Photo of Baby Reading

Photo of Baby Reading

Section:

Your Baby Can Read is Fake, Says Class Action Lawsuit

Your Baby Can Read, a popular (and pricey) early education program, may be fake. A class action lawsuit alleges that the Your Baby Can Read corporation used false advertising and bogus claims to market its product, promising parents that they could teach children as young as three months to read.

But child psychology experts at Harvard and other leading universities reviewed the system and concluded that Your Baby Can Read doesn’t live up to its claims. The truth is, your baby can’t read, and the company is currently being investigated by the FTC.

“It raises false expectations,” said Dr. Karen Hopkins, a developmental pediatrician at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, who also called Your Baby Can Read “misleading” and “false.”

Were you ripped off by this product? Let’s review the facts and tell you how to become involved in a class action lawsuit.

Obviously, all parents want the best for their children. This means education, including college, and the pressure for children to succeed in school seems to be starting at an even younger age each year. It’s not uncommon for preschools to have detailed applications and waitlists. To give their kids a leg up over the competition, many parents are willing to spend thousands of dollars while the young pupil is still in diapers.

According to a recent industry report, the baby care products market was worth an estimated $44.7 billion dollars in 2011. Unfortunately, wherever money goes, crooks follow. (The weight loss and diet industry is another multi-billion dollar market plagued by con artists and sham products – hmm, maybe they’re targeting all those new parents trying to drop their baby weight!)

According to a class action lawsuit, many scientists have concluded that Your Baby Can Read is “ineffective and worthless.”

The Your Baby Can Read system was sold online and in a variety of legitimate brick-and-mortar stores, where it retailed for around $200. The kit included flash cards, books and DVDs.

But according to the child psychologists who reviewed the product, its claims were completely bogus.

A recent class action lawsuit alleges that the Your Baby Can Read system promised that it could teach a three-month old baby to read by nine months old, enable a five-year old to read at a junior high school level, teach infants with Down’s syndrome how to read and prevent learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

It also claimed that its system was supported by scientific studies, and the company relied on endorsements from Dr. Robert Titzer, a self-proclaimed “infant learning expert.” Titzer is a doctor, but his degree is in “human performance” (the study of motor skills) – not child development, pediatrics, education or human psychology.

Commercials for Your Baby Can Read showed home video footage of toddlers and preschoolers picking out flash cards or reciting words from one of the kit’s books. This footage was startling, if it was real.

But the experts determined that these kids didn’t possess true reading comprehension skills, they were simply displaying age-appropriate memorization abilities. Three-month old infants can’t learn to read because their brains haven’t developed enough. They can recognize visual patterns and associate them with sounds, but they can’t understand the connection between the two.

Child development experts at Harvard and other leading universities determined that the infants and toddlers in the Your Baby Can Read ads were just displaying memorization skills, not reading comprehension.

In an interview with the Today show, Titzer defended Your Baby Can Read and offered to provide the Today show investigative staff with “a book full of studies” to support the product.

The Today show never received any public research. Instead, Titzer sent a press packet of customer satisfaction surveys and generalized studies about child learning.

Due to this negative publicity and the class action lawsuit, Your Baby Can Read has now gone out of business. However, if you ordered this product and you aren’t satisfied, it’s not too late to submit a report to Scambook.

You can also read more about the class action lawsuit and how to get involved by clicking here.

 

Images from trevorcairney.blogspot.com, todaysmomma.com, gawkerassets.com

 

See Also

$40 Million Skechers Shape-Ups Class Action Settlement: How You Can Get a Refund
Class Action Lawsuit: Double Day Book Club – Columbia House
BidRack Class Action Lawsuit

Got a complaint? Report it to Scambook!

Author:

Miranda Perry is the staff writer for Scambook.com, where she blogs about consumer issues, fraud and cyber security. She hopes to inspire readers to think critically about the world around them and take action to improve their lives.

Comments

  1. Pingback: Bumbo Baby Seat Recall | New Baby Products--compare new products

  2. Diane

    I used YBCR and loved it! And, it does work. My daughter started at 15 months and could recognize over 80 words and knew what they were referring to. She is almost five now and has a superior grasp of reading for her age and a superior love of learning.

