ADHD in Children
What is it? Can it be treated? Exercises and activities, characteristics and symptoms, types, and causes
Improves the executive functions related to your child's ADHD.
Boosts attentional power and helps reduces the symptoms of ADHD.
Helps to develop new neural errors to improve attention and self-control. Give it a try!
How can you treat ADHD? Through simple online games and activities, CogniFit stimulates the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is where the groups of neurons that control attention, behavior planning, self-control, and recognition of patterns of priority and intent are located.
Children with ADHD are not able to control their behavior because they have an important structural deficit in that area of the brain. The neural problem prevents them from correctly processing information, making them incapable of paying attention, understanding an action, controlling their impulses, and realizing when they've made a mistake.
- Working the brain structure through neuroscientific activities and games is fundamental in helping to minimize the symptoms of ADHD and improve the behavior of children who suffer from attention deficit and hyperactivity.
- The exercises from CogniFit strengthen the prefrontal cortex of the brain and improve the executive functions (attention, behavior, planning, self-control), helping the child learn to correct their errors, concentrate, and successfully complete tasks.
- CogniFit has become a diagnostic and intervention tool for neurodevelopmental disorders. This program of clinical exercises was designed by of team of neurologists and psychologists.
- It allows parents, teachers, and researchers to detect and help improve the cognitive deficits in children. It is easy for teachers and the kids enjoy playing while training their brain!
The exercises and games to treat ADHD from CogniFit are recommended for children from 6 to 13 years old. They can be practiced online, and it only requires 20 minutes 2-3 times a week.
Exercises and games to help with ADHD
Cognitive diagnostic: Through fun games, the program evaluates the cognitive function of the child with precision.
Professional intervention exercises: Stimulation of impaired attentional domains. Battery of neuroscientific games and activities.
Automated report: Sophisticaed algorithms identify alterations and mistakes. They collect the information about the progression, results, and advancement of the child.
What is ADHD?
The letters ADHD stand for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. It is a neurological disorder and develops through childhood. It can be presented in many ways and has various signs.
What is ADHD? How does it affect children? This deficit affects the brain structure of children, making the networks of neural connections act abnormally. This brain dysfunction makes it difficult for children to concentrate, pay attention, inhibits their impulses, etc. This is why they seem to be restless and in constant motion.
ADHD has a persistent pattern of inattention and a deficit in the individual's ability to inhibit responses to a particular event, causing serious problems related to self-control.
This problem seriously affects their capacity to be attentive at school, relate to their classmates (social inadaption) and behave at home. Sometimes ADHD is accompanied by low self-esteem and sleep disorders.
The good news is that research has shown that brain plasticity is the key to childhood neurological development, showing that children with dyscalculia, dyslexia or ADHD can re-train their brain to develop new resources and mental strategies that can help them overcome the symptoms associated with these disorders. CogniFit has become a reference for non-pharmacological (non-drug) treatment for neurodevelopmental dysfunctions. The results obtained have been validated and proven in various population groups, schools, universities, and hospitals from around the world. ADHD, contrary to what many people believe, is quite common and exists in 6.8% of children. It tends to affect more boys than girls, but it doesn't mean that all boys who are restless and are hyperactive have ADHD.
ADHD Characteristics and Symptoms
How can you identify or recognize a hyperactive child? What are the main characteristics and symptoms of ADHD? This problem is usually identified through a persistent difficulty of paying attention, concentration, and hyperactivity. Children with ADHD are nervous and behave excitedly and impulsively. In other words, they act without thinking about the consequences those actions may have. They feel stressed when doing assignments. They may not pay attention to the current task and they are easily distracted with anything around them, or even with their own thoughts. We can divide the characteristics of ADHD into different groups:
Symptoms associated with attention and concentration:
Difficulties when concentrating and giving attention to one stimulus: This is due to a diminished neural activity and poor development of the prefrontal cortex. This prevents them from processing information correctly and impedes the neural mechanisms that are needed to understand an action, start the action, avoid distractions and carry it out properly.
Unadapted behaviors: Difficulty keeping order in their daily tasks, difficulty starting a task and is frequently distracted.
They often lose or forget things: They don't remember what they did with their jacket, where they left their money, they forget their homework, etc.
Inability to listen to and follow a conversation: They are not able to process the stimuli they are receiving, so they cannot follow rules or instructions at school, during a game, or at home.
