It turns out that your baby may not be able to read after all.
The tiresome do-gooders at the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have found a new way to make the world just the teensiest bit safer: by highlighting the dangers posed by Your Baby Can Read, an As-Seen-On-TV educational system which purports to teach infants and toddlers to read. The activist group filed a complaint last year with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging that the product’s misleading claims could confuse dimwitted-parents–the very group whose offspring are most at risk to be afflicted with ‘the dumbs’–who might construe them as factual.
Your Baby Can Read is the brainchild of edu-hustler Dr. Robert Titzer, who claims that the brains of infants and toddlers are especially receptive to reading education. Furthermore, Titzer claims that a narrow window of opportunity exists in which to access a child’s higher learning capabilities, capabilities which have atrophied by the time at which most children begin to receive formalized schooling.
Opponents say these claims are laughable, citing as evidence an NBC study, which suggests that while very young children may be able to memorize word patterns, their tiny, underdeveloped brains lack the capacity for true comprehension. Activist groups contend that these misleading claims entice parents to spend their hard-earned money on an essentially useless product.
After a thorough review of the evidence provided in the NBC study as well as independent research, it is our opinion that the claims of groups like the CCFC are correct: Your Baby Can Read appears to be of little or no value as a means of establishing within a child a life-long love of reading. Despite this, the campaign against Your Baby Can Read is misguided. Granted, thousands of well-meaning parents are ponying up hard cash for this dud, but remember–every dollar spent on this scam is another dollar not spent on cigarettes, malt liquor and lottery tickets.