    People, especially ‘so called’ experts that have so much negative to say about have discounted it from the get go; for their own personal reasons and to protect the status quo; and have surely have never even tried it with their own child or grandchild themselves.

    Reading at a very young age is not new. ” How to teach your baby to read ” was authored in 1965. It is common in other cultures for a child to be reading at a much younger age then here in North America, like in India for instance where it is not uncommon to be reading before three years old.

    Parents can teach their children amazing things beginning from birth, far more then the average parent knows; but it is much more profitable for corporations to believe ‘experts’ know more then they do.

    YBCR is an awesome tool to help,your child with early literacy; something which schools clear across North America are failing at miserably!

    Reply
  3. Tania

    I’ve had these videos since my son (now 4) was 4months old. He has been reading since 12 months and is a very advanced reader now reading books and signs everywhere he goes. His teachers were amazed at his reading skills. My 2 years old also reads and can read ever word on the flash cards as well as words i write for him. I love these videos and encourage everyone i meet to get them!

    Reply
  4. Julia

    Our daughter started YBCR at one year old and is now reading chapter books in Kindergarten. Her reading has been outstanding and I attribute it largely to her early, consistent exposure to YBCR! :)

    Reply
  5. Dormel

    I feel terrible for this man and the company of YBCR. The program really does work – as does you making flash cards for your child or labeling objects in your home. I believe the folks who had issues with the program DID NOT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS as were given. There is NO television allowed other than the videos that come with the program… that is KEY to getting your child used to the system and their brain used to focusing on words. Most folks don’t really wanna do that…. cause its boring!!! It really is boring – but it works.

    I’m willing to bet that most -if not all- of the folks with this complaint did not follow the directions or they got bored with instructing it to their child as directed. Simple repetition was the foundation of this program. So sad to hear about this. My heart aches for this man, the employees, and those who followed the program and got the intended results!

    Reply
  6. Michael Akin

    Yea. It’s true your baby can learn to read at young ages. But this was claiming as early as three months, before the brain is even developed to that extent. I was read to when I was 3, I was at an 8th grade reading level when I entered Kindergarten. I’m 16 now, and I’ve found that I’m a little more advanced than my fellow students, seeing as how I graduated High School at 14. (Online Homeschool, my local public school would not let me jump ahead that far.) I’m no expert, but the human brain isn’t developed to have reading capabilities until approximately 24 months (Two years for the lazy people). If you can’t tell it’s fake, you might need to re-take that nice little test they gave you in High School and see if you still rank at least a 6th Grade level.

    Reply
  7. Jonny Clark

    PFFfffft!! ~ This lawsuit is bollocks. Sure maybe it’s a little misleading that a 3 month baby can read straight off, but I am not disappointed with this product and I think a lawsuit is extreme and does not mean YBCR is a write-off. Acutally, YBCR is completely the opposite and is giving children an astounding start in life, one that I wish I was able to have growing up. If anything, this product is a blessing to modern civilisation. I wish that YBCR was available to all families as I think our society would benefit so much from it. A generation of geniuses. Frankly, I think people are threatened by it potential. Our 11 month baby can already recognise three words within two weeks. Clap, Dog and Cat … Satisfied and slightly peeved Dad

    Reply
  8. steve moors

    This learning system is not a scam I taught my son with YBCR from the age of 5mths he is now 5 and is reading at year 5 reading level.My daughter is now learning to read she is 20 mths and knows all the words on YBCR.Parents just need to follow the instructions and have some great fun with it.

    Reply
  9. Toni

    I was totally upset with media for labeling a perfect American business as a scam. They claimed babies aren’t reading but memorizing. As an educator, I know that a lot of what students learn is memorization. Just because you memorize does not mean you can’t read or learn. Why do you think Japan’s education is superior to ours? Their kids do a lot of memorization. United States kids memorize the latest songs or are too busy watching TV that they memorize parts of a show. Reading the words is one thing, comprehension of what is read is another skill that one will have to teach. I actually tried it on my 20 month old son. He is reading and no one can tell me different. It is sad that media hypes up a child dancing or singing like a pop star and think it is great. However, let a toddler or baby read and it is a scam. The results are real, ask real parents that has done it. Children that it does not work for, I believe that parents have exposed them to other shows like Sesame Street, Nick Jr, PBS or other cartoons. Once you have exposed them to those type of shows they may find YBCR boring, therefore they will not be engaged and will not learn.

