I’m Sorry, Can You Repeat That?
Studies have shown that both children and adults with ADHD have exhibited inconsistent working memories. Working memory is the ability to hold onto information long enough to be able to accomplish a certain goal. A recent study published in the journal Child Neuropsychology compared 25 children with ADHD to 24 of their peers without ADHD. The children were given computer based arithmetic problems and asked to solve them without the use of a pencil and paper. Then they were asked if a given sum was correct or not. While the answers of the children with ADHD were just as accurate as the ones without ADHD, the response times were not as consistent. Many of the children with ADHD took longer to respond. According to Dr. Julie Schweitzer, associate professor of the M.I.N.D. Institute and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California-Davis (the author of this study), this study shows why “working memory may be fine at one moment and poor at another, just as one day a child with ADHD seems to be able to learn and focus in class and on another day seems distracted and not pay attention.”
The study simply confirms what many parents and ADHD sufferers have experienced daily. Struggling with your child to study for a test, or complete a homework assignment can be incredibly frustrating. Fighting to hold down a job of your own can be depressing and often self defeating. But there is help. There are games for children and high tech tools for both kids and adults that can dramatically improve working memory and concentration skills for the ADHD population.
One of our favorite memory games is Simon. Simon is like Monopoly and Life – it’s one of those games that will always be around. I still remember playing it when I was a child. Only now if you don’t own it, you can play it for free on your home computer. Just go to http://www.netrover.com/~crose/memory/memory2.htm and start sharpening your own memory. Challenge your child to a few rounds. Some games just never grow old.