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Video Games as Alternative Therapy June 11, 2007

Posted by schoolsnoop in 9-5-4, add, add parents, adhd, aging, alternative treatment, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain, brain injury, camp, children, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, education, ld, learning disability, medication, memory, memory loss, mTBI, neurogenesis, neuroscience, news, parenting, parents, play attention, Sparks of Genius, summer, underachieve, video games.
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A new video game might prove to be a very productive use of time for young cancer patients: It helps kids fight their diseases figuratively and literally.The game, called “Re-mission,” is a 20-level journey through the bodies of fictional patients suffering from different types of cancer, and of course, it can be played by adults and healthy folks as well. But the primary idea is to give patients a sense of control over their disease.

Click here for article.

Children and adults around the world have embraced video games, with both positive and negative results. Here’s another shot in the arm for the folks who see video games as more than just an excuse to stay inside on a sunny day. Sparks of Genius uses video games as alternative therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD), Asperger’s Syndrome, Memory training, to fight off Cognitive Decline, and build any number of Cognitive Skills including executive function.

Click here to check out their new Summer Brain Training Boot Camp!


This article reprinted with permission from Rotten Apples: News from the front lines of America’s War on Education.

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Brain Training Boot-Camp May 25, 2007

Posted by edukfun in add, add parents, adhd, art, aspergers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention training, brain drain, brain injury, camp, challenged, children, cognitive decline, concentration, dementia, discipline, distractibility, education, exercise, fitness, focus, ld, learning disability, memory, mTBI, parenting, parents, play attention, school, social skills, summer, underachieve, video games.
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Something happens to kids across America every summer, and you can practically hear the giant SLURPing sound as half of what they learned in school this year washes down the drain. The Brain Drain.

All too often, Summer Camp activities are mind-numbing instead of mind-expanding.

Like anything else in life, there are good and bad sides to the summer vacation and the camp experiences that often accompany it. Summer Camps can be great places where children can exercise their bodies and the seven intelligences ignored by traditional schools: musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, kinesthetic, spiritual and spatial.

All too often, however, the activities are mind-numbing instead of mind-expanding. Kids need challenging mental workouts during the summer to keep their brains in shape. Here are some effective activities, and some not-so-effective activities that are great for summer fun.

Here are some tips to help you maintain Brain Fitness for your kids over the summer.

Boca Sparks of Genius is offering a Brain Training Boot Camp this year. It’s an intensive attention, focus, brain-enhancing boot camp; two hours per day for 1-5 weeks. Students use brain training video games, played with our mind-reading helmet by thought power alone. Its great for anyone who wants to acheive peak performance in school or sports and is especially helpful for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD) or a Learning Disability (LD). Click here for the PDF flyer.

Boca Sparks of Genius is offering a Brain Training Boot Camp this year.

Not everyone can make it, and that’s fine. Here are some tips to help you maintain Brain Fitness for your kids over the summer. It isn’t easy. You’re going to have to fight off Shrek, Pirates of the Carribean, Spiderman, Harry Potter (the movie, not the book) and every international company aiming their advertising squarely at your kid’s eyeballs.

First, the bad.

Video Games – these have a high stimulus payoff but minimal cognitive investment. Most games require manipulation of a handful of controls, which is nowhere near as challenging as organizing ideas for an essay or planning a multi-step science project.

Television and Movies – again, high stimulus payoff but this time zero cognitive investment. Even when the content is educational, the activity is passive. The child may absorb some facts but it is the equivalent of laying down mentally: it won’t keep their brain in shape and in fact can lead to brainpower atrophy!

If a child reads with automaticity, then she needs more challenging material to work out her mental muscles.

Pulp Reading – if your child is reading challenged, then by all means encourage any kind of reading. However, if your child is reading on grade level, then pulp media like comic books, manga and sub-literary material do more harm than good! If a child reads with automaticity, then she needs more challenging material to work out her mental muscles. If your child is truly, madly, deeply in love with a particular piece, then have her write a thoughtful essay about the material.

Texting and Instant Messaging – just imagine that your child is getting reward pellets instead of text messages and you’ll see why this activity is a stinker. Not only does it not expand the brain, it trains l33t-sp3@k..that wild combination of LOLs and AFKs that make texting work. Is it any wunder that our grammar stinx?

