Category: Attention Skills

Can Attention be Trained? Seniors (and Babies) Prove It Can

Baby girl playing outdoorsWhen TV newscaster Diane Sawyer was asked the secret of her success, she said, “I think the one lesson I’ve learned is there is no substitute for paying attention.”

If you struggle with ADHD, however, that’s a lot easier said than done.

About 6 million children and teens have been diagnosed with ADHD, with an estimated four percent of U.S. adults struggling with the disorder as well.

The good news is that support and education help. Plus, there are things you can do. In fact, if you’re looking for something you can do to help yourself or a child who struggles, two studies on attention are worth, well, paying attention to.

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Mom says, after brain training, her son thinks quicker and has a much “better handle on life.”

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LearningRx Reviews - Matthew: Student-of-the-Year“I was at the end of my rope.”

Those are the words of one mom, Jackie, after years of seeking help for her son. She explains, “We had him evaluated by psychologists. He had years of occupational therapy. We tried everything from brushing to joint compression. He started to be medicated and we saw some improvement in focus and attention, but many issues continued to be a problem. It was like putting a Band-Aid on something, but the underlying problem was always a problem.”

Jackie’s 9-year-old son, Matthew, had been diagnosed with ADHD, sensory integration dysfunction, and oppositional defiance disorder. His mother says he was miserable, anxious and depressed. She adds, “It was affecting his social relationships and his behavior in school. At home he was volatile, disruptive and incredibly difficult to deal with. I was beyond myself in frustration.”

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Life Is a Journey. Take Snacks and a Backpack.

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“What if I hate it?”

Ten-year-old Luke waved the question like a bright red flag. His mom, Julie, had just told him he’d be starting brain training at LearningRx and he was dubious about the idea, even though his brother and sister were in the same program and loved it!

His first day at the LearningRx Center, Luke frowned as he headed off with his trainer for their first session. Waiting in the reception area, Julie thought about the crazy journey that had led her family to try brain training in the first place.

Two years earlier, Julie’s oldest son Joshua, then 11, had been diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Searching for answers, Julie visited internet bulletin boards and consulted doctors. Once she paid $800 for testing that provided labels but no solutions.

Hearing about LearningRx, Julie was curious. Could targeted mental exercise really stimulate the brain to strengthen neural pathways, to the point of raising a kid’s IQ and giving him better skills for school and for life? If so, could it help Joshua? It was worth a try.

Within weeks of starting the program, Joshua was focusing better than ever. Math tests that used to take 90 minutes were now taking 20 minutes or less. And while Joshua’s oppositional behavior still  flared, Julie realized that LearningRx was removing her son’s frustration with learning so other issues could be isolated and dealt with more effectively.

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From “I’m Done” to Number One!

Ten-year-old Taylor Peterson didn’t want to compete in gymnastics this year. She started gymnastics when she was three, and loved it, but after seven years it was time to start competing, and she just didn’t have the confidence to continue.

“It was so hard,” says her mom Kim Peterson. “You have this little girl that you know is awesome, but she doesn’t know it. She couldn’t see what we could see – all that potential and just how good she really was. She just said she felt horrible and didn’t want to compete.”

Then Taylor started a personalized, one-on-one brain training program at LearningRx to help with her school work. Taylor had always worked incredibly hard in school, yet she always struggled too, even with extra help.

“Her teachers always just told me to be patient – that it would click,” says Kim. “They would tell me that she was the hardest worker in the class, and that eventually she’ll get it because she’s a really smart kid.” But when it still hadn’t clicked by fourth grade, Taylor’s teacher warned the Petersons that they needed to find the problem and fix it soon to avoid a future of escalating struggles and learning problems.

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Is ADHD Making You Procrastinate?

The problem has been defined as “voluntarily delaying an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.” Sound familiar?

Why do we procrastinate? According to one team of experts—made up of Drs. Joseph Ferrari and Timothy Pychyl—and quoted on, there are three basic types of procrastinators:

1. Arousal types or thrill seekers who look for the euphoric rush of getting something done at the last minute.

2. Avoiders who may be acting out of fear of failure, or otherwise avoiding painful emotions they have attached to the task at hand.

3. Decisional procrastinators, who struggle with—you guessed it!—making decisions.

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