid points but misses key information about how the neuroscience-based program Fast ForWord helps with Dyslexia.

The author focused on children with reading difficulties, including dyslexia.

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Topics: Learning Difficulties, Brain Science, Dyslexia, Reading, Literacy

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