Why Brain Training for Kids With ADHD Is Essential for Success
People with ADHD tend to experience delays in the development of their prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that plays a critical role in executive function. This can make it challenging to go about their daily lives—children with ADHD may struggle to pay attention in class, start or complete tasks, or control their impulses.
Many people believe that ADHD is something you can grow out of, but it’s not. As your child grows up, they’ll continue to deal with problems relating to their executive functioning. An adult with ADHD may consistently miss appointments or engage in risky behaviors because they aren’t able to quash an impulse. Fortunately, it’s possible to address these issues early in life with extensive brain training.
Cognitive brain training is essential for helping children with ADHD build the skills they need to keep pace with their peers, succeed in school, and gain a healthy sense of confidence. By engaging the brain and targeting developmentally delayed areas of the prefrontal cortex, you can help your child improve overall cognitive functions like working memory, processing speed, flexible thinking, and self-regulation.
Learn How to Navigate Executive Function With Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic
5 Ways to Train Your Brain and Improve Executive Functioning
For cognitive brain training to succeed, it must be intensive, frequent, and for a long period of time. Here are five methods for helping your child improve their executive functions:
Working Memory Training
Working memory is the ability to hold information in mind and manipulate it. Many exercises relating to this skill involve tasks such as memorizing a series of letters, doing mental math, or following complex instructions. By performing these tasks, your child trains their prefrontal cortex to remember and use information better, make decisions, and complete complex tasks.
Cognitive Flexibility Training
Cognitive flexibility exercises hone your child’s ability to navigate changing circumstances, engage with multiple points of view, and solve complex problems with creative solutions. Exercises like word scrambles or board games that require strategic planning are a great way for your child to learn how to switch between mental sets while focusing on a single task.
Time Management and Planning Training
Organizational exercises like creating to-do lists or using a color-coded calendar can help your child break down tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, prioritize certain items, and plan ahead. By regularly engaging in time management and planning activities, they’ll be able to consistently complete tasks on time and achieve their goals, which helps them keep pace with their peers and succeed in school.
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing attention on the present moment. People who engage in this practice often focus on their breathwork, as well as sounds, bodily sensations, and other things. Mindfulness meditation is great for reducing stress, but it’s also a very effective way to learn how to focus on one task at a time, regulate emotions, and control impulses. When your child’s mind begins to wander, they can gently refocus their attention back to their breath, the physical sensations within their body, or the sounds of the birds outside.
Physical exercise not only helps children stay healthy, but it can also positively affect their executive functioning. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and aids in the production of new nerve cells. Additionally, when children engage in physical activities like running, soccer, or swimming, their bodies produce serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters help regulate mood and improve focus.
How a Transformative Brain Program Can Help
Using a combination of these cognitive exercises alongside evidence-backed, medication-free treatment methods like neurofeedback can help your child master their executive function skills and transform their lives. Neurofeedback allows your child to view their brain activity in real time while engaging in a variety of activities. This enables them to improve their core brain functions and find lasting relief to issues relating to their executive functions.
At Abbey Neuropsychology, we help children with ADHD overcome the challenges of ADHD by providing Transformative Brain Programs tailored to your child’s unique needs. We help you determine what course of treatment works best to help them manage their executive functions by identifying which skills are lacking and which need to be prioritized.
Want to learn more about how we can help your child? Schedule an initial call today!