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Cognitive Training Program???


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#1 exercise_guru

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:32 PM

Sorry I am going to delete all this because it is too personal I will pm directly. 

 

The thread was specifically asking if anyone had tried cogmed, brain safari or braintrain. Programs that specifically target attention and processing.  I realize it is not related or in place of medication but I would like to hear if anyone had a positive or negative and if these programs are helpful. 


Edited by exercise_guru, 12 January 2018 - 10:20 PM.


#2 kbutton

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 07:58 PM

My kids have done well with some exercises to integrate retained primitive reflexes. Rather than optimizing things though, it's more like removing roadblocks that lead to brain/body disconnect. There are some things in the OT/PT wheelhouse though that have been used here and that we are hoping to do (or did a little of before our therapist left the practice): Astronaut training, Interactive Metronome, Smart Moves (I think an older version of S'cool Moves), Rhythmic Movement Training, and Bal-A-Vis-X.

 



#3 PeterPan

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 09:56 PM

Ok, I'm gonna be devil's advocate here. One could have ADHD *and* have the congenital ear issues. You've got an audiologist and SLP practicing out of field when they're saying wait on meds. Has he been seen by a psych/neuropsych? And is there literature to support the idea that an ear canal injury causes this? I don't know, just thinking out loud here.

 

See, here's the thing. If you look at something like the Quotient test that a psych or ped would run, it's going to be largely visual. There are some other tap tap tests like that that they use for attention. My kids have done several over the years. They're all visual, ALL of them. They can't even control auditory enough to do a test with that. Those tests are visual.

 

So when you're saying it's making him present like he's ADHD-inattentive, you're saying his real life, in the classroom, as you try to teach him, as he's in church or the store, etc., yes? And I'm with you there. But I can tell you that there is nothing more unfun that waiting on interventions or tests based on the word of an SLP or other person practicing out of field, and then a few years later realizing you DELAYED getting interventions or missed something or could have gotten a diagnosis or more effective treatments sooner.

 

Your safest position would be to have a psych as part of your team and to make sure that the people who are making decisions about a psychological diagnosis are practicing in field. That would be my advice. And I'm all for cognitive therapies, sure! Psychologists do them all the time. There's Think, Talk, Laugh, a really good book of exercises by a psychologist. Around here psychs are doing Cogmed. You have all kinds of options. 

 

Has he actually had some computerized testing for attention that would exclude the auditory disability and focus on the OTHER aspects of inattention? 

 

With my ds, I've been to so many therapists and had so many wishful therapists. Honestly it's wearisome. You're gonna have some hindsight in a few years, and you may have some regrets if you keep your team too narrow. Not pursuing the psychologist is one of those things you may live to regret. Knowledge is power. You could do some evals, think really hard about it combines with your other data, and still decide to keep your path. Nuts, going to a psych does not mean you have to go on meds. I didn't put my dd on meds for YEARS after her diagnosis. Read the threads here. I've probably been the single most *you can wait on meds* person on the boards here. Lots of vocal posts pointing that out, pointing out other options and paths. The thing is, I've also been burnt by SLPs practicing out of field. And when you've got an SLP or audiologist telling you hey maybe if you do xyz he won't test as inattentive in a year, that's practicing out of field. That's wishful thinking. That's the kind of thing you may regret later if it doesn't work out like they're hoping. 

 

And it's easily solvable. You just add a psych to the team and get some evals and sort it out.

 

For your question of what cognitive therapies, well frankly nothing you're listing makes ADHD go away. It can bump their working memory, kick in the EF part of the brain, give them some functional bumps. Some wishfully thinking people will come on and praise how much better their kid is doing thanks to the $1k Cogmed or this or that. But really, they're still ADHD. 

 

I really like metronome work. You can't go wrong with metronome work. It's free, targets the EF portion of the brain, willing get things moving, and is easy to customize to what you're trying to target. You can also do it with a therapist. To me it's a highly recommendable, good for almost anybody kind of thing. It's the kind of thing that if you show up at vision therapy, they're bringing in the metronome. At the PT we used, she was bringing in bodywork plus metronome. Can't go wrong with it. Heathermomster has posted a basic set of instructions.

 


Edited by PeterPan, 12 January 2018 - 10:00 PM.


#4 exercise_guru

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 10:22 PM

Thank pan I can pm you directly but yes I have explored much of what you wrote and I couldn't agree more wishful thinking is not a good idea and nothing is a substitute for good solid testing. We do all of that don't worry it isn't being neglected. I am just looking for a good brain training program to do before school until summer.

My son has a team that work together don't worry their is a neuosychologist and a good pediatrician involved

Edited by exercise_guru, 12 January 2018 - 11:43 PM.

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#5 PeterPan

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 12:26 PM

Then metronome work. Interactive Metronome is the way to do it with the equipment for feedback. If you get someone who's pretty slick at it, they can create activities blending. I was hack and needed the free pricepoint, so I did it with just a metronome app and adding exercises myself to Heathermomster's basic list. Like with dd, I wanted her writing to improve, her ability to hold her thoughts and use language and handle distractions and motor plan. So I got the basic metronome stuff solid with her and then started adding in distractions, language, working memory. So the ticking of the metronome and the boy running around are distractions. Language is me talking with her and her having to reply. Working memory was literally digit spans. Motor planning was the catching, etc. motions with the balls. We did that, and boom her writing and ability to get things out came together.

