CHADD ADHD Conference 2013 Presentation: Games, Apps and Executive Functioning

Games, Apps, and Executive FunctionsI had the opportunity to present some of the research and strategies that we use at LearningWorks for Kids at the 2013 Annual International Conference on ADHD presented by CHADD. If you have a child with ADHD and don’t know about the CHADD ADHD conference, I strongly recommend that you join the organization. It is helpful to parents and others who deal with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In addition to a variety of fantastic resources on their website, they also publish Attention Magazine, one of the premiere publications for advice on ADHD. I have had the pleasure of presenting at the annual conference over the past four years, which brings together the foremost researchers and innovators in the world of ADHD, including Russell Barkley, Ph.D.; Ned Hallowell, M.D.; Sam Goldstein, Ph.D.; Robert Brooks, Ph.D.; and Nancy Rappaport, M.D.

My conference presentation, entitled “Games and Apps for Improving Executive Functions in Children with ADHD,” was extremely well attended, reflective of the intense interest and concerns that many parents, educators, and clinicians have about technology use amongst children with ADHD. While concerns were voiced during the session about excessive use of games and technology amongst children with ADHD, there was also a clear recognition on the part of participants that maximizing the benefit these children get from these technologies is the direction we need to go. You can see the presentation below:

One of the highlights of the session was when participants took out their cell phones and mobile devices in order to play Angry Birds and the ensuing discussion about executive-functioning skills such as planning and flexibility that are used in the game. In addition, we discussed some great apps that can be extremely supportive of executive skills in children with ADHD, including Evernote and Livescribe.

The presentation also included information about the importance of executive-functioning skills in developing academic and self-help skills in daily life. I encouraged parents to go to our website to do some reading about executive functions, as well as to purchase my book, Train Your Brain for Success:  A Teenager’s Guide to Executive Functions for themselves or their teenage children.

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