Category: Attention Skills

Four Things You Might Not Know About ADHD

Although you probably know that ADHD is about attention struggles, there’s a lot more to this common learning disability. Here are four things that might surprise you.

1. ADHD is actually rooted in clusters of weak cognitive skills. Most of the students who came to LearningRx with a diagnosis of ADHD had, in addition to weak broad attention skills, weak long-term memory, processing speed and working memory.

Over a six-year period, LearningRx had 5,416 children and adults come in with the diagnosis of ADHD. LearningRx measured the cognitive performance of these clients before and after one-on-one brain training, and the largest gains were seen in IQ, auditory processing, long-term memory and broad attention. After LearningRx brain training, IQ scores improved by an average of 15 standard points, and broad attention skills improved an average of 24 percentile points.

The full results of the study can be found on page 25 of LearningRx’s 48-page 2016 edition of “Client Outcomes and Research Results.”

2. There are three types of attention. ADHD is now the generally accepted umbrella term for the three types of ADHD, including what used to be generally referred to as ADD. The three forms of ADHD are:

  • Inattentive Type – people with this disorder have trouble focusing, but they are not overly active and usually don’t display disruptive behavior (formerly called ADD).
  • Hyperactive/Impulsive Type – people are fidgety and can’t control their impulses, but they are better able to pay attention.
  • Combined Type – applies to people with poor attention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity.

An attention deficit could mean one, two, or all three types of attention: sustained, selective, and divided. Sustained attention is the cognitive skill that allows your child to stay on task for a long period of time. Selective attention is the cognitive skill that prevents the child from being easily distracted. Divided attention allows them to do more than one task at a time.

3. ADHD manifests differently in girls. When people think of ADHD, they often think of boys bouncing off the walls. While hyperactivity is a common symptom of attention struggles—especially among boys—it’s often accompanied by things like impulsivity and an inability to multitask. But for girls, ADHD tends to manifest differently, often as inattentiveness and disorganization. Because these symptoms aren’t as disruptive to class, ADHD in girls is often missed.

4. Unaddressed ADHD can lead to other issues. Here are some of the ways ADHD can impact life throughout school, college, and even into adulthood:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor grades
  • Difficulty getting into college
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Significant time-management challenges
  • Difficulty managing money
  • Chronic disorganization

If you’re concerned that your child may have a cognitive skills weakness, take our free online survey at


About LearningRx
LearningRx, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is the largest one-on-one brain training organization in the world. With 80 Centers in the U.S., and locations in 40 countries around the globe, LearningRx has helped more than 95,000 individuals and families sharpen their cognitive skills to help them think faster, learn easier, and perform better. Their on-site programs partner every client with a personal brain trainer to keep clients engaged, accountable, and on-task—a key advantage over online-only brain exercises. Their pioneering methods have been used in clinical settings for 35 years and have been verified as beneficial in peer-reviewed research papers and journals. To learn more about LearningRx research results, programs, and their 9.6 out of 10 client satisfaction rating visit To read testimonials from real clients visit

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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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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Link Between Adult ADHD and the Second Most Common Form of Dementia

September is National ADHD Awareness Month, and in their ongoing quest for answers, researchers continue to discover new things about the common diagnosis, estimated to affect up to 16% of school aged children and close to 5% of adults. In the United States alone, roughly 8.8 million adults are thought to struggle with the condition.

A new study has found a link between adult ADHD and a certain form of dementia.

After Alzheimer’s, DLB is the second most common form of dementia. DLB stands for, of all things, “Dementia with Lewy Bodies.” Lewy bodies, named after the doctor who discovered them, are spherical protein deposits found in nerve cells that disrupt the normal functioning of the brain’s important chemical messengers.

Currently DBL accounts for 10% of dementia cases (although many doctors think it is vastly underdiagnosed, since it shares some characteristics with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease).

In a recent study, researchers in Argentina studied  509 people in their 70s (360 of them with DLB) and discovered that nearly half of the men and women who ended up with DLB in their senior years also had adult ADHD. The occurrence of adult ADHD in seniors with DLB was more than three times the rate in the group without DLB.

Dr. Angel Golimstok, one of the authors of the study, says that it looks like the same neurotransmitter pathway problems are involved in the development of both conditions. 

“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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