One of the most visible symptoms of autism is hyperactivity. You know what I am talking about – our kids can’t seem to sit still in class, constantly fidgeting and jittering, and they can’t focus on any task, let alone finish homework. Sadly, autism is a disorder that can make even the simplest tasks difficult, or at times, impossible.
The good news: Michael Merzenich, a U.S. neuroscientist who was part of the team who developed Fast ForWord, stated that a mere fifteen minutes of computer-based brain exercises every day could make children more alert within two weeks. In addition, he said that these exercises would have longer-lasting benefits than any kind of prescribed medication.
“It’s not just about trying … to cram information into their little brains,” Merzenich said. “It’s about improving the brain’s efficiency. Every child should understand they’re a work in progress and every teacher should understand that potential is built-in and you only lose it when you die. Children become disillusioned but if they understand their brain is plastic and they’re not stuck in a rut, that is important in turning on the lights.”
Training children to focus and listen through brain training interventions such as Interactive Metronome or Fast ForWord can help improve coordination, efficient processing, as well as attention. These interventions can also help children with ADHD and dyslexia, and others who struggle with specific cognitive skills. The concept of brain plasticity is a hot topic in neuroscience and Merzenich believes that brain re-training could eventually become as common and important as physical fitness programs.
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Additionally, in case you missed a previous post about about some exciting new research in the world of autism, take a look here: