In the United States, many children diagnosed with ADHD treat their symptoms with stimulant medication. In Sweden, however, most of the children with ADHD continue without medication. In an effort to develop a non-medicated treatment for ADHD, a team of Swedish doctors developed a product, marketed under the name Cogmed that engages students in a month of daily training. This training, which consists of games that exercise visual and verbal working-memory skills, gets increasingly difficult as time goes on.
Over time, the game encourages repeated focus, often resulting in a decrease in the “persistent pattern of inattention” and “hyperactivity-impulsivity” that the DSM defines as characters of ADHD. Doctors believe that by improving working-memory skills, this computer program is able to “alleviate some of the problems [people with ADHD] have with paying attention, controlling their impulses, and solving problems.
Initial research shows that this software routine is effective in curbing the effects of ADHD, though researchers at Cogmed admit that this solution won’t work for everyone. Some students will still need to take medication, in addition to the software, others can see results using just the software, and some with ADHD will see no improvement at all.
One criticism points out that while parents of students who have undergone this treatment see an improvement at home, teachers of the same kids do not. That being said, brain scans taken prior to, and following the treatment “suggest that the training might have produced physical changes in the brains of those subjects.”
The article points out that if the test results continue to come back positive, their might be a push from parents to include it in the curriculum at school. As usual, it will be a challenge to fund such a program, because ADHD isn’t covered under federal special education law.
This Page Created By Rachael Brown
Viadero, D. (2007, June 6). Computer Training Found to Help Those With ADHD. Education Week, 26(39), 8-8.
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