Video Games As ADHD Treatment? How Visual Cues Can Help Kids Focus
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a common diagnosis among school-age children. Boys are twice as likely as girls to receive a diagnosis of ADHD. Symptoms of the disorder include extremely high levels of activity, difficulty paying attention, difficulty following instructions, and more. Many children who struggle with ADHD find that they have a hard time doing well in school or extracurricular activities.
While there are prescription medications available for ADHD, many parents are hesitant to medicate their children. Surprisingly, a new treatment for ADHD was recently approved by the FDA: a therapeutic video game. This treatment uses the visual and auditory pathways to help children diagnosed with ADHD learn to focus and calm their symptoms.
For years, studies have shown that visual and auditory stimuli can work effectively as a treatment for children with ADHD. Using video games for ADHD treatment takes advantage of complicated ways the brain, eyes, ears, and motor systems work together to help children improve their ability to focus.
Visual And Auditory Stimuli As Treatment
A video game prescription can feel counterintuitive to some parents, as they’ve been told that it’s important to keep their kiddo moving to burn off the seemingly excess energy often associated with ADHD.
While exercise can be an important part of ADHD treatment, research shows that there are some benefits of video games specifically designed to help children with the condition.
Benefits of video games prescribed for ADHD can include:
- Improvement of visual-spatial skills
- Increased hand-eye coordination
- Improved ability to utilize visual and auditory content for problem-solving
An Unusual Prescription
Of course, not just any video game is a good fit for kids with ADHD. EndeavorRX is the first FDA-approved video game for the treatment of ADHD. The game’s visual and auditory cues work to help children focus their attention and minimize day-to-day symptoms of the condition.
The visual and auditory stimuli of the game work to activate parts of the brain involved in focus. Paired with the motor challenges of operating the game, many children show decreased symptoms of ADHD after playing the game for 25 minutes per day, five days per week.
Risks Associated With Treatment
Of course, it’s important to work carefully with your doctor to ensure that EndeavorRX is a good treatment for your child. You may also want to talk with your child’s eye doctor if you find that playing the game is having a negative effect on your child’s eye health.