As video game availability increases, so does screen time. How does that affect a child with ADHD? There are many schools of thought on how video games affect our children, but a recent study was done to see what the true impacts include for children with ADHD.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, regarding how new technologies are used by adolescents and, if, over time, the technologies increase symptoms of ADHD. The study showed that the answer is yes; increased technologies and screen time do increase symptoms of ADHD. Teens that did not engage in media use at a higher frequency had a lower rate of developing ADHD symptoms by 4.5%. This is compared to teens who did engage in at least seven activities. They had a 9.5% increase, which is over double of the teens that did not engage.
However, the article from Psychology Today, reports further on the study stating that not all technology tested had equal effects. Video games played with family members had no significant association, however video games played alone (or online) had a strong association.
Recommendations regarding screen time include;
- *Limiting screen time at night
- *Prioritizing school work
- *Prioritizing family
- *Prioritized genuinely social screen time over solo screen time
- *Prioritize unstructured play
- *Integrate Play Attention into your routine
By limiting screen time and increasing unstructured play, you will help your children develop an understanding of how objects work, skills for communication, negotiation skills, emotional balance, integration of their senses and experimenting with new roles. It’s time to play article in a previous blog post will help you understand more the importance of unstructured play.
Adding Play Attention to your routine is invaluable as well. Even though it uses technology, it is positive screen time that improves executive function. The graphics are low stimuli and work to strengthen cognitive skills. Play Attention has built-in goal development features to help track the goals of your child. In addition to goal tracking, Play Attention also features a rewards program which will allow your teen to work towards rewards. Those rewards can include monitored screen time. Your teen will be using our BodyWave monitor to control cognitive exercises by mind alone while increasing their executive function and motivation. By focusing on these recommendations, you will help control and limit your child’s ADHD symptoms.