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Videogames Help ADHD Children



(p. A9) It isn't often that children are encouraged to play videogames.

But a group of Boston Children's Hospital researchers have developed videogames for children with conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety, or those who just need to learn how to control their emotions better.

The videogames track a child's heart rate, displayed on the screen. The games get increasingly difficult as the player's heart rate increases. To be able to resume playing without extra obstacles the child has to calm themselves down and reduce their heart rate.

"What we're trying to do is build emotional strength for kids," said Jason Kahn, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Mighteor, a Boston-based company and spinoff of Boston Children's Hospital. BCH runs an accelerator and funded some of the research and development of the products. They retain a small piece of ownership of Mighteor. Dr. Kahn worked as a developmental psychologist at Boston Children's for seven years and maintains an affiliation there but launched the company in November [2016].

The games help children "build muscle memory," he said. So once they are able to reduce their heart rate over and over again the response of physiologically calming themselves down becomes more automatic.



For the full story, see:

Sumathi Reddy. "'When Videogames Can Help." The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, July 18, 2017): A9.

(Note: bracketed year added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date July 17, 2017, and has the title "YOUR HEALTH; When Children Can Benefit From Playing Videogames.")






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