FTC debunks early literacy system for babies


Parents who paid up to $200 for an early language development system that promised babies could learn to read are now getting a rude surprise.

The Federal Trade Commission says your baby can’t read!

Yet the “Your Baby Can Read” program was supposedly designed to teach you to read starting at 9 months of age. Not surprisingly, the company that marketed this system took in nearly $200 million from hopeful parents before going bust.

My take is, shouldn’t you let a kid be a kid?

There’s lore in my family that my late uncle who entered college at 10 had actually started reading newspapers at 2. Who knows if that’s true? What’s certain is that for decades and decades he was the youngest person ever to attend and graduate college. He wasn’t your average guy. But reading at 2? I don’t know.

The idea that you can buy some kind of program or some kind of music or whatever it is and that your kid will be the next Einstein? I suggest you take a step back from Type A and let them be a kid. There’s plenty of time to get into academics.

This kind of thing fits very nicely into the ‘magic bullet’ idea we see with investment scams, where somebody says they have a solution to make you fabulously wealthy for a price. This is just like that, only it’s for your infant to become literate.

But a baby who’s still crawling reading? Really?!

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