Movin’ on up.

It’s been awhile since our last post but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been hard at work. A few weeks ago, Sulli completed all of the programming for Language v2 and we’ve since moved on to Language to Reading v2. Which basically means he’s accomplished a lot, but things are getting increasingly more difficult.

As I mentioned in my last blog, as we’ve worked through this program, we’ve noticed some games are far easier for Sulli than others. A few games he mastered very quickly and others took much longer.

To date, I’ve mostly shared how Sullivan has benefited from the program (it’s still going amazing) but haven’t dove much into what our time on the computer actually looks like.  I bet you’re curious, right?

First, the transition.

The good news is Sulli had come to really enjoy his daily “computer games” as we call them. Especially towards the end of completing Language v2, his confidence had increased significantly and I truly believe he was beginning to think of the games as fun instead of games for work.

And then we “graduated” to the next level. All of the games are more difficult and he told me daily that he wanted his old games back. I knew it was a growing pain that we would get through and told him he was just getting too smart for those old games and he needed new ones to keep flexing that brain muscle.

So, what’s it like?

Honestly, I think everyone could benefit from these programs as I can’t count how many times, while sitting next to Sulli, I have to think extra hard for the correct answer and frankly would have missed several if I’d been the one clicking the mouse.

Sky Gym is a game in the first level and Jumper Gym is the next step up. In both programs, a tone is played. The tone either goes up in pitch or down in pitch. It started out with one tone and Sulli would click on an up or down arrow indicating the direction of the pitch of the tone. Eventually once he mastered the single tone, it increased to two tones in succession and Sulli choose the appropriate up or down arrow in the order he heard the tones. Additionally in the beginning the length of the tone was stretched (or technically slowed down) a bit.

Since moving on to Jumper Gym, the same premise applies yet it has become increasingly more difficult. I believe we are up five tones now that come in rapid succession and his ears have to quickly differentiate the direction of the pitch for all of the sounds, remember what he heard, and click the arrows accordingly. This game takes an inordinate amount of focused listening to hear and simultaneously distinguish between the direction of the pitch very quickly.

Copy of BRAINGAMES

Ele-bot, which was the last game Sullivan mastered in Language v2 was certainly a challenge. It is a game that deals with a lot of re-ordering of words that make the sentence structure unnatural, and thus, requires an incredible amount of focus to not only hear what was spoken, but then be able to visually match to images on screen.

For example:

“The clown who is chasing the girl who is little is big.” When we first started out, my guess is Sulli was probably hearing “The clown is big” or perhaps “the girl is little”. Well that didn’t cut it in this game (or obviously in life) because there are four images on screen to choose from, all with a combination of big or little clowns, big or little girls, and girls chasing clowns and clowns chasing girls.

Another example would be practicing the negative-passive voice. “The mouse is not being chased by the cat.” Things in the negative have always been a challenge as I’m certain Sulli initially heard “The mouse is being chased by the cat.” As you can imagine, just missing that one word when processing that statement changes it completely and becomes quite problematic for kids in everyday life.

As we’ve moved on to Cosmic Reader from Ele-Bot in this next level, it continues to get more challenging. “The chicken that is leading the sheep that is walking is jumping.” Again, four pictures will be displayed that will all have a chicken and a sheep, but in some the chicken will be jumping, or the sheep is jumping or the sheep or the chicken are leading. It’s confusing even typing it now so I can only imagine that for a kid who has auditory processing issues, this might feel like the Mt. Everest of listening.

He’s getting the hang of it.

While there were certainly some tears of frustration when we graduated the first program and moved to the next, he seems to have now gleaned a comfort level with the new games and has finally stopped talking about the old ones.  Yippee!

I’ve only touched on two of the five games in Language to Reading v2 and even for the ones I’ve covered, I’ve certainly over simplified the totality of what the games actually do. If you are interested in some not-so-light-yet-insightful reading, hop on over to Fast ForWord’s website for a robust listing of case studies or click here for an impressive list of featured reports on the results of the program. You can even request a demo so you can see for yourself how the games work.

2 ½ months.

We are a little more than 2 ½ months into the program and I’m feeling very grateful that we found Fast ForWord. We are still noticing those glorious subtle changes at home and school but when I look how far he’s come in the program itself, I’m confident we will continue to see significant growth on multiple levels. Reflecting on what he was able to accomplish within the program the first couple of weeks vs. now is truly remarkable. It’s only sensible to think that growth will continue to translate to his home and school life as well.

As we wind up the school year, I’m increasingly thankful for Fast ForWord as we head into summer knowing we will be continuing with the program. It will be an excellent program to provide some consistency to his day AND brain.

‘Til next time,

Mama Woz

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