Welcome to the May 2014 edition of the Learning Brain.

In this edition you will find two interesting autism studies, and the winners of last month’s “Vote for your Favourite Video” competition.

With everyone in Australia back at school for Term 2 (NZ returns next week), we introduce the authors of LearnFast’s Blog which is all about learning, reading, education and technology.

Also, take a look at our new website for schools and professionals where you can learn about the research, results and science behind Fast ForWord.

Warm regards,

Devon NL signature jpeg..jpg

What’s New?

Vote for your Favourite Video Winners

Many Learning Brain readers responded to our “Vote for your Favourite Video” competition last month. Video 2, which contained more text, was the winner. We are thrilled to announce that the following 5 people have won two terms of the world’s best neuroscience brain fitness program, Fast ForWord, for a whole class in the school of their choice.

  • Helen F – NSW
  • Kerrie H – VIC
  • Anne S – VIC
  • Lynden W – NSW
  • Sheila W – VIC

Congratulations, we will be in touch with you shortly.

Latest Research

Autism Diagnosis Rates Increase by 30% in 2 years

One in 68 children are now diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to new data from the US.The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest figures, which are up significantly from 2002 figures of one in 150 children.

In Australia, the last data collected around five years ago suggested the rate was one in 160. But Peter Enticott, a Deakin University associate professor of psychology, said that autism clinicians and researchers believe the figures are probably closer to one in 100 in Australia.

However, some researchers are questioning “Is it possible that the younger a child is when screened for ASD, especially its milder cases, the greater the risk that a slow-to-mature child will be misperceived as autistic, thus driving the numbers up?” Read more


Free Download

APD Dr Burns

Why Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) are Hard to Spot and How to Improve Them – Dr Martha Burns

Does this ever happen to you? You ask your child or student to do something simple, and he or she says, “huh?” For example, you might say something like, “Chris, time to get ready for school: go upstairs, get your shoes, grab your homework (we worked really hard on that last night) and shut your window because it looks like rain.” And your child acts as though he didn’t hear a word. Find out why and what you can do about it here.

Book of the MonthFocus

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

In Focus, psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman delves into the science of attention in all its varieties, presenting a discussion of this little-noticed and under-rated mental asset that matters enormously for how we navigate through life.

Combining cutting-edge research with practical findings, Focus reveals what distinguishes experts from amateurs and stars from average performers. Well worth a look.

App of the Month

App of the MonthStory Builder

Story Builder was designed to help children learn how to create their own stories.

Students are presented an image and asked a series of questions to help them create a cohesive storyline. They can record their story in their own voice. At the end of the process, the students’ recordings are interwoven into a single narrative. The students can hear themselves tell a story. Not only is this incredibly motivating for the students, but it teaches them the basics of narrative building in a way they can rapidly understand. Learn more.

What’s On?

New LearnFast Blog

Are you interested in trends in learning, learning technology, education, neuroscience, or treatments for learning difficulties – including auditory processing disorder, dyslexia, attention, autism and others?

Read our Blog to find out what’s happening on these and other topics related to neuroscience and learning, read comments on the latest research, and join the discussions.

Meet the authors of the new LearnFast Blog:

Devon Barnes
Devon Barnes – Speech Pathologist

Devon brings both a passion for helping those with speech, language, literacy and learning problems and insights from over 40 years of working with children and adults.


Colin Klupiec
Colin Klupiec – Edtech Strategist

Colin believes that educational practice can be positively impacted by innovative use of new media. He shares the latest research as he studies for a Ph.D.


Corinna KlupiecCorinna Klupiec – Science Educator

Lecturing at the University of Sydney, in her graduate specialty, led to a desire to better understand the power of audiovisual/digital media in education and Corinna actively contributes to discourse on related educational theory and praxis.


Peter Barnes
Peter Barnes – Learning Innovator

Peter has a vision for improving the education of future generations through the innovative and creative use of emerging technologies.

Questions & Answers

Do you have questions about your child or students? Email us

Question: I am 52 and have recently found out I have Dyslexia. I have always struggled to read and learn, and haven’t known why. Is it too late to get help?

Answer: It is never too late to get help for dyslexia. In fact, adults are often highly motivated which is the first step to attaining real gains. The Fast ForWord programs address the underlying processing difficulties that commonly contribute to dyslexia. It is also important to receive individual instruction to achieve the best outcomes.