ADHD: Children and Aggression

Tips on how to deal with your child’s anger

Do these words sound familiar?

“What is of a greater concern is that because of the ADHD, we have been battling with his bad temper and a rage I have never before seen in a child.”

“Christine, I need help for this child who is otherwise intelligent and very loving. He tries so hard but feels like he is losing the battle.” He says things like “this world is unfair” and “why did I have to be born like this”? 1

–By a Grandmother seeking help for her ADHD Grandson . . .    

ADHD is a condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsivity. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.Angry_Girl_SM

Symptoms of ADHD can differ from person to person, but there are three basic types of ADHD. Each one is identified by the symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. When the main symptoms are inattention, distraction, and disorganization, the type is usually called primarily inattentive. The symptoms of hyperactivity and possibly impulsiveness appear to diminish with age but are seen in the primarily hyperactive/impulsive type. The third type has some symptoms from each of the other two and is called the combined type.2

Whether it is one of the aforementioned types or a combined type, the following tips will help parents deal with their ADHD child’s anger.

  1. Be a good role-model. Children learn how to handle anger from their parents, so avoid physical punishment, such as hitting your child, or dragging them to their room for a time-out.
  2. Reward their appropriate, non-aggressive behaviors every time you notice them. Children crave attention, and praise will reinforce the positive and appropriate behaviors you are hoping for.
  3. Set up a behavioral contract. Let your child know exactly which behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. Include a chart to track progress towards these goals, and set up a reward schedule for when the child reaches these goals. Rewards can include a treat, time playing together, or a special outing.
  4. Teach your child appropriate behaviors, such as assertiveness, problem-solving, and decision-making skills as well as conflict resolution skills and social skills, and model these behaviors and skills yourself. Play Attention integrates feedback technology with cognitive skill training and behavior shaping. You may learn more about Play Attention at one of our upcoming Speed Webinars,3 At the webinar you can learn how Play Attention can help your child develop coping skills that will last a lifetime.
  5. Play perspective-taking games. Aggressive children often perceive conflict where there is none, and games where you role-play other people may help your child see what the other party’s actual intent was. Role-play how to deal with conflict once it arises.
  6. Eliminate sources of stress and anxiety for your child, as these may be contributing to your child’s aggressive behavior.
  7. Know when to seek professional help. If your child is out of control, does not seem to show empathy, or is cruel to animals, you should seek professional help and guidance to determine how to help your child.4

It can be exhausting—mentally, emotionally, and physically—to be the parent of a child with ADHD. Be sure to care for yourselves as individuals and as a couple. Take breaks from your child, no matter how much you love him or her. You won’t be at your best for your child if you let yourself get run down without a break. Find a way to have some quiet time on a regular basis and perhaps dinner and a show without the child tagging along on occasion.

There is an adage, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Reach out for help when it available to make your child’s life more consistent.5

1   http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/70212/dear-christine-help-grandson-adhd

2   http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/understanding-adhd-basics

3   Speed Webinars http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

4   http://www.psy-ed.com/wpblog/child-aggression/

5   http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-ADHD-Kids

 

ADHD & Bullying

What every mom, dad, and child ought to know. 

It’s a fact: teasing and playful banter are unfortunate but inevitable parts of the social scheme at school. However, ADHD children, who commonly also have social skills problems, often attract more bullying than their peers.  Because they have social skills problems, they often don’t know how to respond to bullying either. This can make school life very unpleasant.

On education.com, Judith Wiener, PhD, reports the following: In a study that examined children with ADHD in third to sixth grade, 17 percent were bullies according to teacher and parent reports, 27 percent reported that they were victims of bullying, and 14 percent were both bullies and victims. The result? A whopping 58 percent of children with ADHD were involved in bullying—compared to only 14 percent of children without ADHD. A similar pattern is evident with adolescents.

Parents can teach a few basic skills that can make a world of difference. Also, proactive parents can help by shaping the school environment. It may take a little work, but it’s with it.

