Online Program FAQ

Topic Index






What is Fast ForWord?

Fast ForWord® is an online intervention that dramatically improves language and reading achievement. It is different from other interventions because it strengthens the key pathways in the brain that help children learn, so they can pay closer attention to their teachers, absorb information faster, and remember what they are taught.

The program addresses reading and language skills while concurrently developing foundational cognitive skills like memory, attention, processing, and sequencing (MAPS). These cognitive skills are central to all learning, resulting in improved outcomes for reading and other subject areas, too. Fast ForWord is different from other reading intervention because the product was designed by neuroscientists who are experts in how the brain learns.

Each learner using the Fast ForWord program is placed at the right starting level based on our specialists’ recommendation and your concerns, and then follows a differentiated learning path that adapts with every click of the mouse. This ensures that each participant gets the individualized instruction they need.

The online Fast ForWord program is easy to use across many settings and devices (desktops, laptops, and iPads). Learners can use the program anytime and anywhere! Detailed graphs sent to parents on a weekly basis show progress at a very detailed level. This allows us to respond immediately when a learner needs extra support to progress.

Students using the Fast ForWord program can raise their language and/or reading skill level up to 2 years in as little as 3 months. More than 250 research studies prove that the Fast ForWord program can help build better learners with diverse student populations. The Fast ForWord® program is based on over 30 years of research into how the brain learns.

The program traces its origins to the brain plasticity research of Scientific Learning’s founding scientists, who first introduced the program in 1995. With over 55 patents in neuroscience and education, Fast ForWord delivers dramatic results for even your most struggling of readers.

Fast ForWord was first provided by the Center for Communication Skills in 1996, and is still Central California’s premier provider of the Fast ForWord family of products. We often integrate Fast ForWord with other speech therapy, occupational therapy, and academic enrichment programs in a groundbreaking approach that is unique to the California Learning Connection.

What is Reading Assistant?

The Reading Assistant online reading software provides individualized online reading coaching for every student. Reading Assistant helps students rapidly strengthen vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension, maximizing their ability to read to learn. Students of diverse ages and ability levels can benefit, including English language learners, struggling readers, and more advanced readers who are reading on grade level.

Reading Assistant is the only online reading software that “listens” to students as they read out loud, intervenes when the student needs help, and automatically scores students’ oral reading.

The program features a range of reading levels to allow for differentiated instruction. Online access makes the program easy to implement for home use. Students can see their own progress and monitor their own improvement on reading selections. With Reading Assistant, students can improve their reading grade level up to 50% more than students receiving classroom instruction alone.

What are the differences between the different Scientific Learning programs?

Click on the level(s) you would like to learn more about:

Fast ForWord Language Series

Fast ForWord Literacy Series

Fast ForWord Reading Series

Reading Assistant (also made by Scientific Learning, but not a Fast ForWord product)

What are the technical specifications for running the program?

The program is web-based, so it operates seamlessly across multiple devices. You can complete the program on a laptop one day and on an iPad the next!

The program’s tablet versions are currently only available on the Apple iPad.

On a desktop, laptop, or Chromebook:

Operating System (OS) Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8, Mac OS X 10.5 or later, or Chrome OS™ on Chromebook (touchscreen not supported)
Browser Internet Explorer 9+, Firefox 10+, Chrome 17+, or Safari 4+
Network 10Mb Ethernet or 802.11g/n wireless connection
Display 1024 x 768 resolution or higher
Sound Card Creative Labs SoundBlaster® or 100% compatible with DirectSound support
Headphones Fast ForWord – High-quality stereo headphones with padded cups to cover ears, and a stereo headphone Y-adapter to let coaches listen without interrupting Reading AssistantApproved microphone headset and USB adapter
Other Software Adobe Flash Player 10.3+Reading Assistant Plug-in (not needed for Chrome or Chromebooks)

On iPads (Reading Assistant not available):

Mobile Digital Device iPad 2 or later (includes iPad Air™ models)
Operating System (OS) iOS 6 or later
Network WiFi or 3G/4G Cellular Connection with Internet Access
Storage/Disk Space 150MB – Fast ForWord Language app235MB – Fast ForWord Literacy app155MB – Fast ForWord Reading app
Headphones High-quality stereo headphone set with padded cups to cover ears, and a stereo headphone Y-adapter to let coaches listen without interrupting

Are headphones required?

