Video games and apps are routinely used as tools to help kids with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, depression, and learning disabilities. Selected technologies can be used by clinicians in the office, teachers in the classroom, and parents in the home.
In order to gain the most benefit from these technologies, clinicians need to know more than which tools to use. They need to be able to select tools based upon an individual child’s needs and to get the most out of their technology time. In the following links you can learn about why video games and digital media are helpful for children with psychiatric disorders, how to help parents determine which games are best for their child with ADHD or other disorders, and how to recognize some of the concerns about using these technologies with kids with psychiatric issues.
Childhood Psychiatric Disorders and Video-Game Strategies (Click on the links to learn more about the pros and cons of using digital media to help kids with these disorders.)
ADHD – Children with attention problems or ADHD are often highly engaged by video games and other digital media. As a result they may tend to display fewer of the characteristic symptoms of attention problems or ADHD when involved with digital technologies.
Autism Spectrum Disorder – Video games and other digital media can be both beneficial and comforting to children with all types of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Anxiety – Kids who are struggling with anxiety often find some relief with games, apps, and other digital media.
Depression – Video games provide a great opportunity to engage with others and experience success.
Disruptive behaviors – Parents of children with behavioral problems often find that video games and other digital media offer several ways to help their child cope with symptoms and negative emotions.
Learning disabilities – Deliberate use of video games and other digital media offers many ways to improve and exercise the specific learning skills that may be impaired in a child.
Executive-functioning disorders – Children with executive-functioning difficulties are often highly engaged by video games and other digital media and tend to display fewer of the problems they experience in “real life” while involved with these technologies.