Stimulant medications are still the most common treatment for attention problems. However, they may not work for the student, maybe not be sufficient or the parent may not choose this for their child. Additional approaches are frequently desired either in place of or in addition to medication. Approaches that train the brain to pay better attention have been successfully used for many years but only recently has rigorous scientific research confirmed effectiveness.
According to a recent study, “…the main activity is a cognitive and intention-based process characterized by self-regulation and attention to the present moment with an open and accepting orientation towards one’s experience.” Research has demonstrated that mindfulness can modify attention networks of the brain, change EEG patterns and dopamine levels, and change neural (brain) activity. According to DR. David Rabiner, Senior Research Scientist at Duke University, attention training that “…can be thought of as a type of attention/cognitive exercise program that is focused in improving self regulation – is a complementary treatment that is well worth investigating”.
Those with attention issues often struggle with low self-esteem. However they are often described as having tremendous creativity, energy, and sensitivity. Therefore, helping students recognize and control their unique strengths is included in our programs.
As with all our programs, FACT fosters mastery one manageable successful step at a time. Pre- and posttest assessment offer participants concrete evidence of progress. We always remind participants, “All successful students have several things in common like good skills and confidence, but only when you control your attention do you truly become the success you and others know is possible”.