Improved Attention, No Side Effects

As I read the headlines this morning, “A Nation of Kids on Speed” (WSJ 6-16) , I could not help but reflect on the work we are doing in helping people improve their attention and working memory.  Clearly, medication works for many with attention issues, especially those with severe ADHD /ADD. Cogmed Working Memory Training is not a cure or a treatment for ADHD/ADD and it is not a substitute for medication. However, in many of those with whom we work, photowho are both on and off medication, we see improvements in attention, auditory working memory and visuo-spatial working memory.

There is definitely a faction that has gone to great lengths to discredit the benefits of working memory training, using tools such as poorly constructed meta-analysis.  One of these included a study in which participants trained 15 minutes twice weekly for 2 weeks and got no measurable benefit. Of course they didn’t! Imagine that you are 50 pounds overweight, your cholesterol is through the roof and you go to the doctor.  A statin is prescribed to get your cholesterol under control.  This is the right thing to do, and it might save your life, but it is only part of the solution.  What you really need to do is develop a plan in which you improve your diet and incorporate a regimen of exercise into your weekly schedule.  In the end, it is really about discipline and practicing habits that are healthy and beneficial.

In our program, people become disciplined and they practice strategies that become habits. They train for a minimum of 35 – 50 minutes daily, and sometimes more based on their schedules and abilities.  They complete 25 – 30 sessions on a variable protocol of 4 to 5 trainings weekly. We teach them how to rest and focus and to practice skills that they need to bring to the table, in order to be successful.  They learn how to rest and reflect and the benefits that they derive are a result of their hard work, determination, and adherence to a plan.  Cognitive training is not a pill; there are no side effects. It is a discipline and we are your coaches.  Please visit the Cogmed section of our website, subscribe to our Newsletter and follow us on Twitter.

For more information please contact us, we look forward to hearing from you.

Ted Backes

 Frankenberger Associates