One new infomercial offering, the "Your Baby Can Read!" program, continues to catch many a parent's eye. Its claim: For 200 bucks, Dr. Robert Titzer, (who possesses a PhD. in human performance--he's not an MD) promises that his program can teach children as young as 3 months to read.
A quick peek at the product's web site reveals the infamous kit, which includes five movies, several books and a deck of "Word" flash cards--oh, and yes, a lengthy list of glowing parent reviews.
So how does it work? On the site, Titzer explains, "In the first years of a child's life, tens of thousands of synaptic connections are made in the brain, opening the door for increased learning" and this creates "a natural window of opportunity" for learning language."
This science seems solid.....Well, many experts disagree.
One researcher, Maryanne Wolf, author of the recent book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain, offers these insights : The danger, she says, is that, parents may be asking some children to do something which their brains are simply not yet ready to do. The result: Parents run the risk of making their child feel like a failure before they've even begun their academic career. And while the gains from early reading may fade away, she says, the damage of being tagged a 'slow kid'at a young age can be detrimental to a child's long term self-esteem.
Despite this, many parents continue to burn up the product's phone lines in the hopes of creating a future Einstein...;..
The bottom line: Teaching a baby to read with this product isn't impossible but most experts say it isn't likely either.
Had an experience with Your Baby Can Read!? Let us know, we'd love to hear from you.