Here are some basic strategies:

  • Teach your children to stand up to bullying without overreacting. Suggest a series of steps your child can take without escalating the problem. Start by teaching them to walk away and immediately report bullying to a teacher, or calmly respond verbally without escalating the situation.
  • Without excusing the bully’s behavior, discuss how your child can make herself less of a target. Encouraging skills such as listening to her peers before responding, keeping conversations short and to the point, always keeping her hands to herself, & remembering to keep her voice at an appropriate volume level. You know your child best, so include skills you know need improvement.
  • Martial arts classes can provide self-confidence and often teach skills to cope with bullying. Simple skills like making eye-contact, standing up straight, and speaking in a clear firm voice are often taught in martial arts classes and are effective.
  • At the first sign of bullying, whether it involves your child or another, alert your child’s teachers and school principal so they can take care of the situation. Follow up to be certain the matter has been addressed.
  • Another great martial arts technique is to yell, “Ouch! Stop! You’re hurting me!” when bullied. This response attracts attention from nearby adults without your child coming off as a tattle tale.
  • If the school doesn’t have an anti-bullying policy, ask them to establish one. You may need to attend some meetings with the school or with the PTO to assist in the development of the policy.
  • Keep an open line of daily communication with your child to stay aware of any problems.

Play Attention has a social skills program within the software that can help your child make friends and keep them! Register for our upcoming webinar to learn more.

Play Attention is sponsoring Additude Magazine’s webinar, “My Child Is Being Bullied at School!”
On Wednesday, July 27, at 1 pm ET, join us for a free expert webinar with Michele Borba, Ed.D. Click here to register.
 

ADHD, ODD, or BOTH – Part II

ADHD, ODD, or BOTH – Part II

In Part I of this blog we discussed the evidence that supports the link between ADHD and ODD. Dr. Russell Barkley states: ADHD involves one more vital component that has been left out of the Clinical diagnosis for ADHD – Emotional Dysregulation: deficits in inhibiting and regulating emotions. Emotional Self-Regulation is the ability to manage your behavior in relation to the events that happen in your life. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is one of the most common disorders occurring with ADHD. ODD usually starts before age eight, but no later than early adolescence.

So you ask, “what does this psychological/medical jargon really mean in layman terms?” This is what it means to parents of ADHD/ODD children:

“My son is very violent and has lots of anger. He gets mad so easily and it is hard to deal with him the school wants to put him in alternative school. I do not know what to do with him he can be the sweetest boy in the world but when he has the bad days, he does not even look like my baby boy.”

“He would get extremely angry over the most mundane things that most people take for granted. He smashed furniture, broke things, and would whip things through the air at people. He physically attacked me around 3 times. I was honestly scared of him. He seemed to be chronically irritated by something I just couldn’t see. I came very close to putting him into a group home for his own safety and mine.”

Sound all too familiar? These are typical examples of emotional dysregulation the vital component left out of the Clinical diagnosis for ADHD. These comments were made by parents of ADHD/ODD children.

Tips for Parents of Defiant ADHD Children:

