Johnny raced to the classroom window once again, distracted by the lively brown squirrel scampering up the trunk of a nearby pine tree. His teacher sighed and repeated the gentle reminder for him to return to his seat and pay attention. As she turned back to the teaching of essay questions, she could already hear the familiar sound of him folding a paper airplane.
Johnny was an inquisitive, kindhearted child who struggled with impulsiveness and attention problems that often led to disruptive and harmful behaviors. His teacher employed many tactics for working with ADHD children in the classroom…yet she believed there must be better options to help Johnny address the underlying cognitive issues behind his attention struggles.
The National Institutes of Health carried a compelling article published in the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment journal on the benefits of clinician-delivered brain training for children with attention problems. This randomized controlled trial was designed to evaluate the impact of 60 hours of cognitive training, based on pre-post test scores and qualitative data. Children from age eight to 14 were randomly put into two groups: 1) students who received clinician-delivered training, or 2) the wait-listed control group who received no training during the initial stage of the study.
The training program, ThinkRx, was administered 3 days per week by certified professionals in a clinical practice called LearningRx. The outcomes offered hope and encouragement for parents and teachers of students with attention problems. All the children who completed 60 hours of one-on-one brain training showed improved test scores and increases in IQ. Even more exciting, qualitative data revealed parent-reported life changing aspects of improved behavior: 1) better confidence, 2) self-discipline, and 3) cooperation!
Researchers concluded the article by stating, “The results of this study provide early support for the use of the ThinkRx cognitive training program in remediating cognitive skills in children and adolescents with attention problems…findings of both cognitive and behavioral benefits are an encouraging and noteworthy contribution to the cognitive training literature and to clinical practice.” No doubt, Johnny’s teacher and parents would agree!
Terissa Michele Miller, MS Psy
Check out the original research: