“If you can catch him, you can test him!”

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Overactive, hyperactive, impulsive, rambunctious, wild – any of those describe your child? Whether he’s been diagnosed with ADHD or not, chances are you’ve probably already tried many, many ways to calm him enough so he can focus and learn.

Have you tried this one? It’s from LearningRx Vice President of Research and Development Tanya Mitchell on BlogTalkRadio. “One thing I would not allow is for his teacher to keep him in for recess,” said Mitchell regarding her own 10-year-old son. “I told her, ‘That is directly negatively affecting you. If he has time to go out and physically move and do things, you’re going to be able to teach him better.’”

In addition to giving other tips, Mitchell explained that what appears to be an attention issue can sometimes be a visual or auditory processing weakness that results in impulsive behavior. Fortunately, all these skills can be strengthened and improved. First you need a cognitive skills assessment to determine which skill weaknesses are the root of the problem.

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Traumatic Brain Injury Miracle: John Keller’s Amazing Journey to Recovery

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Traumatic brain injury. Crushed pelvis. Seventy (70!) days in a coma. John Keller may have survived the horrific motorcycle accident that derailed his life, but his fight for life had just begun.

After 14 surgeries and 344 days in the hospital, John Keller was released to go home—but life was anything but normal for the 34-year-old.

John says that, more than a year after his accident, his traumatic brain injury left him so impaired that, “I could meet somebody and forget their name in 30 seconds.” His vision, speech and ability to think were also impacted.

In this riveting video, John’s dad describes the mixed blessing of bringing his son home after 344 days in the hospital. He explains, “John went into the hospital on a gurney, in a coma, and we’re so thankful that he walked out. But what do you do after they walk out? John had come to a certain level in his understanding, his functions and his speech, but he needed to go further.”

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National Youth Sports Week

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An estimated 45 million kids in the U.S. participate in youth sports every year, and they’re starting younger than ever. Gymnastics classes are available for kids still in diapers and the SoccerTots® franchise caters to kids as young as 18 months.

National Youth Sports Week this July 20 – 24 is designed to draw attention to the rewards of participation for kids of all ages. And now a new study suggests another benefit: sports may actually make kids think faster. The study in the Journal of American College of Sports found that athletes appeared to have a faster processing speed than non-athletes, likely due to regularly making split-second evaluations and decisions.

A New York Times piece on the study notes that it’s possible that the athletes always had advanced processing abilities and that’s what made them better athletes, rather than the athletics turning them into faster thinkers. Either way, the study shows that better athletes have faster processing speed.

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Why Dumbbells Make You Smarter

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Turns out there’s a link between strength training and brain fitness. So much so that a recent study published in the Archives of Neurology discovered that people with more muscle strength cut their chances of developing Alzheimer’s in half! The study was conducted on a group of people with an average age of 80 years. Among this group, only one out of ten people with stronger muscles developed Alzheimer’s, compared to two out of ten people with weaker muscles.

Another study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, has shown that strength training has even more impact on brain fitness than balance and toning exercises.  The study followed 155 women ages 65 to 75. Half the women were asked to work out with dumbbells and weight machines a couple times a week for a year. The other half were asked to spend that year doing balance and toning exercises. At the end of the study, the women who had worked out with the weights also improved their scores on cognitive tests, testing higher in the ability to make decisions, resolve conflicts and focus. The women who had done balance and toning exercises, however, actually showed a slight deterioration in cognitive skills.

Workaholics Run Greater Risk of Developing Dementia

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Workaholics work longer hours. That means their brains are active more hours of the day, right? That must mean they have sharper mental skills, right?

Wrong.

In fact, the opposite appears to be true. Research has linked longer work hours with weaker mental skills. In fact, one study of 2,214 middle-aged civil servants concluded that employees working more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental skills than their 40-hour-work-week counterparts.

Brain imaging specialist Dr. Daniel Amen reminds us to think of the brain as a computer that needs to hibernate, shut down and re-boot on a regular basis to prevent brain fatigue. Quoting the conclusions of a different study—this one tracking 7000 workers over more than a decade—Dr. Amen says that working 11 hours a day or more not only increases your risk of heart attack by 67 percent, it also increases your chances of developing dementia later in life.

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