  1. STAY POSITIVE: Rewarding good behavior can be more effective then punishing bad behavior. It can also boost self-esteem when you “catch” your child behaving well, and dole out praise. Treat your child as if he were already the person you’d like him to be – that will help him develop the self-esteem to become that person.
  2. TREAT BEFORE YOU PUNISH: Make sure you’re not disciplining children for a symptom of ADHD. Once the symptoms are under control, you will know which behaviors are punishable, and which are facets of the condition. In other words, don’t buy into other people’s negative remarks. Your child’s mind may work differently. Behaviors that other people call “slow” or “bad” may be symptoms.
  3. USE YOUR WORDS: You always tell your children to use this technique “use your words” to communicate feelings, but it’s important for parents to remember too. Hypersensitivity commonly exists alongside ADHD, so spanking can be harmful for kids.
  4. AVOID MELTDOWNS: Having an escape strategy for tough events like birthday parties and family events can make the difference between a public scene and a quiet exit. The best plans make you and your child co-conspirators in on the same secret. Take him aside and say: “It’s time to be a magician and become invisible.” Then, exit stage right!Defiant_Girl_SM
  5. ACT LIKE A COP: When you are pulled over, the policeman doesn’t berate you or yell. He calmly doles out consequences. ADHD children can be very sensitive to parents’ anger and won’t understand the message of what you’re saying. Stay cool-headed so things stay under control.
  6. BE CLEAR ABOUT RULES AND CONSEQUENCES: Parents need to explain what behavior is not allowed and exactly what will happen if kids don’t meet those expectations. Be consistent when reinforcing the rules. Kids with ADHD need to have it all laid out so they don’t forget. Do no use the word “no” as a reflexive answer to every question. If the child is impulsive to begin with they are more apt to rebel to the negative word “no.”
  7. PLAY BEFORE PUNISHING: Doing creative projects together can help keep kids from misbehaving. When kids do act out, give them a punishment that’s so boring they’ll never want to do it again!
  8. KNOW YOUR CHILD’S PATTERNS: Honing in on the little quirks and hypersensitivities that make your child tick can help you adjust your discipline plan. It will let you know when your child is being willfully defiant and when emotional overwhelm has gotten the best of him.
  9. ASK YOURSELF IF YOU’RE CONTRIBUTING: Could you have ADHD/ODD too? Parents are a child’s most influential role model, so think carefully about your own behavior.

Resource: https://newhope.leadpages.net/adhd-behavior-discipline-ebook/

In conclusion: Oppositional behavior seems to be a manifestation of ADHD-related impulsivity. While there is no medication that is scientifically established or formally approved to treat ODD, drugs may sometimes be used to treat other mental illnesses that may be present, such as ADHD or depression. Other forms of treatment are behavior shaping and cognitive training programs. These treatments are either administered by a professional therapist or in home by the parent.

Play Attention has a full behavior shaping program.  As cited in our last success story, major behavioral changes will take place during the Play Attention sessions.

“Once the Play Attention routine was established, the arguing beforehand and the disruptive behaviors during the program diminished to the point where, as coach, I have virtually no behaviors to report during his sessions.”Nathan’s success story.

Play Attention integrates feedback technology with cognitive skill training and behavior shaping. You may learn more about Play Attention at one of our upcoming Speed Webinars. To learn more about Play Attention’s efficacy and success rate, as documented in a controlled study conducted by Tufts University School of Medicine, download a recorded webinar hosted by Dr. Naomi Steiner at Additude Mag.

Your attention experts are at playattention.com. Chat with us from our site, or call us at 800.788.6786 to learn how Play Attention can help you, your children, or your clients achieve success!

Play Attention. Our attention is focused on your future.

 

ADHD, ODD, or BOTH?

ADHD and Your Child
Is it ADHD, ODD, or BOTH?

We have received many questions from concerned parents asking: “Does my child have ADHD, ODD, or BOTH”? There is a reported link between having ADHD and developing ODD. The correlation rate for being diagnosed with ADHD and ODD is staggering, ranging between 60% and 80%. It is the most common co-existing condition associated with ADHD. People with ADHD are 11 times more likely to be diagnosed with ODD than the general population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “also reports: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is one of the most common disorders occurring with ADHD. ODD usually starts before age eight, but no later than early adolescence.” [1]

In this blog we will discuss each of the disorders as separate entities, what the interrelationship between the two is, and conclude with how to deal with the effects of these disorders in relationship to each other.

Powerful Shot of Sad Child

ADHD as defined by the Mayo Clinic: “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. ADHD includes a combination of problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD also may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school.