Fooling around with crafts, or making lame projects, does not exercise the brain.

Arts & Cra*s – Just because you give a kid some paint does not mean she will learn or do much of anything. Fooling around with crafts, or making lame projects, does not exercise the brain. The kids need to be challenged: paint or sketch with realism, brainstorm and create an image of what a 5th dimension might look like, play with perspective. Slapping paint on paper can be just as brain-draining as crafting in World of Warcraft or Dark Age of Camelot (Note for old people: that means very boring).

Nature Walk of Doom – Yes, kids need unstructured play time and not everything needs to be educational or mentally stimulating. BUT, Nature Walks and Nature Trails and NatureH ikes that are part of Summer Camps are supposed to be enlightening. They are certainly wonderful opportunities. All too often, however, the kids are strung along by a bored volunteer or assistant who couldn’t tell the difference between a Blue Heron and an Egret if they bit him on the butt. The kids need a guide, even if just a book, who can teach them how to identify flora and fauna and show them how each species is unique and interesting. Then they need to use those facts in discussions or papers or projects or presentations. Make competitions, play Nature Bingo, but don’t just lead them around in a circle.

Kids are strung along on Nature Walks by a bored volunteer who couldn’t tell the difference between a Blue Heron and an Egret if they bit him on the butt.

Social Science – Summer can help kids break out of their social bonds. They can interact with kids outside of their normal cliques. Kids who are academically challenged may find it easier to make friends in an evironment where they are not being weighed, measured and found wanting. Or they can sit in isolation and never get anywhere. Kids without friends are not happy, not matter what they tell you. They don’t know what they’re missing! Making friends, sharing, telling secrets, having fights and making up, setting boundaries–these are vital life skills, and they take mental effort to build. How does your kid’s summer experience help build them?

How does your kid’s summer experience help build social skills and friendships?

MP3 Doom! – Curse the iPod! As if it weren’t easy enough to avoid people, now it is possible for kids to grow up without having to interact with just about anyone. This is bad, people! We socialize when we are stuck waiting in line and in class and in the lunchroom and on the playground–but not if we can just slap on our headphones and drown out the world with music. What kind of music? The simplistic kind with high stimulus payoff and little to no cognitive investment.

We socialize when we are stuck waiting in line and in class and in the lunchroom and on the playground–but not if we can just slap on our headphones and drown out the world with music.

Tomorrow: The Good!

Be well,

Allen Dobkin

Train Your Brain for Attention and Concentration Skills May 10, 2007

Posted by Dr. Rohn Kessler in attention training, concentration, distractibility, education, focus, learning disability, memory, neurogenesis, play attention, Sparks of Genius.
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It is common to think that attributes like attention, concentration and distractibility are innate properties of a person’s thinking, brain or personality.

WRONG!

To a significant degree, they are skills that can be strengthened like a muscle and improved through coaching and training.

Science shows us that older adults have the benefit of experience to guide cognition . However, a variety of factors can neutralize this hard-earned edge. Research shows us older adults are more prone to distraction (click for article).

Distraction, not focus is the issue (click for article). What you may not know is that attention and concentration are abilities you can train to reduce distraction.

The brain is like a muscle and we need to use it or lose it.

Daily workouts to optimize your brain will help you think more quickly and will improve memory. Many people lose ability because they are anxious that the brain they have is not good enough. At Sparks of Genius we work to find the keys to unlock your potential. Everyone is good at something. There is a genius on the inside of you.

Training your brain with Sparks of Genius programs can rebuild lost connections and increase strength.

Use the 39 point assessment tool to find out how you can be more than your limitations. http://sparksofgenius.com/screens.html

Confidence helps! Confident people are happy people. According to a study in USA today happy people live 19% longer. Say good-bye to confidence crisis and learn how to retool you destiny with specially designed programs to bring the best out in you (click for article). These programs work for people between the ages of three to one hundred.

According to a study in USA today happy people live 19% longer.

Dr Rohn Kessler is a world renowned expert in the field of educational leadership. Sparks Of Genius developed through his leadership has helped countless numbers to reach new levels in their personal lives.