    Reply
  10. psyche

    YBCR can really work if you constantly expose your child to it.I would rather let my kids watch YBCR than just let them see ordinary cartoon shows during their leisure time.I would still support YBCR.

    Reply
  11. Jessica

    I use this with my kids and LOVE it!!! My son started at 3 months and can read over 1,000 words at age 3! And is on a 2nd grade level on other things and was told possibly higher. I thank your baby can read for this!!!!

    Reply
  12. Glen Kimpton

    I cant beleive this! It works amazingly well on my son!
    Evidence once again that “experts” aren’t worth listening to.
    I really feel for Dr Robert Titzer, a good man offers a great opportunity and gets slapped in the face by the parents to lazy to do it properly.
    Great testimonial to come onto a scam website and find nothing but praises of the product in the comments though!

    Never did he claim it can teach a 3 month old to read. It only said you can start them on the program at 3 months.He also claimed 6 months as a nominal time required to start picking up words, not a guaranty. Some babies are faster, some are slower.

    Reply
  13. Lydia Hubbell

    I am so sorry to hear about this. Babies CAN read but not all babies WILL read. People CAN stop smoking,lose weight, eat healthfully, or control their temper, but if they don’t, does it make sense to punish someone who believes you can and encourages you and sells you products that have helped many others to do those things? I used Glenn Doman’s “You Can Teach Your Baby to Read” with my 2 kids who are now teenagers. I believe prenatal and infant stimulation are helpful. I was one of the mothers who read to and sang to and played music for and massaged my babies before they were born and continued afterwards. My teenagers are considered to be academically gifted and consistently in the top 5% or better on standardized tests. In fact, my son just scored at or better than the level of 100% of kids his grade level in math. His reading level was tested in first grade and they didn’t tell me what level he was actually reading on because they only tested as far as the 5th grade level. I have a 4 year old daughter who is reading “I Can Read” books like, “Frog and Toad,” independently. I occasionally help her with a word, but for the most part, she is reading and understanding and can discuss the stories with me. My children were reading out loud by 15-18 months and before then it is extremely difficult to “test” them. In my experience, children are not always ready and willing to perform like trained seals. It is terribly unfair for Robert Titzer to be treated this way. He had tremendous success with his own children and wanted to share the gift of early reading with children all over. I did buy the YBCR and used it with my youngest. I cannot say that it is more effective than the Glenn Doman method, but it is as effective and a great deal more convenient. All my children watched a good bit of educational television as well, But the most important thing I have done with my kids is to give them time and attention. I listen to them, talk to them and spent many hours reading aloud to them. Robert Titzer was obviously very involved in his children’s lives. He didn’t JUST have them sit in front of a TV or computer monitor. I do know that some kids cannot read the written word. Some kids are blind. Some kids have other problems. But I do believe all normal, healthy children can read and should read. I think the so-called “experts” who think babies cannot read need to spend more time with the children who are doing it. Reading is a complex process. Comprehension is limited by a person’s age and experience in some ways. My daughter who read Harry Potter in second grade got a whole lot more out of it when she read it as a high-schooler. Visual discrimination and memorization are important. My son isn’t as interested in reading as my daughter is, but he reads on an “advanced” level, even as a 14 year old. My 15 year old daughter, on the other hand, always has her nose in a book. I noticed very early (like at 2 or 3 years old) that even though my son could read, he preferred that I read to him, but my daughter at that age enjoyed reading to me! All kids are not the same, but I am firmly convinced that there was no false advertising going on and this company did a lot more good than has been acknowledged.