Signs and symptoms of ADHD may include:

  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Frequently daydreaming
  • Difficulty following through on instructions and apparently not listening
  • Frequently has problems organizing tasks or activities
  • Frequently forgetful and loses needed items, such as books, pencils or toys
  • Frequently fails to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
  • Easily distracted
  • Frequently fidgets or squirms
  • Difficulty remaining seated and seemly in constant motion
  • Excessively talkative
  • Frequently interrupts or intrudes on others’ conversations or games
  • Frequently has trouble waiting for his or her turn”[2]

Play Attention can improve all of the skills mentioned above. Attend one of our upcoming webinars and learn how we can help.

ODD by definition: Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is defined by as “a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least six months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the symptoms and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual who is not a sibling.

Signs and symptoms of ODD may include:

  • actively refuses to comply with majority’s requests or consensus-supported rules
  • performs actions deliberately to annoy others
  • is angry and resentful of others
  • argues often
  • blames others for their own mistakes frequently loses temper
  • is spiteful or seeks revenge
  • and is touchy or easily annoyed

These patterns of behavior result in impairment at school and/or other social venues.”[3]

So the question is, what is the link between the two disorders? “According to Dr. Russell Barkley, clinical scientist and researcher in the field of ADHD, there absolutely is a link between having ADHD and developing ODD. In fact, Dr. Barkley believes that if you have ADHD you have a propensity for developing Oppositional Defiant Disorder from the start. Why? Because, he believes that ADHD involves one more vital component that has been left out of the Clinical diagnosis for ADHD – Emotional Dysregulation: deficits in inhibiting and regulating emotions.

Emotional Self-Regulation is the ability to manage your behavior in relation to the events that happen in your life. This can involve suppressing or inhibiting your response, self-soothing to calm or comfort yourself, prolonging your pleasurable experience, or refocusing your attention to a more positive goal directed activity. By providing compelling evidence where he analyzed neuro-anatomy, psychological evidence, and clinical research, Dr. Barkley found that children diagnosed with ADHD also exhibited difficulties in Emotional Self-Regulation. He found that every rating scale that is given to children who have been diagnosed with ADHD that measures symptoms of emotions is elevated dramatically for hostility, anger, frustration and impatience. These children exhibited much stronger emotional reactions and had much greater difficulty in controlling their reactions once elicited.”[4]

Tips for Parents of Defiant ADHD Children:

  1. “STAY POSITIVE: Rewarding good behavior can be more effective then punishing bad behavior. It can also boost self-esteem when you “catch” your child behaving well, and dole out praise. Treat your child as if he were already the person you’d like him to be – that will help him develop the self-esteem to become that person.
  2. TREAT BEFORE YOU PUNISH: Make sure you’re not disciplining children for a symptom of ADHD. Once the symptoms are under control, you will know which behaviors are punishable, and which are facets of the condition. In other words, don’t buy into other people’s negative remarks. Your child’s mind may work differently. Behaviors that other people call “slow” or “bad” may be symptoms.
  3. USE YOUR WORDS: You always tell your children to use this technique “use your words” to communicate feelings, but it’s important for parents to remember too. Hypersensitivity commonly exists alongside ADHD, so spanking can be harmful for kids.
  4. AVOID MELTDOWNS: Having an escape strategy for tough events like birthday parties and family events can make the difference between a public scene and a quiet exit. The best plans make you and your child co-conspirators in on the same secret. Take him aside and say: “It’s time to be a magician and become invisible.” Then, exit stage right!
  5. ACT LIKE A COP: When you are pulled over, the policeman doesn’t berate you or yell. He calmly doles out punishment. ADHD children can be very sensitive to parents’ anger and won’t understand the message of what you’re saying. Stay cool-headed so things stay under control.
  6. BE CLEAR ABOUT RULES AND CONSEQUENCES: Parents need to explain what behavior is not allowed and exactly what will happen if kids don’t meet those expectations. Be consistent when reinforcing the rules. Kids with ADHD need to have it all laid out so they don’t forget. Do no use the word “no” as a reflexive answer to every question. If the child is impulsive to begin with they are more apt to rebel to the negative word “no.”
  7. PLAY BEFORE PUNISHING: Doing creative projects together can help keep kids from misbehaving. When kids do act out, give them a punishment that’s so boring they’ll never want to do it again!
  8. KNOW YOUR CHILD’S PATTERNS: Honing in on the little quirks and hypersensitivities that make your child tick can help you adjust your discipline plan. It will let you know when your child is being willfully defiant and when emotional overwhelm has gotten the best of him.
  9. ASK YOURSELF IF YOU’RE CONTRIBUTING: Could you have ADHD/ODD too? Parents are a child’s most influential role model, so think carefully about your own behavior.”[5]

