Attention Problems and Behavior Problems

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?

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 tonight at 8:30 EST. See you there.

Play Attention Opens in the United Arab Emirates

Play Attention Opens in the United Arab Emirates
Working to fix attention problems globally
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Play Attention is used around the world. Here’s the latest from our center in the UAE:

Focus. Stop fidgeting. Pay attention.

If this what you are constantly telling your child, or yourself, then Emirati businesswoman Haifa Rashed might just have a cure for this lack of concentration.

“I feel like a lot of parents are complaining about their children not focusing or about them forgetting and I have experienced this with my son, so definitely this is an extra aid that will make a difference in people’s lives,” said Ms Rashed.

She said her firm, Know How for Management Consulting, is the first company in the Arabian Gulf region to offer children and adults specialised brain training meant to boost cognition using Play Attention.

The computer programme was developed by an American teacher to help students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to focus in class.

“We’re not just talking about ADHD here,” said Play Attention specialist Suzan Sherif. “It can be for normal people who have memory problems – they don’t remember names, they don’t remember numbers, emails and things like that.

“Same with children who can’t pay attention in classrooms when their teacher is talking. This is a programme that will actually help them to sustain their attention, focus more and improve their life skills.”

It takes about an hour of practice a week, broken up into two sessions of 30 minutes or four classes of 15 minutes, depending on one’s age and level of cognition.

The programme works by strapping a sensor – an electronic device called Body Wave, about the size of a deck of cards – to the participant’s arm. The sensor tracks their brainwaves and wirelessly transmits the information to the computer, allowing the person to control elements of the digital exercises with his or her brain.

“Just like when you’re going to the gym, you’re improving your muscles, but here we’re improving your brain muscles,” Ms Sherif said. “Children see it as a game. It’s a game exercise, it’s not something hard like maths and numbers and you have to memorize everything. It’s just a simple exercise, but it’s very intensive.”

Participants have to master 18 exercise games to complete the programme. The exercises use video-game-like computer graphics to depict different scenes where the student has to concentrate to move objects in a quest for points and, ultimately, greater brain function.

One exercise, called Attention Stamina, is an underwater adventure where the student animates a character of his choosing – a dolphin, scuba diver or submarine – by concentrating on it.

If the participant’s concentration breaks, the character stops swimming and floats up to the surface. But if they maintain a steady focus, the character continues its underwater excursion collecting coins from the ocean floor.

“The goal is to work up to five minutes of maintaining a steady concentration rate of 75 per cent or higher. A bar in the top left of the screen shows the level of concentration used.

“What you need to do is just ignore everything in your brain and focus on the submarine, look at the submarine. When you start to think only about the submarine, it will start swimming to the bottom,” said Ms Sherif, as she guided a user through the exercise.

“Each level basically is going to get more complicated. We’re going to see more fish around that try to distract you. Sometimes you’re going to see an octopus that comes from the bottom, and as soon as you see the octopus, you need to click on it with the space bar, so all of these instructions are going to get harder later on.

“But for the first level, this exercise targets sustaining attention because we have 18 exercises and each one does something different.”

Anyone over the age of six can sign up for the course, taught at the Know How office in Al Zahiyeh. The programme is also available for sale to clients who wish to practice at home. It comes with 24/7 technical support. American teachers are also on call to offer analysis of the home student’s performance for free.

“This is for anyone who actually wants to improve and anyone who wants to excel in what they’re doing,” Ms Sherif said, noting that it takes 12 hours of practice for change to take effect in one’s attention span. “You’re improving your skills. You’re improving your attention, you’re improving your memory, you’re multitasking, everything.”

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Emirati businesswoman launches brain game to cure people of short attention span | The National
If you or your child suffer from a short attention span, Emirati businesswoman Haifa Rashed might have the answer, with her brain game that uses a computer…

Aging and Cognitive Decline

Aging and Cognitive Decline
Can omega 3 fish oil help?

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As we age or watch our parents age, we commonly see memory loss, and lower cognitive function. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are common — almost everyone knows or is related to someone who is afflicted.

A report published on June 20, 2014 in the Journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia describes a protective effect when using fish oil supplementation. The protective effect actually allows older men and women to preserve brain volume and cognitive function.

The study spanned five years and included 193 Alzheimer’s disease patients, 397 individuals with mild cognitive impairment and 229 cognitively normal individuals. The older men and women who used fish oil had better scores of cognitive function at any time over the course of the study.

What can we take away from this research? It’s preliminary and we need more studies, but this study validates previous research on fish oil supplementation. Will it cure dementia or Alzheimer’s? No. Is there a chance that it will assist us in maintaining brain function? Yes. Is it inexpensive? Yes. Is it worth using? You must decide.

Previous research has also shown a positive effect for brain function of ADHD children. Again, not a cure, but it may help.

Exercise and diet do play significant roles in brain health. One cannot forget those as well.