Ask Susan: Daughter Diagnosed with ADHD

Hi Susan

My daughter who is 9 was diagnosed with ADHD last week by a psychologist and suggested that she start taking Concerta. How can Edublox help? Which program would be the best fit to reduce her ADHD symptoms and rehabilitate her learning disability?

How long does it take generally before one starts seeing results when following the Edublox program? How long must one work with a learner before his problem will have been solved completely?

Thanks in advance.

Goitse


Dear Goitse

Edublox Online Tutor is a cognitive training program. Cognitive training is an avenue of nondrug treatment that parents may wish to explore for ADHD.

Research has shown that cognitive skills are a determining factor of an individual’s learning ability, according to Oxfordlearning.com the skills that “separate the good learners from the so-so learners”. In essence, when cognitive skills are strong, learning is fast and easy. When cognitive skills are weak, learning becomes a challenge.

The intention of cognitive training is to strengthen underlying cognitive deficits. If the brain can change — and it can — it means that the deficits in cognitive skills that ADHD children so frequently experience, like lack in focused attention, slow processing speed, poor working memory and problem solving abilities, can be overcome.

Cognitive skills addressed by Edublox

Cognitive skills addressed by Edublox programs include focused attention, processing speed, visual and auditory memory, working memory and logical thinking.

In 2014, an Edublox program was presented to 27 Singaporean learners, ages 10 to 12. The program took place over a five-day period, with seven or eight half-hour sessions per day. A control group comprising of 25 learners of similar age, gender and ability did not attend the program, but continued to go to school.

Results of the study show an improvement in focused attention, in just five days. Focused attention is the ability to selectively concentrate on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things. This type of concentration is both physically and mentally tiring. People with attention problems such as ADHD are known for their inability to filter out distractions and focus on one thing only.

A research study by Dr. Lee DeLorge in Ohio tested the effect of an Edublox cognitive training program on 67 learners; 94 percent of the learners improved significantly. Thirty-five of the learners were diagnosed with ADHD. The processing speed of the ADHD learners showed a combined increase of 52.45 percent, from a pre-test average of 37.24 percent to a post-test average of 89.69 percent. It is well known that children with ADHD suffer from slow processing speed.

A study by Dr. Jaidan Mays showed improvement of 1.3 years in visual working memory and 1.5 years in visual sequential memory after 22.5 hours of Edublox training.

If an ADHD child struggles with reading or spelling as well, Reading Tutor is recommended. However, if there is no reading problem present, Development Tutor would be sufficient.

Speed of improvement

While one usually starts seeing improvement within a few lessons with regards to the number of blocks or items that the learner can handle when doing the Edublox exercises, this improvement will not transfer to the learner’s schoolwork immediately. This takes time.

When transfer occurs it is usually sudden and noticeable. As an example, a mother who worked diligently for half an hour per day, six days per week, wrote:

I have a dyslexic boy who is now ten. He’s going into Grade Five. He usually ends his year with a fail in reading and writing. Since Grade Two the school has wanted him to repeat his year and I have refused, promising to try to help him myself. We have been through many different programs (at school and at home), with very little results.We began Edublox about six weeks before Grade Four ended. His concentration has greatly improved, he actually listens to what the teacher is saying, less clowning in class. He can now actually pick up a book and read on his own, something he never did before. The principal called me to tell me that for the first time my son passed all his courses! He got a C in reading and a B in writing!This mother saw noticeable results after 18 hours (30 minutes per day, 6 days per week for 6 weeks). However, it can also take longer than 18 hours to start seeing results. Up to 30 hours is normal.

After this initial — and usually clearly visible — intellectual jump, it happens that the learner finds himself on a plateau again, followed by another leap forward. This pattern can repeat itself many times.

The above scenario could be described as a “staircase effect”. However, one may also see a “snowball effect”:

We began using Edublox (spelling program) 6 months ago, and the results have been just stunning. Within a month, she was able to remember how to spell a few words, and then just like a baby learning to talk, she began to experience a rapid snowball effect. A few months after we began using Edublox, she said as we were driving around on errands — “Mom, I think I know how to spell library.” And she did! And this was not an isolated moment, only the first. She is now almost an intuitive speller. Really, it’s a miracle. Six months ago, her spelling tested at a Kindergarten level, and is now at a 6th grade level. This is just still so amazing to all of us who have struggled with her.

How long does it take?

One must make sure that a learner’s problems have been solved completely before discontinuing the program. The minimum time that is required to achieve this is about one year, but it can take up to two years if the learner has severe learning problems.

If one discontinues the program before the foundational skills of learning have been thoroughly automatized, there is the danger of a relapse. On the other hand, once the foundational skills have been automatized and the learner is clearly no longer behind, the problem will not return if the program is discontinued.

The mother who wrote the above commentary continued with Edublox for a full year. Three months after discontinuing the program she wrote:

My son completed the Edublox program about 3 months ago. He did it for 1 year. I have written a few times stating all the changes that have happened since, but now I’d like to say that he is continuing to change. He has begun Grade 6 and has become very self-confident. He comes home from school and does his homework on his own. He organizes himself (something unheard of before Edublox…). He asks me his schedule for the week, hockey or soccer practices and organizes his homework accordingly. He no longer struggles in school to keep up and is adjusting to the increased work load. I am amazed at how far he has come. This time last year, he was failing reading and writing, he had a very low self-esteem and basically thought he would struggle for the rest of his life. Not so!!!!!! It sounds too good to be true but it isn’t. Sometimes the best things in life are so simple, we almost miss them.Sometimes it is helpful to gradually wean the learner from the program rather than abruptly discontinue the program. Once the learner has overcome his or her difficulties, one may consider decreasing the number of minutes spent on each session or the number of sessions per week.

Good luck!

Susan


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More about Susan

Susan is an educational specialist in the field of learning problems and dyslexia and has a B.A. Honors in Psychology and B.D. degree from the University of Pretoria. Early in her professional career Susan was instrumental in training over 3000 teachers and tutors, providing them with the foundational and practical understanding to facilitate cognitive development amongst children who struggle to read and write. With over 25 years of research to her name Susan conceptualized the Edublox teaching and learning methods that have helped thousands of children who were struggling academically to read, learn and achieve. In 2007, Susan opened the first Edublox reading and learning clinic and now there are 25 Edublox clinics internationally. Her proudest moments are when she sees a child who had severe learning difficulties come top of their class after one or two years at Edublox. Susan always takes time to collect the ‘hero’ stories of learners whose self-esteem is lifted as their marks improve.