In conclusion: “Oppositional behavior seems to be a manifestation of ADHD-related impulsivity. While there is no medication that is scientifically established or formally approved to treat ODD, drugs may sometimes be used to treat other mental illnesses that may be present, such as ADHD or depression.” [6] “Other forms of treatment are behavior shaping and cognitive training programs. These treatments are either administered by a professional therapist or in home by the parent.” [7]

Play Attention integrates feedback technology with cognitive skill training and behavior shaping. You may learn more about Play Attention at one of our upcoming Speed Webinars.

Play Attention advisors are here to answer any questions. Call 800-788-6786 or chat with us from our site.

Play Attention. We’ll Transform your Mind. You’ll Transform Your Life.

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/conditions.html

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/adhd/basics/definition/con-20023647

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppositional_defiant_disorder

[4] http://www.ptscoaching.com/articles/does-adhd-have-to-lead-to-oppositional-defiant-disorder/

[5] https://newhope.leadpages.net/adhd-behavior-discipline-ebook/

[6] http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/oppositional-defiant-disorder?page=2#3

[7] http://www.additudemag.com/adhdblogs/19/10697.html

Play Attention Resources:

Behavior Shaping/Cognitive Training: http://www.playattention.com/play-attention-cognitive-games/

Speed Webinars: http://www.playattention.com/speed-webinar/

Play Attention: http://www.playattention.com/.

ADHD Children: Aggression Within Social Circles

What makes my sweet child so aggressive at times?

Have you ever asked yourself, Why is my child a bully to other kids? Why am I constantly saying, “Keep your hands to yourself!”, or, “Don’t hit your brother, he’s not your punching bag!”?

According to Dr. Barkley, clinical scientist and researcher in the field of ADHD, it is due to the Emotional Dysregulation facet of ADHD, which refers to deficits in inhibiting and regulating emotions. This facet of ADHD also contributes to the propensity to develop ODD. Emotional Self-Regulation is the ability to manage your behavior in relation to the events that happen in your life.

Another expert in this field, Dr. Naomi Steiner, states that individuals with ADHD have a problem with executive functioning skills, of which Emotional Self-Regulation is a key component. This, along with a lack of will, says Steiner, contributes to the “blow ups” and outbursts individuals with ADHD display. Dr. Steiner goes into more detail in her webinar posted on the ADDitude website. Click on her link above to watch, or see her reference resource at the end of this article. Play Attention was the neurofeedback intervention used in those studies referenced in Dr. Steiner’s webinar

Play Attention was developed to help with these kinds of difficulties through the development of cognitive skill and behavior shaping. To learn more about our behavior shaping program attend an upcoming webinar.

In conclusion, let us leave you with some helpful information to better understand and address aggressive behaviors:

Why can’t we be friends?

Kids with ADHD are often isolated by their aggressive behavior. They miss out on having a best friend they can tell their deepest secrets to. They miss out on being invited to parties and get-togethers. They don’t get to experience the sleepovers outdoors in the teepee Dad made and running for the house due to things that went bump in the night (when it was only the raccoons raiding the trash cans). The aggressive behavior leads to fewer opportunities to practice social skills, which can lead to further negative behavior such as bullying. But it’s not always apparent to the child that these behaviors are negative, so take time to discuss which behaviors are appropriate and why. Do some role playing with your ADHD child. Make them a co-star in the act with you. Teach them how to form a friendship, how to bond, and start by focusing on little things.

