Fast ForWord Effectiveness for Skill Integration

This topic contains 9 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  jrolch 2 hours, 17 minutes ago.

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  • #51447

    jrolch
    Participant

    In Wednesday’s webinar, it was stated that some kids test well for individual auditory or language processing skills, yet struggle with functional performance in the classroom where they are called upon to integrate multiple skills. This describes my daughter to a T. Her SLP has suggested the Fast ForWord program for my daughter, whose individual auditory and language processing test skills are all in the average range. In your opinion, will Fast ForWord help with the integration of multiple skills and therefore help with her functional performance in the classroom? When I previewed the Fast ForWord demo, it looked liked it drilled kids on individual skills only.

  • #51564

    Dr. Eric
    Participant

    I haven’t caught the webinar yet, so I don’t get the context.
    Also, don’t know the age of your daughter.

    I have never seen Fast ForWord recommended for anything other reading intervention.

    My first gut reaction to your post was, “I wonder if the SLP offers this service and has a financial motive for the recommendation?”

    According the the WWC, “Fast ForWord® was found to have positive effects on alphabetics, no discernible effects on reading fluency, and mixed effects on comprehension for beginning readers.”

    With 11 out of 27 studies meeting the What Works standards for evidence.

    https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/EvidenceSnapshot/172

    Generally speaking, if a student with ADHD has the component skill levels, but cannot reliably meet or apply their potential regularly in the classroom, Executive Functioning and the ADHD are the culprit… Of course, there are always exceptions and individual details matter.

    Without knowing more info, here is where I would start.

    1. Information on this website.
    2. “Taking Charge of ADHD” by Russell Barkley and “Smart, but Scattered” by Peg Dawson and others.
    3. Daily reading for pleasure with no stress over reading level or repetition. So long as the content is appropriate for age, it should be high interest and build positive associations.
    4. If you need academic support beyond what the school offers, I would consider paying a really good credentialed teacher cash to explicitly teach/support meta-skills (study skills, test taking,organization, etc.) at least as much as traditional academic tutoring or support. I would avoid franchise or canned programs if you can snag a great teacher.

    If you do consider a more formal program, consider limiting to summer time so that her mental energy is not in competition with the classwork.

    5. Don’t forget play time, sports, music, etc. Being a kid is supposed to be positive and fun!

  • #51566

    jrolch
    Participant

    Thanks, Dr, Eric, for your reply. I thought I was addressing my question to the webinar presenter, so I assumed some foreknowledge of that presentation.

    My daughter is 16. Her reading skills are excellent and she is an avid reader. It is auditory processing that she struggles with.

    I’ve been told that older kids are enrolled in the Literacy Program within Fast ForWard and that it helps with a variety of processing skills.

    The SLP does not profit from the administration of Fast ForWard, however she does prescribe it for ALL of her clients, and I always question the “one size fits all” approach to treatment.

    And you wrote, “if a student with ADHD has the component skill levels, but cannot reliably meet or apply their potential regularly in the classroom, Executive Functioning and the ADHD are the culprit.” This has been suggested before, years ago, and is helpful to hear again. I suspect my daughter has ADHD, but she has always tested as “subclinical” and therefore does not have a formal diagnosis. Executive Function is definitely an issue for her.

    Diagnosis or not, your suggestions are helpful and I thank you for them.

  • #51667

    jrolch
    Participant

    Forgive me, but I don’t understand the point of your last comment. Are you saying that since Fast ForWord sponsored the webinar, that is must be beneficial for Language Processing challenges? Or are you implying something else?

    • #51704

      Dr. Eric
      Participant

      I am saying that whenever I see one particular intervention recommended carte blanche, I am always concerned about bias created by financial influence.

      If I see such a tie, I increase my skepticism.

      Per my first post,

      “I have never seen Fast ForWord recommended for anything other reading intervention.

      My first gut reaction to your post was, “I wonder if the SLP offers this service and has a financial motive for the recommendation?”

      According the the WWC, “Fast ForWord® was found to have positive effects on alphabetics, no discernible effects on reading fluency, and mixed effects on comprehension for beginning readers.”

      With 11 out of 27 studies meeting the What Works standards for evidence.
      https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/EvidenceSnapshot/172

      Case in point, I had two local providers that assess for Vision Therapy.

      1 – Provider 1 does not provide Vision Therapy. Rather, they are a comprehensive ophthalmology clinic associated with a research university with a world expert on when Vision Therapy is merited versus not. They recommended the therapy for my students at a rate of 30-40%.

      2 – Provider 2 is one of the most prolific providers of Vision Therapy services in the region. They recommended the therapy for my students at a rate of 100% – one family that misses appointments and doesn’t pay bill on time.

      The next question I will have when I listen to the webinar is, “Whether or not she disclosed at the time of making the recommendation that the program was a sponsor of the webinar?”

      Such disclosures are a very important part of ethics… Take for example, the disclosure websites that exist for medical doctors that currently exist until Obamacare gets repealed. This allows you to see if your doctor (assuming they are on the database) gets money from the company of the prescription they wrote.

      https://www.cms.gov/openpayments/

      https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/

  • #51712

    jrolch
    Participant

    To clarify, my daughter’s SLP has no relationship with the Fast ForWord sponsored webinar, and the webinar presenter made no mention of Fast ForWord in her presentation.

  • #51713

    jrolch
    Participant

    I agree that one must remain aware of potential conflicts of interest, but I don’t think that is at play in this situation. As I in an earlier post, I am wary of one size fits all treatment plans, though I don’t think the motivation in this case is financial. Either our SLP is convinced of the programs potential effectiveness, or she lacks imagination.

  • #51719

    Gail Richard
    Participant

    Allow me to respond to the original question. Your assessment of Fast Forword primarily addressing individual skill development is accurate. It targets specific language component skills and then works on efficiency within those skills. It is not particularly effective at the integration aspects. I’ll reiterate what you picked up from the webinar. Often the specific skills are remediated, but the final step of working on executive functions is overlooked. It sounds like that is the area that needs to be targeted in remediation for your daughter. Several years ago I chaired a committee that did a systematic review of treatment programs for auditory processing and we reviewed research articles on Fast ForWord. Improvement was seen in phonological skills, but not realized in actual reading and academic performance. In other words, the specific skills improved, but the translation into functional application was still weak.

    I have a college program for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They are very intelligent individuals who have incredible isolated skills, but continue to struggle with the integration. We work almost entirely on executive functions with them to address their academic success, (as well as social challenges typical in ASD). Many individuals with ADHD and processing need to have the area of executive functions addressed in therapy.

  • #51731

    jrolch
    Participant

    Thank you for your reply, Gail. I have a followup question.

    In your practice, what does “work on executive functions” look like? What forms does it take?

    Thank you. Janice O.

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