Rehabilitation Services

Fast ForWord is a patented, highly adaptive technology-based program, available

K-12, that rapidly builds oral language comprehension skills such as phonemic awareness, auditory processing speed, phonological awareness, working memory, syntax, grammar, sequencing and other critical skills necessary to learn to read or to become a better reader. On average, students with language and reading problems make 1- to 2-year gains in language skills after only 6 to 10 weeks of Fast ForWord training. Reports from teachers and parents have shown that these gains last.

How Does Fast ForWord Work?

Fast ForWord helps students improve language skills by combining progressive CD-ROM and online technology with breakthroughs in neuroscience. The training uses acoustically modified sound and methods of cross-training to improve receptive and expressive oral language skills within a scientifically validated optimal learning environment. Essential elements of this environment are intensity, frequency, motivation and adaptivity.

Fast ForWord training moves beyond addressing the symptoms of language problems and attacks the root cause, which begins with the ability to distinguish among phonemes – the smallest units of sound in language that can change meaning.

Fast ForWord helps students achieve gains in phonemic awareness while simultaneously integrating and cross-training other key language skills such as phonological awareness, semantics, syntax grammar and listening comprehension. The program enhances working memory, attention, rapid auditory processing and sequencing, which drive the brain to be an efficient learning machine.

The Benefits of Fast ForWord Training

Currently there are 100,000 children participating in the program. Based on observations by teachers, parents and clinicians, as well as results from National Field Trials, university-based studies, and 29 gold standard research studies, students can achieve significant gains in multiple areas, including improvements in:

  • focused attention
  • auditory word discrimination
  • the ability to follow spoken directions
  • listening and speaking fundamentals
  • auditory processing speed
  • speech discrimination
  • language processing
  • grammatical comprehension
  • overall language comprehension
  • reading readiness

Parents and teachers also report that after Fast ForWord training students experience higher levels of self-esteem, have fewer behavior problems, and are more engaged in classroom activities. These results indicate an enormous potential for benefits across a broad population of children with language and reading problems.

Learn more at the Scientific Learning Company's Web site.

The program is offered at Minnetonka and Roseville by certified providers.

What is receptive and expressive language?

Receptive language refers to how your child understands language. Expressive language refers to how your child uses words to express himself/herself.

Young children with language difficulties may have:

  • poor eye contact
  • difficulty interacting with other children
  • a limited spoken vocabulary (less than 50 words at two years of age)
  • difficulty following directions (two-step directions at two years of age)

Preschool-aged children with language difficulties may have difficulty:

  • retelling stories at four years of age
  • using the right words (ex. using "me" for "I" such as "me want it" for "I want it")
  • producing new/novel sentences – likes to repeat words or phrases from movies, T.V. shows, etc., to communicate with others
  • answering questions about themselves (ex. "What is your name?", "How old are you?")
  • interacting with peers

School-aged children with language difficulties may have difficulty:

  • using correct grammar
  • putting words in the correct order for questions and sentences
  • answering "wh" questions (ex. who, what, when, where, why)
  • completing academic tasks such as memorizing facts, sequencing stories and organizing verbal information
  • interacting with peers

Speech-Language Milestones

Please click on the following links for information about speech-language milestones for young children and activities for promoting communication development:

o Birth to Five Years

o Kindergarten through fifth grade

When is a speech-language evaluation recommended?

If a family is concerned about their child's communication development, a consultation with a speech–language pathologist is recommended. General guidelines for when to schedule an evaluation include when a child:

  • does not use single words by 15 months
  • does not use 50 words or 2-word phrases (ex. "more cookie") by 24 months
  • does not follow two-step directions (ex. "Get your coat and shoes") by two years of age.
  • is not understood 90% of the time when speaking by four years old or is easily frustrated because others cannot understand him/her
  • has difficulty interacting with peers
  • has difficulty with memory or problem solving skills
  • demonstrates stutter-like tense repetitions of words or sounds (ex. "I I I I wa- want a cookie") or produces words that sound "stuck" or "pushed," especially if these behaviors last 6 months or longer and/or if the child has a negative reaction to his/her speech
  • has a rough, breathy, or strained voice
  • sounds "nasally" or too much air is leaking though the nose when talking