Teach them that it’s rude to interrupt conversations or cut in line. You can role play being the naughty child. Exhibit rude behavior and push ahead of the line. Let your child explain to you what is wrong with your behavior, and how it made him feel. By turning the tables, your child will learn the social cues more quickly. Then, try a play date in which your child can use what they’ve learned. If that goes well, try a sleepover and expand social experiences from there. Remember to always provide your child with lots of positive praise when correct social behavior is observed.

While these are things you can do as a parent, Play Attention can dramatically augment this by helping your ADHD child develop social interaction skills. Ask your Play Attention advisor about our Social Skills program. 800-788-6786

Why can’t you keep your hands to yourself?

Parents of ADHD children worry about their kid being bullied at school. But some children with ADHD are bullies. According to a recent study, a child with ADHD is three times more likely to bully other kids than a child without the condition. A lot of times parents do not even see the bullying because it happens outside of the home.

If you are informed that this is the case with your child, it is important to stay calm. Do not accuse your child, but instead have a conversation. For example: “That was your teacher on the phone, and she said you were seen pushing Johnny on the playground. What’s your side of the story?” Don’t be surprised if the child admits nothing and shows no remorse. It is often the case that they simply don’t understand that there was anything wrong with that behavior. Also children often fear consequences if they readily admit to something that they suddenly perceive as a fault—which will happen if they’re being accused.

Often a good strategy to get to the truth of the matter is to, again, stay calm and perhaps even make light of the situation. If your child no longer feels that you are “mad”, they are more likely to open. Make it an environment/conversation in which the child feels safe, and you increase the likelihood of getting the facts.

Afterwards, be sure to make user of your child’s empathy to help them understand why what they did was wrong. For example, “What you’re telling me you did to Johnny is the same thing that big kid at school did to you last week. How did that make you feel? …well, that’s the same way Johnny felt when you did it to him.”

This is the kind of intervention strategy suggested by Robert Sege, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine. He’ll think twice before he does it again.­­­

Don’t hit your brother!

Chill out, stay cool. It’s not easy to stay calm when your ADHD child has just punched a playmate for the umpteenth time. But do your best. The next time your child lashes out, discipline them by demonstrating appropriate behavior. Speak calmly but firmly, rather than shouting (or spanking). Try empathy not sympathy. Let your child know that you understand how hard it is to control aggression. Once they calm down, say something like, “You seemed to be angry because your friend won the game” or, “I know you get angry when other children tease you, but hitting will only hurt your friendships.” Listen carefully to what they say in response so you can better provide support. Ask for suggestions. Telling your child things like, “Stop it, you’re bothering me” may not do the trick. In emotionally charged situations, ADHD kids have trouble recalling phrases like that. Instead, ask your child what he thinks he can do to control his aggression.

Yes we can change your mind! –Play Attention

Resources
Dr. Barkley: http://www.ptscoaching.com/articles/does-adhd-have-to-lead-to-oppositional-defiant-disorder/
Dr. Naomi Steiner: http://www.additudemag.com/RCLP/sub/11451.html
Play Attention Cognitive Games: http://www.playattention.com/play-attention-cognitive-games/
Play Attention Improved Behavior/Social Skills: http://www.playattention.com/solution/behavior/
Bullying, Anger, and Other Social Issues for Children with ADHD: http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/bullying-anger-social-issues#1–ADDitude: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/763-2.html
Role Playing: http://www.education.com/reference/article/role-playing-behavior-management/
–Play Attention: http://www.playattention.com/

New Play Attention Certified Center & Reseller in Beijing, China

Play Attention is pleased and excited to announce the grand opening of our first Certified Center and Exclusive distributor in China. The center is called JoyCus, the combination of Joy and Focus. Our chief operations officer, Gwen Sorley, had the great pleasure of training the JoyCus staff, attending their press conferences, and assisting with their grand opening.

