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ADD/ADHD Online Information
Potential Research To Help Individuals With ADHD
In Their Visual Processing, Especially Reading Ability
Samantha Tyler contacted us as follows:
My name is Samantha and I am currently a postgraduate student interested in
improving learning outcomes for ADHD individuals. I am currently in the
process of applying for funding for a PhD in visual training in ADHD. I am
a cheerful person who works well with children and have experience working
with children broadly, as well as more specific experience in assessing a
child with special learning needs during my school work experience.
Individuals with ADHD often struggle with visual tasks such as reading due
to a problem with sustaining attention, among others. Reading is a complex
process involving extracting central ideas from surrounding text which is
hard to achieve if you have a problem with ignoring distracting information
(shown in ADHD). Therefore, if individuals with ADHD could be trained to
use a process for accessing this visual information which requires less
attentional demands on the individual, this would improve the child’s
ability to perform visual tasks like reading. Other research has found
training on a feature difference visual task improved performance on a task
involving extracting information from distractors (necessary for reading).
This training has been found to generalise to other visual tasks, and to
last for at least 6 months, which suggests long-term gains from this
training. I am particularly interested to see whether this training could
help individuals with ADHD in their visual processing, especially reading
My PhD is likely to start September 2018 at the earliest. The study will
look at initial performance of ADHD individuals and age-matched individuals
(preferable with a similar reading ability as the ADHD individuals, but this
is not essential) on tests of reading, feature difference and identifying a
target from distractors (all tasks will be age-relevant). This should take
about half an hour. Then training will involve learning with just the
feature difference task which would be best done on consecutive days (each
session should last half an hour or less in the afternoon) for the ADHD
individuals. Finally, tests of reading performance, feature difference and
identifying target from distractors will be done again to determine if any
improvements have been found in the ADHD individuals, with a final
comparison to the same age-matched participants. It would also be useful to
see how they perform later in the year and whether these effects last.
I envisage that this training programme will only take one week from start
to finish for each person with ADHD, with one follow-up session at 3 months,
6 months and 9 months. The age-matched non-ADHD control participants will
be assessed at only the beginning and end of the training week and again at
each follow-up timepoint.
If you are interested or have any questions, please click here to email me and I will answer to the best of my ability.
If you would like to arrange a meeting to discuss this further, just let me
know - I am happy to speak with you. Thank you for your time.
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