    Reply
  14. chris john

    YBCR does work. I never heard Dr. Titzer claim reading at 3 months in any of the literature. Maybe the commercials made that claim. If so, that’s too bad he wasn’t more careful about the advertising because it is an excellent product. The books are decent quality as are the flash cards and minbooks. The DVDs have decent production value too. What I found liking the most was how the selection of words seemed very directed to words children would start to use early. That was great. I paid $300 (I think) for 5 dvds, 10 word books, 5 minibooks, 5 flashcard kits, 2 decks of word cards, a board book, and a spanish language DVD and book. I work in education… that was a good deal. And in all of the instruction manuals and instructional videos I think he was upfront about the EFFORT parents have to be willing to put in. The track lasts about 6 months and I didn’t start to see major word recognition until about 4 or 5 months in and then she crossed a threshold. I hate to be cynical, but my suspicion is many parents AND pshchologists simply did not stay the whole course. Yes, they start off memorizing the words and not reading them, properly speaking. I’ve never heard a child psychologist prove exercising the memory was a bad thing. AND children come to realize as they encounter these words over and over how the various letters function. It’s not that complicated. I’ve got a daughter who is 3.5 and now reads very well. I’ve heard her pronounce words she’s seen for the first time like maplewood as “map le wood,” not “map ell wood.” Those kinds of experiences happen often and tell me she is learning the function of letters not merely recognizing words.
    It’s sad to see the establishment get so jealous. It would be different if they could actually prove he system was doing them harm. My prediction is that we’ll see a slight variation of his model integrated into the preK and 3K fervor and we’ll be paying a lot more taxes for it.

    Reply
  15. bridie

    YBCR does work! im from england and my little girl is reading at 15 months she loves the dvds i wrote down the word kiss and she gives me a kiss its not memerised at all. i think Dr Robert Titzer is brilliant!! and we all want your dvds in england too.

    Reply
  16. josh

    Are you kidding?
    Out of 15 comments 14 of them appear to be parents raving that the system works.
    NOT A SCAM
    Add my name name to the long list of parents with babies who can read thanks to this amazing new system:

    Thank you, Dr Titzer and http://yourbabycanread.com/index.php/
    Buying this system is best thing I ever did for my child’s education.
    This System works!
    My Baby Can Read, and he is 18 months old.
    “The Kids aren’t reading the words, they are just memorizing the words?”
    That is like saying:
    “The Kids aren’t eating the food they are just swallowing the food.”
    It simply Does not make sense. Why are they trying to redifine what it means to read?
    I purchased the “Your Baby can Read” system while my wife was
    pregnant and following instructions, started him on the program
    promptly on the day he turned 3 months. I of course have also been
    reading books to him every day since before he was even 3 months and
    started him on board books since he was old enough to focus.

    I originally purchased the deluxe 5 part set from Amazon, but now
    days you can get it on the yourbabycanread website for like $140 or
    something, an excellent deal for the extensive materials you will
    receive. I had watched the infomercials for years and told myself I
    would get the system for my kid if I ever had one.

    It is also my formal undergraduate training in Biological and
    developmental psychology, that allowed me to understand just how
    different the “Your Baby can Read” program really is from
    everything else available on or off market. And now years
    later, my hunch about the “Your Baby can Read” system, has
    rewarded me in ways that I only dreamed of.

    I started him on the “Your Baby can Read” system at 3 months and he has been
    loving the system ever since. I have not followed the
    instructions of the system as closely as I could have, I suppose, but
    I have been very busy, and we have been commuting halfway across the
    globe. With that said, I have been showing him the videos
    almost every day since he was 3 months old, I have been doing the
    flip up books and the sliding flashcards several times per week.
    He demands the videos even though he doesn’t care to much for other
    TV(he hates “Teletubbies” and is utterly bored by “Baby
    Einstien”). In fact one of the first words he ever
    learned to say was “DVD” but when he pronounces it, it
    sounds more like “DDD”, he learned this exclusively so he
    could tell me to put the “Your Baby can Read” dvds on.
    I have noticed his attention span for the videos has been increasing
    dramatically, when I started him at three months he could barely make
    it through the first one, now he watches one right after the other.

    I tried the regular advanced flashcards with no picture for the first
    time a couple weeks ago, and to my amazement, he immediately began
    pointing to his nose, eyes, feet, etc., when I showed him the
    corresponding flashcards, with no prompting, or pictures or anything,
    on the very first try! It absolutely blew my mind. It is
    very clear to me now that he understands and reads many more words
    than he speaks.

