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!)
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.
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.
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