View Full Version : Computer Games and AD/HD

08-25-07, 08:29 PM
Computer games may help kids with ADHD
The Sydney Morning Herald - 26th August 2007
Maxine Frith

VIDEO games could be used to treat children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), researchers believe.

Scientists at the University of Sydney are asking parents of children who have ADHD - and those who don't - to help with a study of how specially engineered games may help to relax youngsters, helping sufferers manage their condition.

The research will focus on biofeedback video games initially developed by NASA to help keep pilots focused during long, monotonous flights.

The games train children to control their heart rates and therefore their concentration. Children are shown that the more they focus and keep calm, the better the video game works and the higher their score.

A spokesman for the Sydney researchers said they want to recruit children between five and 15 years old, with and without the condition, who can attend sessions three times a week for two months, or once a week for three months.

There have been growing concerns about the increasing use of drugs such as Ritalin to treat children with ADHD.

A study published by American researchers last week found that non-medical interventions can be highly effective in preventing the behavioural and academic problems associated with ADHD among preschool children.

Professor George DuPaul of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, who headed the study, said: "Medication may address the symptoms of ADHD but it does not necessarily improve children's academic and social skills.

"Because this is a lifelong disorder, without any cure, it is important that we start understanding what tools and strategies are effective for children at such an early age."

ADHD is a disorder that can cause children to have problems with concentrating, reading and behaviour, leading to aggression, poor social skills and educational failings.

Between 10 and 12 per cent of school-aged children in Australia are diagnosed with the condition, which is one of the highest rates in the world.

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08-26-07, 02:17 PM
Most kids love videogames. That certainly applies to ADHD kids as well.

For ADHD kids in particular, videogames represent classic examples of "hyperfocus ( or selective attention)."

Some of the reasons for that include the facts that vidoegames contain: 1)lights;2)sound;3)color;4) movement & most importantly,5)immediate reinforcement ( you nuke the alien space monster = points).

For behavior management programs, immediate rewards are what keep the ADHD person engaged in the task.

Unfortunately, academics involve the Executive Functions;which are not related to video games.

One of the best explanations of that point can be found at :
in Russ Barkely's San Francisco presentation from June 2000.

I believe that ADHD children would thrive in an academic environment that contained a surround sound multisensory presentation of material.

That idea is hardly new; as it has been proposed many times before.

Another site you might like would be Mel Levine's : All kinds of Minds.

Check it out when you get a chance.

Thanks for the stimulating question.



George duPaul is THE when it comes to school based interventions & behavior management.

He is the head of the School Psych graduate program @ Lehigh University and one of, if not the most respected, school psychologists in the world.