Brain Wise Learning
Brain Wise Learning
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Learn about auditory processing, it's role in learning and how it can be improved.
Learn more about how a growth mindset can help you and your family
try harder, persevere longer and achieve more than you ever thought possible.
You're worried and frustrated
Having a child who struggles at school is hard.
Cognitive research has come a long way in the last 30 years and there is hope. A book like "Reading in the Brain" by Stanislas Dehaene is a good example.
We can help you
With cutting edge research and assistive EDUtech
With evidence based technology that has been used globally since the 1990s by speech therapists and whole school districts with great results.
Designed for use at home, at school or with your speech therapist.
To learn, grow and thrive
With commitment and effort, you can improve mindset, memory, attention, language and social skills and the ability to learn - naturally, and without medication.
Come on in and start a conversation.
I'm Monique, it's nice to meet you ...
Struggling to learn isn't fun, and no-one would choose to struggle.
Children often start Kinder on par with their peers, but as the social and academic demands increase, so does the confusion, spelling and reading problems, unfinished tasks, behavioural issues, social exclusion and/or bullying. What decreases however, is their natural curiosity, their self esteem and their willingness to go to school.
You may even get a hearing test or two, but you rule out hearing problems because they pass.
This is typical of what many parents, experience, like I did. Through all the worry and sleepless nights I never gave up, looking for answers that didn't require medication. When I learned about Auditory Processing Disorder from a book called "The Brain That Changes Itself", I found just what I'd been looking for. I bought a program called Fast ForWord, detailed in the book and have never looked back.
After working with speech pathologist Devon Barnes on Sydney's north shore for three years supporting other parents on the Fast ForWord program, I decided it was time for me to reach out to Sydney's greater west and beyond.
Over the last six years, I've learnt some amazing things. First, parents need to know about auditory processing and second, children with auditory processing disorder need help sooner rather than later to prevent the social and academic consequences. Third, that there is genuine hope in brain research and the technology coming from it.
The most exciting thing I learned of all, however, is that you can improve your ability to learn and to communicate any time you want to. It isn't a miracle; it just involves some hard work and evidence based technology already being used by speech pathologists and schools all over the world.
For me, my learning journey never stops. At the moment I am enjoying Stanislas Dehaene's book Reading in the Brain, and exploring the body of research called 'the science of reading'. Next book on my list is Proust and the Squid by neuroscientist Maryanne Wolf. So much to learn - so little time, as the saying goes.
My mission now is to increase awareness about auditory processing and how attention, memory and sequencing can be improved. I want to bring the joy back into learning.
Cat, November 2020
Since starting Fast ForWord we've noticed Joey's ease of sounding out words and reading has improved and with that, a new willingness to read a variety of text. He also really enjoys the program, a big plus!!
He's just gone up 3 reading levels at school too!
Lucy, aged 9, Grade 3 - diagnosed Tuberous Sclerosis which has resulted in intellectual delay and issues with memory and concentration. Using Fast ForWord since early August 2020
Fast ForWord was recommended for Lucy by her tutor and we feel exceptionally fortunate to have found Monique and Brain Wise Learning. Lucy struggles with self-confidence as well as experiencing delay with her academic learning. Despite this, we have found the online format of Fast ForWord has been perfect for her and she remains engaged and willing to participate even when she's struggling with the material. The rewarding sounds and encouragements within the different games are enough to keep her motivated and Monique's suggestions of stickers on her printed brain seem to be working for her too. We are really thrilled with the program so far, and anticipate that we'll stick with this brain training program for many years to come.
Link, now 19 (using Forbrain for 9 months), August 2020
In my last review, I naively thought that enjoying reading was the only benefit I was going to get. However, I recently started a course (which I've avoided since school) and to my surprise, the amount of writing that came out of me, well, I was in shock. I couldn't believe it. I not only increased the amount of writing on the paper but I was able to read it over and it made sense. In the past, I never used to edit the mistakes I made because I didn't care and I didn't enjoy the feeling when the pen was flowing on the paper. I haven't felt this confident in writing since I was on my ADD medication, and even then my sentences didn't make much sense. I'm usually a critic but not with Forbrain! I am so thankful for the opportunities it has provided me. I've always felt like just an average guy, so I can't wait to see what Forbrain can do for people who really need it. Thank you for everything Forbrain and Brain Wise Learning. You're doing amazing work.
Jen, August 2020
My 6 year old had always been very active with a big personality but it wasn’t until he started to really struggle in Kindergarten (socially and academically), that we embarked on the wild ride that was the diagnosis process. From the possibility of ADHD/ADD to being on the Spectrum, we were in desperate search for answers to help our little man thrive. It was during this desperate search for answers that I had discovered the Fast ForWord program in the book “The Brain that Changes Itself”.
