Sarah Avtzon, director of early childhood education for Daemen College’s master’s program in early childhood special education, compared a group of grade 2 to 4 students with specific learning disabilities who played the games every day at school over a 3 month period and a similar group that received traditional remediation.
That seems like a lot of school time devoted to playing games.
But the results show the time was better spent than the control group.
"After 12 weeks of training, the children in the experimental group improved their cognitive functioning by 2.8 years, compared with two months for the control group, with significant growth in each skill area examined including working memory, broad attention, executive function and processing speed. The experimental group increased their General Intelligence Ability (GIA) scores from 63% to 89%, essentially closing the gap to normal performance or to the performance generally expected from typically developing peers."
"Reading improved by 0.8 grade equivalent for the experimental group, compared with 0.1 grade equivalent for the control group. Math performance improved 1 grade equivalent, compared with 0.2 equivalent for the control group. In other words, the experimental group became 31% more proficient in reading and 25% more proficient in math at post assessment than they were three months prior. Their counterparts in the non-treatment group became 1% more proficient in reading and 4% more in math (Abitbol Avtzon, 2013)."
- 3 to 5 times per week
- 30-60 minutes
- For approximately 12 weeks
It's definitely aimed at a remedial population, since it involves school time. Though non-LD kids would surely benefit as well, schools are not into throwing money at non-problems.
Luckily for those who want these kinds of benefits in the general population, or kids who aren't LD-streamed, there's always the Thinking Skills Club!