    I did not train him with the non picture flashcards
    at all, but he already knew many of them, from the video and sliding
    flashcards and books. I been have taking a much closer look at
    the “Your Baby can Read” system over the last couple of
    weeks and started implementing some of the other techniques and games
    outlined in the “Your Baby can Read” program. I
    decided to by another deluxe system on amazon and I could not find
    it, when I started googling for another source that is when I
    discovered they had gone out of business.

    the “Your Baby can Read” work is both paramount and historical
    in my opinion, we are at a crossroads in education, I believe, and as
    leaps in cognitive science are gradually becoming mainstream.
    Dr Titzer stumbled on some of this science, discovered, further
    clarified, expounded, assimilated, and formulated it into a simple
    effective system, that works brilliantly.

    Although I had only seen the infomercial at the time, I have been suggesting
    and recomending the “Your Baby can Read” system to my
    friends and family with babies for years, because Dr Titzer’s
    research appeared to parallel my own research in so many ways.

    I believe BF Skinner is one of the great scientists of our age, and
    the story the “Your Baby can Read” dvds tells us about Dr. Titzer
    and his daughter is reminiscent of the training that
    Dr. Skinner did with his own daughter.

    However I have to admit, for the average person in today’s world, “Your
    Baby Can Read” is a bit more practical than a traditional
    Skinner Box.

    It has been a real shock for me as I have realized that the media was bashing Dr. Titzer and “Your Baby Can Read” the same way it had bashed Dr. Skinner so many years ago.

    Bashing is one thing, but frivolous lawsuits that destroy literacy programs takes is a whole different level. Make no mistake about it. What the CFCC has done to the “Your Baby can Read” company should be criminal. A crime against country and humanity. Read all the responses below and see for yourself.

    Reply
  17. Charlie Hendricks

    We have a couple of moms in the neighborhood who swear by YBCR. I tried it with my oldest son and it worked well. Tried the same program with my youngest and it didn’t work so well. I think it all depends on the child and situation. I do think it’s more memorization than learning. But, that’s how my husband swears he made it through college!

    Reply
  18. Sanza

    I have to roll my eyes when hear of things like this. Honestly YBCR is NOT A FAKE. And what’s so sad is when I read articles on how jealous skeptics were trying to sue Dr Titzer. As I read these articles my daughter at the time was standing beside me spot reading stuff from magazines on the table, now these are creative writing magazines by the way. Plus she randomly read a whole load of title credits and words that were flashing up on the TV at that moment. I turned to looked at her and turned back to read the articles with wide eyes and an open mouth that claim to have wanted to sue this genius and for WHAT?????!!!!! for WHAT???!!! I totally agree with every single person on this forum, YBCR DOES work – it does! My daughter is now 2 and her level is god knows, if she is reading words from my novels that she happens to pick up and words on billboard posters, words in her book, on peoples clothes that I have never show her then those so called child psychologist experts don’t have a clue what they are taking about.

    The reason why these so called professional expert (not) say what they do is because there are people out there that will believe what they say, people who are considering using this product or people who think its to good to be true so. All in the name of SABOTAGE! JEALOUSLY. Don’t knock something until you have tried it…properly! The parents that have failed with this product think YBCR is something out of Harry Potter, its not a magic wand, its a software that you have to 1. follow instructions 2. believe in your child (I know its sad, but not everyone does) 3. believe in the product 4. stop listening to negative reviews and just try it for your self 5. Don’t be a lazy ass parent.
    As one person on here said the Japanese and the Chinese education system will always be far superior to any other and that is right if we have so called experts trying to knock down genuises like Dr Titzer. Why can’t we all just embrace what he is doing and listen to those who have found success in this product, if your child ain’t doing good with YBCR then do yourself a favour and check yo’self. Western culture is often mocked because we are quick to praise kids who are dancing and singing like what one person said on here, its TRUE! We’re quick to put a drum kit in thier hands as soon as they can walk but you find the kid can’t even talk yet. that’s why in every school and in every class you have the achievers and the non-acheivers and its all down to the pre-school parenting skills that is passed on to the child.

    Reply
  19. Daniele Wren

    I have had a positive experience with YBCR and wonder where this is coming from. Since my child was three I have been using this as well as online material that I got from this site that has been very useful to me up till now. There are lots of resources in there that will aid a parent get their child on the right footing in learning. This has been instrumental in educating her up until now and my child is doing really great with reading.

    Regards
    Daniele Wren

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Please read our Comment Guidelines before posting.
If you wish to file a complaint on Scambook, click here instead.
Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>