 

So to me, it wouldn't be rocket sciency crazy at all to take a list of skills/areas you're wanting to target and get those working together WHILE he does them to the metronome beat. You can do it with charts and physical response for visual processing. You could probably find a way to do it with auditory. 

 

We did BalavisX and it *is* specifically useful for that auditory piece. I'm not too hot at implementing it but we had an OT who really rocked it. I'm not sure it's life-altering, but if you can pick up the manual and do it and be coordinated enough to do it (not me, lol), you'll probably find benefit to it. For the cost of the manual used on amazon ($16), sure. If you're going to pay $100 an hour to an OT, well then that's a budget question.

 

Have you tried Mighteor yet? Not sure how much it's actually going to do for CAPD. It's got distractions, working memory, tons of EF stuff (remembering the missions while you do ths and that), motor planning, self-regulation, etc. Lots of layers, great stuff. Price is right too, almost free when you consider the tech they give you and the support. It's really in the can't go wrong category to me. I look at it and then I look at the screen shots for Cogmed, and I look at the price of Cogmed and the data (10% bump in working memory), and I go ok we're probably getting that with Mighteor. 

 

But I don't know if they're marketing Mighteor specifically for ADHD, dunno. To me it's hitting so many areas that you just don't know what it will bump till you try. And it's the price that makes it an easy recommend. $220 - the $20 (Zones20) coupon. So for $200 you get a tablet, heart monitor, and you're probably valuing the $200 just with those, AND all the games, phone support, blah blah. Pretty good deal in the try and see what happens and like whatever you get kind of dept.


Edited by PeterPan, 13 January 2018 - 12:32 PM.


#6 exercise_guru

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:16 PM

Thanks the key is can I get him to do it in the morning as a wake up tool. That has been the most pleasant surprise with fast forword. He has motivated himself to get up and do his modules with no prompting while I am getting ready for the day. I am using it not only for the auditory training but to help "turn on " his brain in the morning and reinforce a positive attention and self motivation. I would like to keep this going as part of our morning routine. It certainly would not hurt to do another brain training program if the cost was not prohibitive. 

 

I am looking into meteor as well I should email them and ask how it is going with the apple version. 

 

If someone else is reading this thread I would very much recomend  Hearbuilder especially for phonemic and sequential instructions. My son is on the older edge of using it I think 10 and under would enjoy the interface and has some very good ear training games. 



#7 PeterPan

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 08:32 PM

Hmm, that's an interesting thought to use cognitive software to wake up his brain. I think the theory is that a straight ADHD profile has lots of the sleepy waves (beta, gamma, I forget) and that they go even deeper into the sleepy waves while they're asleep. That's why it takes them so long to get going in the morning. So if he's compliant and can actually get his brain to do it, sure it makes sense. Or do the cognitive software the night before to see if it creates more balance to his night.

 

That's the whole theory on neurofeedback systems, btw, that they're trying to balance those waves. There are various types. We did one without anything significant enough to go wow wow, but other people say it's good for them. My ds is the opposite profile, and it just seemed to dampen him without any actual improvement. My straight ADHD dd found it very fatiguing. if I had suggested cognitive software in the early morning, she would have scoffed, haha. That is, I suppose, what ADHD meds are for. Or coffee.  :lol:



#8 exercise_guru

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 10:40 PM

Wow pan you are a mine of information. I have a background in physiology so I will have to read up on that.


I know they have controversy about brain training in general. The strongest criticism is that it may notgeneralize to real world situations. I have found hearbuilder and FF do generalize and with coaching do train the auditory attention system ....well at least with my son I have seen progress. I did almost faint when I woke up at 715 and he was already halfway done with FastForword working with good focus.

I do like brainhq they have a daily spark that is free just like lumosity. There are a few that are for visual processing and alertness that my son really enjoys in the morning I have him do them.sometimes as a waem.up to hearbuilder. Also.since it is the same founder of fast forword many of the FF games are reinvented for teens and adults in BrainHQ. Kids can use it but there are not bells and whistles and there isn't good tracking to see progress.

My sons just hates working memory stuff in the morning that would shut him down ...remembering lists and numbers in order that kind of thing.

The other exercises wake him up as long as the game is at an appropriate level positive feedback is built into the game.

Also I read that 20 minutes of morning exercise can really help the brain focus for hours afterward so when spring comes I might try to make that happen.

Edited by exercise_guru, 16 January 2018 - 10:48 PM.


#9 PeterPan

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 12:27 AM

How are you getting access to FFW, btw? When I looked into it, I couldn't find any affordable options.



#10 exercise_guru

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 11:29 AM

There are private coaches rather than going through the company directly. This way it is still spendy around 1000 but has a longer subscription and independent coaching. 


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