What to expect during a language evaluation

During a 60-minute language evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will collect information about your child's medical history, developmental milestones, and your current concerns. Depending on your child's age and communication skills, the speech-language pathologist may also:

  • collect a language sample while your child is playing
  • engage your child in conversation
  • ask your child to follow directions of increasing complexity
  • ask your child to answer questions about stories he/she read or was read to him/her
  • administer standardized language testing which typically involves identifying pictures, following directions, answering questions, and describing pictures.
  • assess your child's articulation skills

Results and recommendations will be discussed at the end of the evaluation. If appropriate, language therapy will be recommended and home activities will be discussed and demonstrated.

What to bring to a language evaluation

  • Speech-language intake packet
  • Copies of previous evaluations, including the IEP/IFSP if your child is receiving services through the Birth to Three program or school.
  • Results from a recent hearing test (if available)

What to expect during language therapy

Based on the results of your child's evaluation, language therapy may be recommended. During treatment the speech-language pathologist may work on:

  • following directions
  • understanding conversation
  • answering questions
  • understanding stories
  • using correct verb tenses, pronouns, plurals, etc.
  • understanding and responding appropriately to social situations
  • Fast ForWord

Depending on your child's age and abilities, activities may be completed during play or in more structured ways such as seated at a table. We also offer speech-language groups to help children use their new skills with their peers.

At Children's, we believe that it is very important for families to be involved in all aspects of their child's care. Depending on the child's needs, parents are encouraged to view the sessions via monitors, observation mirrors, or in the therapy room. In addition, your child's speech-language pathologist will discuss progress, provide worksheets for home practice, and demonstrate beneficial therapy techniques to ensure maximum benefit is received from therapy.

Find additional information on language development, as well as diagnoses commonly associated with language disorders:

What is articulation?

Articulation refers to the way that speech sounds are made. Children who have difficulty with articulation skills may:

  • substitute sounds (ex. using "d" for "g" so "go" is produced as "do")
  • delete sounds in the beginning, middle or ends of words (ex. "ookie" for "cookie" or "ca" for "cat")
  • distort speech sounds (ex. a "lisp" for /s/).
  • have difficulty sequencing the movements of the tongue, lips, soft palate and vocal folds to produce speech sounds in sequences (apraxia of speech).

Articulation Milestones

In general, children should be using p, b, t, d, n, m, k, g, w, and h sounds by three years of age. By six years of age, most children will be using more complex sounds like s, z, f, v, sh, ch, dg, th, l and r correctly.

When is a speech evaluation recommended?

If a family is concerned about their child's communication development, a consultation with a speech–language pathologist is recommended. General guidelines for when to schedule an articulation evaluation include when a child:

  • Does not use p, b, t, d, n, m, k, g, or w sounds by 3 years of age
  • Does not use s, z, f, v, sh, ch, dg, th, l or r correctly by 5-6 years of age
  • Does not use 50 words or 2-word phrases (ex. "more cookie") by 24 months
  • Sounds "nasally" or too much air is leaking though the nose when talking
  • Is not understood at least 90% of the time by 4 years of age

What to expect during an articulation evaluation

During a 60-minute articulation evaluation, the speech-language pathologist will collect information about your child's medical history, developmental milestones and your current concerns. Depending on your child's age and communication skills, the speech-language pathologist may also:

  • listen to your child talk during play activities
  • engage your child in conversation to see how they produce sounds in sentences
  • ask your child to read short paragraphs
  • administer standardized articulation testing, which typically involves your child naming a series of pictures
  • assess language development

Results and recommendations will be discussed at the end of the evaluation. If appropriate, speech therapy will be recommended and home activities will be discussed/demonstrated.