After my son was diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and the oppositional defiance disorder, we wanted to make the most out of early interventions and not solely rely on medication. So the Fast ForWord program was used in compliment to his Speech Therapy, OT, social play groups and Psychotherapy. It was important to us that any therapy we used with our little one was founded on solid scientific research and recognised by our Psychiatrist.
We have been using the Fast ForWord program as an integral part of his interventions for the past year, and the results we are seeing in my son is nothing short of remarkable. His overall development has leapfrogged over the recent months both socially and academically. Not only has he been able to keep up across all areas academically, he has also gained confidence and now enjoys the learning process. It makes our heart sing to watch my son literally jump with joy as he is dropped off at school every morning.
With the recent addition of medication, we have since paired back on other therapies, but have signed up for an annual subscription of the Fast Forward program and purchased a ForBrain headset. Having a program like this at the convenience of your home was a blessing during the recent COVID-19 lockdown. Compared with all the other therapies, Fast ForWard was by far the easiest one to follow through.
I would highly recommend the program to any family who may be going through similar challenges we had and wish that more children are able to benefit from having the support they need to thrive in their learning journeys.
Kelly Middlebrook, Owner, Alive4Life Holistic Allied Health, February 2020
Brain Wise Learning has completely transformed both my disability services organisation and my family’s attitude, ability and motivation towards learning and literacy. We are using Fast Forword and the Forbrain headset and have noticed huge improvements in speech, articulation , comprehension and memory both personally and in our clients using these incredible tools. We love it so much we are dedicating our learning and IT space to the use of these tools in our skill building programs for clients. Moniques products and programs are outstanding! Every school should include these in their curriculums and every household with children would benefit so much.
Link, 18yo, Forbrain User, January 2020
I never felt positive when it came to reading, even if it was an internet article. I just didn't want to read. When I started using Forbrain I felt like I could finally begin to enjoy reading. Now every time I use it, reading is like going to my favourite theme park, I can't get enough of it! The benefits I am seeing are outstanding and I cannot believe Forbrain is working for me. With Forbrain, I can now enjoy it instead of just trying to work out what all the letters are saying. If you struggle with reading, Forbrain is definitely worth a look.
Liz, parent of three children doing Fast ForWord, October 2019
Christian – ASD, anxiety, school refusal, catastrophizes everything. Age 12. Grade 5 primary school
Christian started off being frustrated easily that he wasn't getting things right on his first attempt. But we used the positive growth mindset language to keep him going and once he realised he was filling up the Progress Meter, began to take responsibility for doing it himself and he now sets up the laptop to work without prompting. The Progress Meter and graphics engage him and we are so happy with his progress on Fast ForWord.
Emily Rose – verbal apraxia, ataxia, ASD, Echolalia, Executive function delay, Pragmatic language disorder. Communicates with rote sentences “drink of water please” Age 17. Finished SDS
Initially Emily Rose was distressed when she made a mistake and needed lots of support to complete a lesson, but she grasped the sequencing exercise quickly and progressed rapidly. She still struggles with some of the other exercises which I do the clicking for her, but she has started having ten minute interactions where she has made her intention clear and then was able to achieve her stated intention. This is a breakthrough.
For example, Emily Rose was asked which shop she wanted to look at. She responded “Music” so we asked if that meant JB HiFI. Emily Rose said “Yeah” and led the way through a crowd (rare) to JBHiFi, proceeded to the CD racks and started searching under “S”. We asked if she was looking for a soundtrack and she immediately looked in sound tracks, found the CD she wanted, and went to the register. Also, unprompted, Emily Rose said “Hello” to a stranger, and “On card please” to pay for her CD, asked for a bag and receipt, said “thank you”. We put her amazing progress to her work on Fast ForWord.
Sunny- Dyslexia, mild dysgraphia. Has five sight words, unable to read. Can copy handwriting, can’t read it or reproduce her own thoughts in writing. Age 9 grade 3 primary school
Initially Sunny was discouraged and would let the lesson time out, but support from us and a motivational certificate from Monique encouraged her to continue. She still gets discouraged, but her resilience is building and she is beginning to set up the laptop herself without prompting.
We are very happy with the results we are getting from Fast ForWord for our children.
Sarah (adult Fast ForWord student) October 2019
This Reading Assistant Program is very good. I can feel it working/reorganising my brain already.