Little motivation when they have to do an assignment: This characteristic is connected to the difficulty to focus their attention on only one task (it does not have anything to do with the intelligence level of the child, nor it is because they are lazy). It is simply that their brain is incapable of keeping out external stimuli and paying attention to only one action. This is why these children do not generally do well in repetitive tasks.
Symptoms associated with impulsiveness:
Difficulty with self-control or inability to control their behavior: Children with ADHD are governed by spontaneity. They don't only have trouble controlling their behavior, but also their thoughts and feelings. They are usually impulsive and they speak or act before thinking. They are not capable of thinking through the consequences of their actions, they lack a brain structure that allows them to analyze situations. This is why the things they do or say may be inappropriate.
Lack of planning when doing daily tasks: This impulsivity makes them frustrated. They find many of their experiences to be frustrating, as the desired result and the outcome are very different.
Low scholastic performance: They are not able to adapt to the rules. Their performance is closely linked to their lack of control, which makes them abandon tasks that they feel are boring or won't give them anything in return.
Difficulty making relationships and relating to friends: These children often times lack empathy, so it is hard for them to interpret language signs (a smile or frown). It may seem that they don't care and the other children grow tired of their behavior.
The do not know how to lose games or sports: They will happily put up a fight and protest their loss. This is because their brain is incapable of analyzing the situation and predicting the consequences.
They may do something dangerous: They are not conscious of the threat or risk that their actions have.
Symptoms associated with hyperactivity
It seems like they are constantly moving: Hyperactivity is an excessive activity, which makes it difficult for them to stay still. These children need to move more than their classmates and it may be inappropriate at times.
Constantly moving hands and feet: They move constantly without realizing it.
Difficulty when starting an assignment: Even when it's interesting to them.
They tend to enter other people's conversations or activities: They act inappropriately, touching, saying, and doing things they shouldn't.
They do not have patience and they are unable to follow quiet assignments or assignments that require attention: Hyperactivity is more like a hyperactive or excessive behavior. They may have motor coordination difficulties due to neurological problems.
Symptoms related to emotions and relationships:
Changes in mood: They can be very moody. One minute they are happy and the next they are angry and frustrated.
Symptoms of anxiety and low self-esteem: These symptoms can develop as a consequence of their inability to adapt to situations and the rejection that this can lead to. They may feel inferior or misunderstood by their classmates.
Types of ADHD
There are three types of ADHD. The classification depends on the level of symptoms that the child has. It is important to mention that not all children with this disorder will show the same symptoms with the same frequency or intensity.
Inattentive or lack of attention type: The prevalent behavior is attention deficit, the child has trouble completing an assignment, paying attention to details, as well as following instructions or rules.
Hyperactive/impulsive type: The prevalent behavior is hyperactivity and impulsivity. They are children who try to adapt to their surroundings, they are active, impatient, they are easily frustrated, and have a lack of self-control.
Hyperactive/impulsive and lack of attention type(combined): The prevalent behavior of these children is hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention deficit.
Causes of ADHD
There is scientific evidence about the origin of ADHD. It is an alteration in brain function, located in the prefrontal cortex and its connection to the basal ganglia.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is considered a heterogeneous disorder, with different subtypes, neurobiological and complex. It cannot be identified with only one cause but they have discovered that ADHD can be due largely to genetic factors.
- Due to recent studies, it is estimated that more than 70% of cases are attributed to genetic causes. Scientific studies show that family members of people with ADHD are five times more likely to have ADHD than those who have no family history.
- Environmental factors may also be part of a possible cause of ADHD: There are risk factors in critical situations such as: pregnancy, birth, consumption of toxic substances, premature birth, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (lack of oxygen), or low birth weight.
- Psychosocial factors: Not considered decisive, but it plays an important role. The family, work, and social environments are social factors that cause a series of psychological conditions such as stress, psychological disorders or other conditions that are directly related to the child.
Thompson HJ, Demiris G, Rue T, Shatil E, Wilamowska K, Zaslavsky O, Reeder B. - Telemedicine Journal and E-health Date and Volume: 2011 Dec;17(10):794-800. Epub 2011 Oct 19.
Preiss M, Shatil E, Cermakova R, Cimermannova D, Flesher I (2013) Personalized cognitive training in unipolar and bipolar disorder: a study of cognitive functioning. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00108.
Peretz C, Korczyn AD, Shatil E, Aharonson V, Birnboim S, Giladi N. - Computer-Based, Personalized Cognitive Training versus Classical Computer Games: A Randomized Double-Blind Prospective Trial of Cognitive Stimulation - Neuroepidemiology 2011; 36:91-9.