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Can Improved Working Memory Help Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Distorder?


-- QC Recruiting 7- to 11-Year-Old AD/HD Children for Free Research Study That Uses Memory-Training Exercises and Social Skills Development to Change Behavior --

FLUSHING, N.Y., September 3, 2010 – All of us at one time have forgotten an item on a shopping list in our heads or an important phone number or address.  Consider how frustrating and stressful it is for a child who is hyperactive, inattentive or impulsive to forget important information.  What if there was a way to strengthen the child’s ability to hold onto information by expanding memory capacity through mental exercises?  Would a better working memory make it easier for parents to help develop their children’s social skills and improve their behavior?  Would the combination of these two programs lead to improvement in the youngster’s attention span, problem-solving ability and impulse control?

A research study and free treatment program at Queens College is continuing to seek answers to these questions. Called Refining Attention Memory and Parenting (RAMP), the program is recruiting families with 7- to 11-year-old children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD). RAMP uses home-based, computerized memory-training exercises to enhance a child’s brain development and long-term behavioral functioning without medications like Ritalin and Adderall.

 

The National Institute of Mental Health has provided a three-year grant of $697,500 to test the RAMP approach.  If preliminary results prove promising, the college will receive additional funding for more advanced study.

                       

According to QC Psychology Professor Anil Chacko, who is directing the program, AD/HD is among the most common neurological disorders in American children.  Fewer than half of the children with the disorder outgrow it; if untreated, it can have long-term adverse effects into adolescence and adulthood.

“Research has found that the brain development of children with AD/HD – particularly in areas that involve aspects of memory, attention and planning – is delayed,” Chacko says. “Treatments such as psycho-stimulant drugs or behavioral therapy alone provide short-term, symptomatic relief for AD/HD, but limited, if any, long-lasting benefits. Our approach is unique because it integrates computerized working-memory training with interventions that target parenting techniques and children’s social skills development. We feel this is a powerful combination that will insure lasting cognitive and behavioral improvements.

Here’s how the program works:

Following a comprehensive evaluation, children take part in a computerized memory-training program that has been downloaded to their home computer.  Each day for five weeks they spend an hour completing different exercises presented in an entertaining video game format. 

One game involves recalling numbers in the reverse order in which they are given.  In another, the youngster must remember the sequence in which rows of lights turn on.  They use their computer mouse to punch in the answers, earning points along the way.  The program stays a step ahead of the child’s ability, making the exercises increasingly more difficult and challenging.  The parent serves as a motivational coach, supporting the child to stay on-task.

After the memory-training portion is over, families attend weekly parenting and child social skills groups at the college for nine weeks to learn strategies to modify and manage their children’s behavior, while the children learn about key social skills. Because the program is expected to enhance academic achievement, the child’s teacher is also required to fill out a set of questionnaires assessing the student’s performance in reading and math before and after the training.  Both teachers and parents are reimbursed for their time.

Families interested in participating in this free evaluation and treatment program should call: 718-997-3248 or Email: contact@chipslab.org. Both parent and child must be fluent in English, and the family must have Internet access at home.  To be considered for the study, the child cannot exhibit an autism spectrum disorder. 

Besides his affiliation with Queens College, Chacko is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, as well as a licensed clinical psychologist in New York State with a background in developing and evaluating multi-component psycho-social behavioral interventions for youth with behavioral difficulties.  He has received several grants to support his research in such areas as AD/HD intervention for preschoolers, treatment for single mothers of children with AD/HD, and prevention of child maltreatment in high-risk populations.

“There aren’t a lot of services and resources in Queens for children with mental health difficulties,” says Chacko.  However, Queens College has built a strong reputation for its outreach to parents whose children have AD/HD, autism and other neurological disorders.  For example, Chacko also works on the Queens College Preschool Project with QC Distinguished Psychology Professor Jeffrey Halperin, who is currently conducting a separate study to determine whether four- and five-year-olds with AD/HD can change their behavior by playing skill-based games.  Halperin has been an active clinical researcher in the area of AD/HD and child behavior disorders for over two decades.


 
 