Yes, headphones are a requirement for all Fast ForWord programs. They should be a high-quality stereo set of over-the-ear headphones that are NOT noise-cancelling. This ensures that the student can best hear the subtle differences in sounds and words, while still having to filter out background noise and distractions (instead of having the headphones do that for them). Y-Cord Adapters are recommended to allow for parents or tutors to observe, coach, and motivate the student to do their best while completing the program. The coach does not need special headphones; they may use earbuds or other over-the-ear headphones.

An approved microphone headset is required for use with Reading Assistant.

To simplify the process, we have reasonably-priced headphones for Fast ForWord, headsets and USB sound cards for Reading Assistant, and Y-Cord adapters for sale at the California Learning Connection that you may purchase when you sign up for the program.



I am interested in the program, but I would like a demonstration of the program and consultation with your specialists first. How do I set that up?

Call our office at (559) 228-9100 to book a free one-hour demonstration with our Program Coordinator and/or Director. They will guide you in the right direction based upon your student’s individualized needs. If you have additional concerns that may need to be addressed (regarding speech therapy, occupational therapy, and/or academic enrichment), those concerns can also be reviewed at that time or a separate consultation can be set up for those.

How do I sign up for the program?

If you schedule a demonstration with our staff, we will have paperwork ready for you to complete at the conclusion of the demo, if you so choose to sign up. If you would like to sign up without a demo, either call our office at (559) 228-9100 to sign up over the phone, or visit our office to complete the sign up paperwork in person.



How much does the program cost?

The program costs $200 per month for the first three months, and $100 for every month after that.

Are discounts available?

Yes, we have three discounts available:

  1. Three Month Bundle Discount: Purchasing the first three months of the program up front gives you a 15% discount off of that cost.
  2. Signing Up Two or More Students Discount: Signing up two or more students for the program at the same time will give you a 15% discount off the cost of the first contract for one of the students.
  3. Refer a Friend Discount: Referring a friend who also signs up for the program will get you a 15% discount off the cost of your next renewal of the program.

There is a maximum discount of 15% per family, per contract.

Does insurance cover the cost of the Fast ForWord program?

In certain instances. Please call us for more information regarding insurance coverage.

Can I cover the cost of the program via a Payment Plan?

Yes, we have payment plan options available. Please contact us for more information.

Can both/all of my children use the same Fast ForWord account?

No, each account is individualized from the very beginning based upon the assigned student’s correct/incorrect responses to the exercises every day. Since the program automatically adjusts to where the student is, another student using the same account will muddle the results and make the account not as effective or individualized for either student.



Will I receive a reminder when my contract expiration date is approaching?

Yes, you will receive an email notification. It will give you more information on who to contact and how to renew the program.

How do I renew the program?

If you are currently using the program: Call or visit our office and let us know that you would like to renew your Fast ForWord contract. Our front office staff will be able to assist you in collecting payment and processing the continuation of your Fast ForWord program.

If you used the program in the past and are looking to restart: Contact our Program Coordinator at for more information on how to restart your access to the program. You will be able to discuss previous progress, current status, and future goals in relation to how the program can help you or your student.

I have run into errors or bugs with the Fast ForWord program. Who do I contact to get this resolved?

Firstly, contact our Program Coordinator at

Secondly, contact Scientific Learning’s product support team via phone or email. They will be able to walk you through how to resolve the problem or better address the issue in the future.

My student is has completed all the exercises in their current level. What’s next?

We recommend moving the student up to the next level in their current program series (language, literacy, or reading). If the student has completed both levels in the Language or Literacy series, we can move them up to a Reading level that matches their current reading proficiency.

My student reports that the exercises are boring or too easy. What do we do?

If the student reports that the Language or Literacy levels are too boring or easy, we can blend those levels with Reading level that matches their current reading proficiency. This gives them a new set of exercises to complete alongside the old ones, which usually motivates them to do both. Notify our Program Coordinator with your concerns, and recommendations and changes to your program will be made.

If you need more tips on how to motivate your student to do well, see this document from Scientific Learning.

How do I judge the effectiveness of the Fast ForWord program?

The effectiveness of the program can be judged in a variety of different ways. The most tangible results are improvements in school performance and behavior. Parents have also observed changes in their student’s behavior at home and in social interactions. Parents can also observe the rate of completion (and progress) on the weekly emailed Completion Report.

Center For Communication Skills, Speech & Language Pathologists, Fresno, CA