Friday, February 22, 2008

Distractions for the Distracted?

You would think a quiet room with few distractions is the best environment to help ADHD children concentrate. New research from Stockholm University in Sweden shows otherwise.

A new study, published in the Psychological Review, found that concentration and memory improved for ADHD children when they listened to background noise while learning. Previous research indicated that ADHD children were easily disturbed in distracting environments. So what gives?

Researchers explained the surprising results by stating that background noise stimulates the brain just enough for it to function better. For children without ADHD, on the other hand, noise can serve as a distraction and can lower their ability to concentrate and remember things.

Will a little noise help your child? The only way you will know is if you give it a try. Throw a little background noise into the after-school homework routine and see what happens. If the noise seems to distract, turn it off. If it seems to help, by all means keep it on!


Reed Porter said...

The key here is the type of noise. As an adult with ADD, I cannot work in a stone quiet space because any noise, large or small, is amplified and thus distracting. Likewise, I could work no better in a room were the TV is going, the kids are playing Ping-Pong, and somebody is running the sweeper. That would be way too much to filter out and get to task.

On the other hand, a space with little physical distractions and some level of noise, such as a dishwasher, fan, radio, or fairly constant traffic, can actually mask other distractions and give me something to park my awareness on while I get to my concentration tasks.

Anonymous said...

I cyber school my 'adhd kid'. public school at home...I find him most able to get his work done quickly and proficiently when I play classical music in the background.