We are greatly impressed with JoyCus’ attention to detail, professionalism, and knowledge of the Play Attention program. We welcome JoyCus to the Play Attention family. Today Beijing, tomorrow, all of China!

Play Attention is available in 10 different languages. As the world leader in educational attention training, we have centers and distributors across the globe. Attention problems seem to be a universal problem. We’re here to solve them.

Attend a live webinar and learn how you can start your home or professional program today! Click here to register or call 800-788-6786.

joycus

Attention Problems and Behavior Problems

What’s the connection and can they be fixed?

For an ADHD child who’s experienced failure or frustration at school, has a difficult time making friends, cannot process multiple step instructions, and who likely has poor self-esteem, defiance or misbehavior seem inevitable.

The off switch or filtering in their brains works differently, so they often have impulse control issues and a frequent lack of control over what they blurt out. Couple that with failure and frustration, and you have the perfect storm. No matter what you do; punishment, coaxing, bribing, yelling, pleading etc. don’t seem to work.

Play Attention not only teaches attention by making it concrete and controllable — Play Attention students can move screen characters by mind alone via BodyWave technology — but also teaches a variety of skills that make them successful at school or work. These successes greatly improve behavior.

Additionally, and this is important, since they can see their attention in real time, Play Attention makes it readily apparent that misbehavior negatively affects their success during game play. Success is predicated on their ability to stay in control and attentive. It’s simple to correlate this to being a classroom superstar. Play Attention students learn to self regulate or control their own behavior. This is the basis of the behavior shaping program built into Play Attention (it took us over 5 years to develop it).

The scientists and doctors of the prestigious Tufts School of Medicine researched Play Attention in Boston area schools over five years. They sent independent observers into the classroom to monitor students in their study of Play Attention. The observers were blinded to the students; they didn’t know anything about them but were required to monitor their behavior. Even though the students had been labeled ADHD with behavioral problems, the Play Attention students showed significant self-control — even 6 months after the study was completed!

Never underestimate what your child can learn. We at Play Attention know there is an intelligent person hiding behind the defiance and frustration. Our goal is to set him free.

Attention Problems: What Can Be Fixed?

You can do far more than you’d think.

Can’t pay attention. Can’t finish homework. Trouble with social skills. Intelligent, but doing poorly at school or work. Struggling with behavior.

Our brain is our greatest asset, but what do we do when it doesn’t function optimally? Are we stuck? No.

The brain is incredibly moldable. Scientists refer to this as neuroplasticity. It constantly rewires itself based on its exposure to the environment. Learn multiplication tables? The brain rewires itself. Learn a new word? The brain rewires itself. Learn karate or to play the piano? The brain rewires itself. We’ve known this for many years. We know how this works even down to the molecular level. Do we apply it to attention problems? No. Odd isn’t it?

Attention is a skill. So, how do we teach it? It’s relatively easy to teach multiplication tables; you can use things like flashcards, blocks, and other tangible things. Attention is intangible; we cannot see it or touch it. That’s what makes it difficult to teach as a skill. It’s almost impossible to improve attention unless it becomes tangible.

But what if you could see attention? What if attention were concrete and controllable right in front of you? You could learn it quite easily — attention problems or not. That’s what Play Attention does; it uses brain sensing technology that allows you to control the computer by mind alone. You can move objects on the screen by your attention and learn other skills that make you successful.

Three incredible randomized, controlled studies done by Tufts University School of Medicine demonstrated that we can improve attention, behavior, social skills, and even homework skills. Play Attention is the 400 pound gorilla of attention training. It’s been around for over twenty years now. That’s an old gorilla with a heck of an attention span.

You should come to a webinar and see it in action. There’s one scheduled very soon. See you there. Click here to register

Can’t attend a live webinar? Register for our Webinar On Demand and watch now!

Avoid Summer Brain Drain!

How to avoid summer vacation cognitive loss

Summer vacation means sleeping late, staying up late, and doing very little except enjoying time out of school. However, did you know that the average student loses one to three month’s math and reading gains made over the prior year? Academic losses are so common among students that educators have given the phenomena a name: Summer Brain Drain. This makes starting the following school year difficult.

