If you have young children, it’s pretty likely that you’ve run across the “Your Baby Can Read” commercials on various cartoon channels. The chubby, cherbic, diaper clad baby pointing to cards with words that he then says in his tiny voice, or the young preschooler who curls up in a rocking chair, reading out loud from Moby Dick, instantly makes parents look at their own children, wondering if we should be practicing flash cards versus letting them watch an episode of “Maisy.”
But like most “as seen on TV” products, I always assumed it was a scam. Now, it’s been outed as one, and irate customers are being gathered in a class action lawsuit against the makers.
The Your Baby Can Read Systems were advertised through television and radio infomercials, as well as public appearances by a doctor backing the product’s claims. According to advertisements, the early language development systems could do the following:
- Teach a three-month-old baby to read by nine months old
- Enable a five-year-old to read junior high school level books
- Teach infants with Down’s syndrome how to read
- Teach an infant how to read at a young age to prevent learning disabilities such as dyslexia
You Baby Can, LLC claimed that studies performed by the scientific community supported the use of the Can Read Systems.
According to a Your Baby Can Read class action lawsuit, however, scientific evidences does not support the company’s claims that the Can Read System can effectively develop an infant’s ability to read. The complaint states that scientists who have tested the product’s claims have found that infants using the systems are not reading, but rather memorizing shapes of the letters presented before them. These doctors and scientists claim that there is no evidence that the Can Read Systems’ memorization process increases a child’s ability to read and comprehend, according to the class action lawsuit.
First Baby Einstein doesn’t make little child genuises, now Your Baby Can Read doesn’t help make them read? Looks like one of these days we parents are just going to have to teach our kids ourselves.