What to bring to an articulation evaluation

  • Speech-language intake packet (PDF)
  • copies of previous evaluations, including the IEP/IFSP if your child is receiving services through the Birth to Three program or school.
  • results from a recent hearing test (if available)

What to expect during articulation therapy

Based on the results of your child's evaluation, articulation therapy may be recommended to address speech sound errors. Therapy activities typically include working on sounds in simple syllables (ex. "me") then progressing to more complex words (ex. "mommy"), phrases, sentences and ultimately conversational speech. Many of our speech-language pathologist are also trained in PROMPT. Depending on your child's age and abilities, activities may be completed during play or in more structured ways such as seated at a table.

At Children's, we believe that it is very important for families to be involved in all aspects of their child's care. Depending on the child's needs, parents are encouraged to view the sessions via monitors, observation mirrors, or in the therapy room. In addition, your child's speech-language pathologist will discuss progress, provide worksheets for home practice, and demonstrate beneficial therapy techniques to ensure maximum benefit is received from therapy.

Find additional information on articulation development as well as diagnoses commonly associated with articulation disorders:

What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)?

Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS exhibit some degree of disrupted speech motor control, which results in speech that is difficult for others to understand. They often exhibit difficulty sequencing speech movements.

What are some key characteristics of Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

  • limited consonant and vowel repertoire
  • poor intelligibility
  • presence of vowel distortions
  • use of simple syllable shapes
  • difficulty completing a movement for a single sound easily, but unable to produce the same sound in longer words or in phrases and sentences

physical difficulties are observed when attempting to move into certain articulatory positions

What to expect during an evaluation

During a 60-minute evaluation, the speech-language pathologist (SLP)will collect information about you child's medical history, developmental milestones, and your concerns. Depending on your child's age and communication skills, the SLP may also:

  • listen to your child talk during play activities
  • engage your child in conversation to see how they produce sounds in sentences
  • administer standardized speech production testing, which typically involves your child naming a series of pictures
  • observe your child when they attempt to imitate words upon request
  • assess your child's oral structures at rest
  • assess expressive and receptive language

What to bring to the evaluation

  • speech-language in-take packet
  • copies of previous evaluations, including the IEP/IFSP if you child is receiving services through the Birth to Three program or school
  • results from a recent hearing test (if available)

What to expect during therapy to treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Based on results of your child's evaluation, speech-language therapy may be recommended to help your child speak more clearly and move more efficiently when producing speech. Therapy activities typically include working on sounds in simple syllables, then progressing to more complex words, phrases, sentences, and ultimately conversational speech. Many of our speech-language pathologists are trained in PROMPT. Depending on your child's age and abilities, activities may be completed during play or in more structured ways such as seated at a table.

At Children's, we believe that it is very important for families to be involved in all aspects of their child's care. Depending on the child's needs, parents are encouraged to view the sessions via monitors, observation mirrors, or in the therapy room. In addition, your child's speech-language pathologist will discuss progress, provide worksheets for home practice, and demonstrate beneficial therapy techniques to ensure maximum benefit is received from therapy.

Find additional information on Childhood Apraxia of Speech:

At Children's, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are experts in evaluating and treating children who have difficulties with communication, feeding, and swallowing.

Speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat children with a range of diagnoses, including:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • cancer
  • cerebral palsy
  • cleft lip and/or palate
  • craniofacial anomalies, dysphagia (swallowing difficulties/aspiration)
  • developmental delay
  • genetic and chromosomal disorders
  • hearing impairments
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
  • traumatic brain injury
  • velopharyngeal dysfunction/insufficiency (VPD/VPI)
  • many other complex medical conditions

Speech-Language Milestones

Download brochures with information about speech-language milestones and activities for promoting communication development:

Speech-Language Pathology Services/Programs

The Children's speech-language pathologists are proud to offer the following programs and services:

Speech-Language Pathology Team Evaluations

The speech-language pathologists at Children's are part of the following multi-disciplinary teams: