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ADD/ADHD Online Information
September 1st 2001 - 22:00 GMT
NASA Technology To Help ADDers
Now Available Outside US
Back on February 14th 2001 we reported on the Attention Trainer™, an apparently revolutionary new computer based teaching aid that may help those with ADD/ADHD focus better and generally improve in all round learning. At the time, the product was only shipped within the United States but we have now learned of another company, Unique Logic and Technology, which has been marketing very similar technology since 1998 and who ship outside the U.S. We have also learned that the original makers of the Attention Trainer™, East3 Ltd., have , according to The Richmond Times Dispatch, Richmond, Virginia, USA, gone bankrupt. They have since been purchased by their creditors who are now trading as Attention Builders, LLC.
Unique Logic and Technology have in contrast been in business since 1994 and after years of research and development, began marketing its core product, Play Attention™ in 1998. To quote the Play Attention™ website: Play Attention consists of a fun helmet similar to the ones commonly used for roller-blading, biking, etc., and game-like video exercises that run on almost any computer. The Play Attention helmet is lined with sensors that monitor the user's brain waves associated with the attentive state and cognitive processing. The user actually controls the computer video exercises by mind alone! By maintaining an attentive state, the user can move and control screen characters. Attention is no longer an abstract concept -- Play Attention makes attention concrete and controllable. According to Peter Freer, CEO of Unique Logic and Technology:
"The major difference between Play Attention™ and other systems is that Play
Attention was developed by educators who understand the struggle of both
students and parents. Play Attention™ is founded in cognitive educational
psychology. Other attention trainers have been developed by computer
gaming/software development companies who had to enlist outside sources to
develop a gaming regimen.
Play Attention™ is patented because it uses feedback as a basis to teach
skills deficit in the learning process. These include attention stamina,
visual tracking, time on-task, short-term memory sequencing, and
discriminatory processing. Unfortunately, because of deficits in learning
process skills, students with attention problems usually have a lower
success rate in the learning process. Homework becomes a battle and
self-image declines. Because students with attention deficit are not ready
or able to learn at a sufficient rate, Play Attention™ readies and enables
them to be successful learners. To make a student ready and capable of
learning allows the teacher to teach and the student to realize maximum
potential. Other systems,
do not incorporate this protocol. Because of its educational protocol,
Play Attention™ uses low-level, fun graphic/computer exercises for students
to develop attention. This is similar to learning in the typical classroom
environment. Other systems use high level graphics similar to off-the-shelf
video games that stimulate more than the classroom environment.
Play Attention™ maintains student data files giving it the power to document
and graph student progress. Most other systems do not.
The educators at Play Attention™ have developed a behavioral modification
plan integrated in the Play Attention™ system. It is
built upon the success based environment established during Play
Attention training. The behavioral modifications plan is easy to
implement and is included in the Adobe Acrobat interactive User's Manual
with documentation. Other systems do not include this plan.
Play Attention™ is in use in the United States, Canada, China, and
Europe. Play Attention™ has been successfully used in homes, schools,
rehabilitation hospitals, and by psychologists for over four years. Since
most other systems are new or are intended for clinicians, they hold no
such track record."
According to Bryan Scanzoni of Unique Logic and Technology, Play Attention™ is available for customers outside the United States. He told adders.org, "Play Attention™ is shipped from the United States via Federal Express. The
receiver is responsible for all tariffs, etc." and when asked about the different power supplies available around the world, Bryan said, "Play Attention™ includes a quality power converter to be used with its medical grade power supply."
The cost of the unit is currently $2495 for professional use (25 user license) and $1795 for personal use (2 user license) in the United States. Foreign orders may be subject to higher user license fees due to tariffs, shipping, etc. On the surface it seems more expensive than the Attention Trainer™ However, adders.org has also learned that if you delve into the actual cost of the Attention Trainer™, there are extra add on costs which bring the total closer to between $4000 and $6000.
Obviously mindful of the cost of their unit, Unique Logic and Technology do provide a useful page of links to funding organisations and an actual successful grant proposal.
When adders.org asked Bryan Scanzoni about the actual cost of Play Attention™ he said, "Our product offers much more than other systems, including an
interactive manual that teaches the correct use of Play Attention™ with
integrated video, audio, and text. We have no hidden charges. Just quality
and true ease of use. Our web site also provides studies performed
educationally and by a private psychologist as well as numerous student data
files that demonstrate time and time again that Play Attention™ does what we
claim it does and what our patent claims it does."
Well you might expect the company to make their product sound as good as possible so we end with a quote from a professional, Dr. Jeanne Guertin, Ph.D. Educational Psychology; "Finally, Play Attention™ brings hope to the thousands of children and adults who have failed to meet their potentials. The use of Play Attention™ develops their ability to focus on and complete tasks that help them reach their personal goals. This is the first behavior based system that helps the child or adult to understand and control both positive and negative habits all on their own. Immediate feedback and attention focusing educational games make a real difference to the learning process. There is a real difference in this methodology and it brings new hope for people of all ages."
Useful Play Attention™ Links for further investigation
Play Attention™ Web Site: http://www.playattention.com/
Company Information: http://www.playattention.com/uniquelogic.htm
Data and Research: http://www.playattention.com/data.htm
Simon Hensby for adders.org
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