Summer Brain Drain may even be worse for ADHD students already having trouble at school.

Going to school daily provides schedules and routines. The summer break means those routines aren’t there. Expectations are lowered or relaxed. Even sleep schedules are often totally abandoned.

Unfortunately, exercise is often replaced with computer time, watching movies, or playing video games with friends. That’s a bad idea. While there’s nothing wrong with playing video games or watching movies, sedentary activity must always be balanced with exercise. This is especially important for an ADHD student.

So here are some tips that should help prevent Summer Brain Drain:

• Take advantage of the summer months to start your Play Attention program (800.788.6786). Summer is a great time to start Play Attention because you will have the time to get a solid routine, begin strengthening cognitive skills, and work on eliminating distracting behaviors. Play Attention is the only program available that integrates feedback technology, attention training, memory training, cognitive skill training and behavior shaping. This guarantees you will have the most complete program available with the best possible outcomes.

• Set a consistent routine.

• Read. Decrease reading losses by developing a fun reading plan with your child. Select reading level appropriate books and have fun discussing them and even acting out some scenes!

• Plan trips to the library for story telling, selecting a new book, or even just browsing the magazine selection.

• You’ll likely go to the mall, grocery store, or gas station over the summer. Make these math trips! Use numbers found at these locations to create on the spot games with prizes. Even you car’s trip meter can be of service for math problems.

• Set a routine. Sleeping late is fine as long as it’s balanced with proper exercise and proper bedtime. Remember your teen will need far more sleep than your 6 – 12 year old.

• Get outside…a lot. Working in the yard promotes better attention. No kidding! Being in a green environment has been shown to decrease attention problems, so get outside and play!

• Establish a balanced diet. The high fat, high sugar diet commonly consumed in the US has been shown to contribute greatly to attention issues as well as obesity. Avoid too much fast food even though it’s convenient. Dinner time at the table with a balanced meal promotes both family harmony and good health.

Travel Tips

Whether you’re an ADHD adult or the parent of a child with ADHD, preparing for travel can be very stressful. Organizational skills are usually not inherent for someone with ADHD; therefore, planning for a trip can be daunting. Here are some tips that can be used by adults and parents alike:

1. Make a list of items that need to be packed. This can be started weeks in advance so that items can be added as things come to mind.

2. Many people pack more than enough clothes for their trip. Consider scaling back. If you’re renting a house for the week, it will likely have laundry facilities. One load of laundry during the week will freshen clothes to be worn again.

3. Bring entertainment for the trip. Boredom during a long car ride can be a nightmare. With onboard DVD players, travel versions of board games, or a favorite hand-held device, there are plenty of options.

4. Be prepared to stop for stretch breaks. Whether you’re flying, driving, or travelling by train, ADHD folks have a difficult time sitting for long periods of time. Rest areas along the highway have safe places for running around. Walking up and down the aisle of a train or plane when it’s safe can be a great way to burn energy.

5. Find a routine wherever you go. Once settled in, establish a routine that fits into your vacation. Mealtime together, swim time, and chill time are all important things to fit into a vacation schedule. Since people with ADHD like consistency, establishing a routine will make the trip less stressful.

6. Be flexible. Scheduling every moment of a vacation can create the same rigidity as everyday life. Vacations should be more about going with the flow and letting the natural course of events take place.

7. Scope out where the playgrounds are located. There’s nothing like a quick trip to a nearby playground to allow your energetic child to release some of that energy. Remember play time is good for you too!

8. Buy a kite. Kites sold today are very interactive. So investing in an interactive kite for the beach is a great way to keep yourself or your child entertained for hours.

9. Take your Play Attention program on the road with you! Play Attention is very portable. Take advantage of the summer months to prepare for the next school year! Call 800-788-6786 to get started!

10. Relax, Breathe, and Have Fun!