Fast Forward Review, Central Auditory Processing Disorder and ADHD

fast forward review adhd
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a condition that is seen more frequently in kids and adults with all types of ADHD.  Fast Forward is a program that is used to treat CAPD by a company called Scientific Learning.  This program can help CAPD,

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), people with this Central Auditory Processing Disorder have normal intelligence and normal hearing acuity that is they do not need a hearing aid to increase the decibels of sounds that they are hearing; the disorder is more about what happens to the sounds inside their brain. The trouble has to do with how communication is processed. According to the NIH, the symptoms include:

  • Have trouble paying attention to and remembering information presented orally 
  • Have problems carrying out multi-step directions 
  • Have poor listening skills 
  • Need more time to process information 
  • Have low academic performance 
  • Have behavior problems 
  • Have language difficulty (e.g., they confuse syllable sequences and have problems developing vocabulary and understanding language) 
  • Have difficulty with reading, comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary 

My youngest son was diagnosed with CAPD last year. He was in third grade when his teacher asked us to get him evaluated by an audiologist. We did not know much about auditory processing disorders when she spoke to us about this and had just thought that he was not as articulate or talkative and his brother.

Once we started studying CAPD, we realized that he had classic symptoms.

  • To him the word 'care' can sound like chair and the word bin can sound to him like big. 
  • He was unable to bring certain words to mind. You ask him what is the name of something that is a fruit, yellow with a slippery peel and he will bring you a banana but cannot pull up the word from his brain. 
  • He could get totally lost in a sentence like, "Before Tom watched TV, he waited for his mother to finish the laundry" or "After the children made a treasure hunt field in the playground, the swing set was off limits." There is something about multi-component sentences that used to get him all confused and if you asked him, "Did Tom watch TV before his mother did the laundry", he could not answer you. 

Those were the specific problems that he had but other kids with CAPD have other problems. The disorder affects the ability of these kids to pay attention and kids with CAPD can be misdiagnosed with ADHD because they fail to pay attention because the language has confused them.

The NIH reports that there are four methods that have been proven to help the symptoms of CAPD, they are: Auditory trainers, electronic devices that allow a person to focus attention on a speaker and reduce the interference of background noise. They are often used in classrooms, where the teacher wears a microphone to transmit sound and the child wears a headset to receive the sound. Children who wear hearing aids can use them in addition to the auditory trainer.

  • Environmental modifications such as classroom acoustics, placement, and seating may help. An audiologist may suggest ways to improve the listening environment, and he or she will be able to monitor any changes in hearing status. 
  • Exercises to improve language-building skills can increase the ability to learn new words and increase a child’s language base. 
  • Auditory memory enhancement, a procedure that reduces detailed information to a more basic representation, may help. Also, informal auditory training techniques can be used by teachers and therapists to address specific difficulties. 

My son has been using an CAPD software program called Fast Forward that has helped him tremendously. It works to improve and increase language skills and it also works on auditory memory and on reducing detailed information to a more basic representation. There are multiple modules of this program. Each module costs about $1000.00.  

He has completed his second module and his auditory processing and language skills have improved tremendously.  The first module was fairly easy for him while the second module required much more effort on his part.  I suspect that the third module and subsequent modules will be more difficult as well.
How many modules the patient requires depends on the nature of each person's CAPD disability.  

I have heard of other parents who have reported that their child's behavior and attention improved after training with programs such as Fast Forward. It is possible that more children with ADHD, than we are aware of, have Central Auditory Processing problems. It is also possible that the ADHD type behavior that these children exhibit would be improved by improving their auditory processing difficulties.  

Though the Fast Forward program is expensive, some insurance companies may cover treatment costs.  I highly recommend this program for parents and patients who have been diagnosed with ADHD and a Central Auditory Processing Disorder.


  1. Very interesting. Thank you!

  2. Great and very helpful article! I have ADHD and CAPD. I can't afford the software. I wish there was a place in town that people with CAPD could go, kind of like an auditory workshop, and rent time to use the software.

  3. You can now use the Fast ForWord program at home for $1500.00 for a four month subscription. You can complete as many of the levels as you are able to within those four months (you do not have to pay for each level any longer)Plus you get weekly feedback from an SLP who monitors your progress. Just call 888-358-0212 ext 6225 and they can give you all of the details


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