Can a Game Help Children With ADHD Perform Better in School?
New research published in SAGE Open suggests a computer game can help children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder improve classroom behavior and social interactions.
The game used in the study synchs with a wireless headband that monitors brain waves during game-play, and then uses this data to adjust the difficulty and scoring system in order to target and train attention control, working memory, and impulse-control.
For the study, neurocognitive training using this software was administered in case studies of five elementary school students in China and contributed to an overall improvement in behavior, assignment completion, and relationships with peers and teachers.
“The present study implies that the neurocognitive training can result in broader and more socially meaningful outcomes than improvement of ADHD symptoms,” wrote study authors Han Jiang and Dr. Stuart Johnstone.
“Two reasons possibly explain the side effect. First, the increased attentive behavior in class and improved quality of schoolwork improved these children’s social status. Second, game-driven and task-directed features of the training increased the children’s confidence in doing tasks.”
Before the study, parents of all the children involved rated their child’s issues with hyperactivity, inattention, and acceptance by peers and teachers.
Following the neurocognitive testing with the game, four of the five groups of parents reported improvements in their child’s interaction with teachers and peers. The researchers also noted increases in teacher acceptance, such as public praise and increased classroom inclusion led to improved peer acceptance.
Jiang and Johnstone commented, “These findings indicate that once the children have received positive support and technical aids, they can achieve dramatic improvements. The outcomes have provided the foundation for a large randomized control trial which is currently underway in Australia, as well as two further controlled studies in China.”