Sarah (adult Fast ForWord student) March 2019
Brain learning needs lots of support and encouragement. Learning can be tedious, hard work, it requires consistent effort, and I found I learnt best when I was rewarded regularly for the efforts I put in. My learning specialist, Monique was my cheerleader, cheering me on each day, supporting me by keeping up the excitement, which increases dopamine and serotonin in the brain and primes it for learning. Support from Monique helped me keep the big picture in mind, reminding me of the ultimate goal, learning to speak again..
Jill Simpson RMT (Music Therapist) May 2019
"All in all, I was impressed with the (Fast ForWord) program and would be happy to recommend it to children that require some assistance with listening and language. I also think that children are likely to develop stronger musical skills as a positive side effect of engaging with the program."
Tina Meyer - High School English Teacher and Tutor - March 2019
"Monique sat down and took me through the program. As a high school English teacher, I was so impressed by the program’s potential to improve student capability in all areas of learning. I will definitely be promoting this program to my students. Adding to that, Monique is patient and very kind; a joy to work with."
Jeremy - High school student - February 2019
"Thank you for sharing and supporting me during this time.
This program has been a delight to do and helps activate and excite the brain, While I was doing this program I made some huge improvements and progressed much further and faster than any of the other ways I have tried in the past.
FastForWord is a great way to activate and excite your brain to strive for greater heights and I believe that many people can achieve from this great success."
Learning Support Teacher of 10 years in Government and private schools - July 2018
"As a Learning Support Teacher for many years I trained in and used many different reading systems Most of these approaches made a difference, but they involved many hours working one to one with a child.
In fact at my last Sydney school I started an Early Birds program staffed by parents and volunteers to help those children who struggled with literacy. We ran the group every morning for an hour.
Then I moved to the country and I had the opportunity to use Fast ForWord123. I couldn’t believe the difference I was seeing; especially for children who had language processing difficulties.In 6 weeks Fast ForWord123 completely changed these children, they were able listen and understand, they started writing and their confidence soared.
Fast ForWord123 physically changes the brain, improves neural pathways and allows children to learn more easily. I’m now using it in my own family."
Kate, NSW, 27 September 2018
My son James undertook the Fast ForWord program under the guidance and support of Monique Peters. Since the commencement of the program James has grown in confidence and concentration. His studies have improved and he is communicating much more effectively.
Monique’s mentoring assisted me to help navigate James throughout the journey. Her positive approach and experience were pivotal to the programs success.
I thoroughly recommend the Fast ForWord program. With the addition of Monique’s encouragement and enthusiasm the results have been phenomenal.
The last 30 years of brain research has proven that our brains are more
flexible than we ever believed. We now see the brain more like a muscle!
It means that cognitive weaknesses in functions like memory can be strengthened.
Understanding neuroplasticity is bringing hope to struggling learners and anyone recovering from a brain injury.
Watch these videos to discover more...
The Boy With No Brain - The story of Noah Wall
Courtesy of: We're All Equal - 18 February 2017
Noah was born with just 2% of a brain. But against the odds, his family worked tirelessly on developing what was there. Then at age 4, Noah's brain scans showed something very remarkable and very unexpected - his brain had grown to 80%! Noah is showing doctors in England and around the world the power and potential of neuroplasticity.
Courtesy of: Perth Brain Centre - 21 September 2017
This short video gives a simple explanation of neuroplasticity and how the neural pathways in our brain get wired and rewired. The animation also helps to understand it.
Growth mindset: what it is, how it works and why it matters
Courtesty of Trevor Ragan (Train Ugly) - 1 November 2018
What you believe about learning will govern how you feel and behave. If you believe that learning will always be difficult, you'll be tempted to always take the easy way out. Conversely, if you believe that learning will always be easy, how long can you sustain your effort when challenged? Trevor is amazing and his video gives a good explanation of how important it is.
Dr Norman Doidge - (this doctor will leave you speechless)
Courtesy of Tom Bilyeu (Absolute Motivation) - 25 January 2019
Listen to Dr Norman Doidge describe how scientists are shifting their thinking about the brain, and the possibilities this means for anyone who wants to improve theirs.
Pr Stanislaus Dehaene - How The Brain Learns to Read
Courtesy of Wise Channel - 26 October 2013
Cognitive psychology and neuroscience have begun to dissect the neuronal mechanisms of language acquisition and literacy using brain-imaging techniques. This 30 minute lecture will fascinate educators, learning advocates and parents alike.
Courtesy of Fast ForWord/Scientific Learning - 10 September 2008
Michael Merzenich - Professor Emeritus Neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco discusses his research and work on autism and it's relationship to language and learning challenges.
Courtesy of Redesign My Brain - 10 December 2015
Follow TV Presenter and motivational speaker Todd Sampson on this episode with Dr Michael Merzenich as he improves his brain before your eyes.