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UN Commander Romeo Dallaire, Who Tried to Stop Rwanda Genocide, to Speak at June 1 Commencement
May 04
Benjamin Britten's "War Requieum," an Anti-War Masterpiece, to be Performed Saturday, May 20
April 25
New Undergraduate Curriculum Requirements Adopted
April 07
EPA Awards $50,000 to GLOBE Environmental Teaching Program; Queens and Bronx Students to Benefit
March 28
"Light Listened"--Work by One of America's Foremost Glass Artists in Art Center Through July 31
February 24
"Orpheus Descending" Opera --Seen Only in 1994-- To Debut in New York at QC on March 23
January 26
African American History Month Event: Participants In M.L. King's Civil Rights Movement Hold Reunion
January 19
"How We Use Land: Photos of Queens County"-- Art Center Exhibition Opens February 8
expand  2005
December 16
Graduate Sean Talisman Triumphs Over Tragedy And Receives Major Scholarship for Law School
December 02
World's Foremost Collector of Islamic Art To Present Free Lecture and Slide Show Dec. 15
November 17
Should Nature Matter to New Yorkers? Phillip Lopate And Other Writers Tackle This Question Dec. 2
November 02
Armstrong Museum Acquires Largest Private Collection of Louis Armstrong Memorabilia
October 21
Press Conference and Silent March Oct. 27 For Domestic Violence Awareness Day
September 30
Free Program Offers Help for Children Who May Have Attention Deficit Disorder
September 19
Conference Sept. 26 on Queens Immigrant Experience
September 09
Children's Saturday Ed and Rec Program To Begin
September 02
"This Land to Me" Exhibit on Israeli-Palestinian
August 26
Catch "Wiggle & Wave" at the QC Arts Center
July 25
Radio Free Asia Founding President to Retire
June 30
Showcasing Music-Inspired Work by Queens Artists
June 27
Announcing the Search Committee for Dean Of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute
June 15
First Annual Summer Fest July 31 Features Latin Jazz
May 25
Benefit Concert June 4 for Children's Music Program
May 20
June 2 Commencement Theme: Justice for '64 Murder Of QC Student and Civil Rights Worker Andy Goodman
May 10
GLOBE Science Training Expands
April 28
Thelma Davidson Adair, Harlem Educator and Community Advocate, to Speak May 5
April 07
"Speaking Across Differences"--Palestinian-Israeli Dialogue at Queens College on April 7
April 04
First-Ever Entrepreneurs Conference on April 15
April 04
Suzanne Benton Exhibit
February 18
New Equity Studies Research Center in Education
February 01
Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Selected Photos 1933 - 1940
January 25
"Time and the Tabletop" at Art Center
expand  2004
December 03
"Nurturing New York's Nature" at Queens College
November 19
New Work by Dance Stars Eiko & Koma To Debut at Queens College Dec. 9-12
November 02
Conference to Examine 100 Years of Zionism
October 25
Sculpture Exhibition by Greek Artist Opens
October 13
Unique Course on Mid East Clash Features Israeli and Palestinian Speakers
October 06
Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko Lectures Oct. 13
September 29
Recent Museum Acquisitions: Work by Dürer, Max Ernst, Beardon
September 10
1972-73 Women's Basketball Team Inducted into NYC Basketball Hall of Fame
August 30
Art Center Exhibits Work Of Landscape Painter Dennis Cady
August 16
Biologist Corinne Michels Name Distinguished Professor at Queens College
May 24
QC Graduate Izeta Pobric Finds a New Life After Her Long Journey From Sarajevo to Flushing
May 24
Mozelle Duncan: From Nurse's Aid to Union Activist and Honors Grad & Ingrid Alexander: From a Navy Tour in Afghanistan to a New York City Classroom
May 07
$2 Million to Study Attention Deficit Disorder
April 28
Choreographer Yin Mei Wins Guggenheim
April 27
Probing the American Jewish Experience in Film
April 23
"Math for America" Names QC a Partner University
April 21
200 Expected for HS Science Fair April 29
April 15
Music School Grad Performs at Kennedy Center
April 05
Art Center presents The Art Libraries Society of North America: Members’ Exhibition
March 01
Hansel and Gretel, an Opera for all Ages, Arrives on March 17
February 11
Court is in Session as "The Apology of Socrates" is Heard
January 27
"Memory & History" Explores Ethnic Identity
January 09
Queens College Trailblazers in Women's Basketball (1968-1981) To Hold Reunion January 17
expand  2003
December 12
Ensuring a Safe and Positive Overnight School Field Trip
November 24
An Evening of Poetry and Music with Yevgeny Yevtushenko on December 11
November 06
CUNY Center For Higher Education Opens In Flushing
November 06
College To Host First International Tribute To Maimonides on Novermber 16
October 24
Walter Wolff Presents His Experiences as a Holocaust Survivor in Germany and Italy
October 23
"Ciphers in Time": Recent Italian Mixed-media Art by Angela Biancofiore, Luisella Carretta and Gian Carlo Pagliasso
September 26
Louis Armstrong House in Corona to Open For Public Tours Beginning October 16, 2003
September 08
Exhibit, Symposium and Video Explore McCarthy Era on Campus
August 28
Traces on the Wall: Works on Paper by Sloveniam Artist Metka Krasòvec
August 18
The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art From The Godwin-Ternbach Museum And Other Collections
July 10
Medgar Evers Biologist Receives Award for Summer Research at Queens College
June 06
High School Juniors Receive New Presidential Excellence Award
May 16
Daline Derival Graduate: Preparing for a Career in Public Health
May 16
Taruna Sadhoo Graduate: Determined to Improve Education for Women and the Poor
April 28
Queens College Summer Camp Combines Education and Sports
April 21
Queens College Presents “States of the Union” Exhibition By Two Women Artists and Friends
April 14
Mayor Bloomberg Hosts Reception at Queens College to Celebrate Disabilities Awareness Month
March 24
Italian American Museum to Honor Cultural Leaders at April 11 Gala and Awards Ceremony
March 12
Angelo Spinelli: Behind the Barbed Wire
     



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