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.

ADHD Organizational Tips for the New School Year

ADHD Organizational Tips for the New School YearIn a new school year, auditory processing is the first point of failure for an ADHD child. When the teacher says, “Take out your textbook, a sheet of paper, and a pen, then turn to page 38,” your child likely won’t have heard anything after, “Take out your textbook.”

This is due to their brains’ inability to process multiple auditory pieces of data. Play Attention has 4 different games that teach this ability (see

You can try this strategy with younger children:

1. Make a game of it, just you and your child. Simon Says is a perfect way to get them to understand their capabilities and weaknesses. Begin by just saying, “Simon Says…” and then performing one simple posture. For example, you say, “Simon Says,” and then touch to your nose. Be certain your child can follow. Then increase the complexity to two movements like touching your head with your left hand and patting your stomach with the right hand.

Attempt this with auditory prompts that start with one command and then increase. Eventually, you should try to trick your child into a move that you don’t command. For example, you say, “Simon Says, stand on one foot and put your hands on your head.” However, you place your hands on your stomach. This will train your child to follow auditory cues instead of visual prompts which are seldom used at school.

Offer prizes when your child reaches certain benchmarks you both agree to attain!

Auditory Processing I | Play Attention
The Auditory Processing exercise develops your ability to follow directions. Your goal is to gradually increase the number of auditory sequences of information you can absorb, process, and carry out.

Should You Get an MRI?

An expert weighs in
ADHD expert Larry Silver, MD

In our search for answers and solutions, we often are faced with choices outside our fields of experience or expertise. Brain scanning is a newer technology that parents often encounter. It is costly so it’s important to understand what we’re getting for the money. Does it make sense to get an MRI? Here’s what ADHD expert Larry Silver, MD has to say:

No, it doesn’t. An MRI won’t help your doctor diagnose ADHD. At this time, we do not have firm evidence as to the precise areas of the brain that cause ADHD behaviors.

ADHD is diagnosed clinically. A professional talks with your daughter, you and your husband, and teachers, and tries to determine the following: Does your daughter show behaviors that suggest that she is hyperactive, inattentive, has difficulty with organization, or is impulsive? If so, does the history of these problems suggest that they are chronic (have been noted since early childhood) and pervasive (occur at home, in school, with peers, in activities). You should educate your daughter’s physician about diagnosing ADHD or find another practitioner.

Is Brain Imaging a Good Diagnostic Tool?
Can brain imaging help in diagnosing my daughter? We think she has ADHD, and the doctor recommended an MRI. Does this make sense?

ADHD and Driving

Is it really more dangerous?
Meta-analysis by: the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

For more information:

Many studies have attempted to correlate ADHD and driving habits. While outcomes have been varied, a trend clearly emerges: ADHD drivers are at greater risk for accidents. This seems especially true for young ADHD drivers.

According to a meta-analysis by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “In high income countries [such as the United States and many European countries], MVCs [motor vehicle collisions] are the leading cause of death among children, adolescents and young adults (ages 4–29) (WHO, 2002b) and therefore, are considered a major cause of premature death and long-term disability. In the United States in 2004, there were close to 6.2 million MVCs that resulted in 42,636 deaths and close to three million injuries (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], 2004). The economic burden of MVCs is extremely high and in the year 2004, traffic collisions alone cost the United States 230.6 billion dollars (NHTSA, 2004).”

Is it more than just distraction? Yes. According to available research, ADHD drivers also experience negative driving outcomes for a variety of reasons:

*Poor risk perception; they don’t perceive risky situations as being risky.

* Impaired judgment or failure to make good decisions and use reasoning while driving.

* Inattention and impulsivity were found to be higher in ADHD drivers.

* Longer reaction times and a reduced capacity for flexible response to changing road conditions.

* Decreased neural motor control over the vehicle — motor skills are brain functions that allow us to control the response of our bodies.

* Increased aggressiveness and anger were identified in some ADHD drivers.

* Deficits in cognitive abilities were associated with inattentiveness, particularly visual inattentiveness and impulsiveness correlating with problem driving outcomes.

All of these findings indicate that a variety of factors make ADHD drivers less safe. It’s important to start a program where cognitive performance, behavioral shaping, and motor skills performance are increased.

Play Attention. 800.788.6786.