Mar 17, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Attention Training Software for the Inattentive Subtype of ADHD

Software tools are often used to test and diagnose the attention problems seen in all types of ADHD but that are especially seen in people with The Inattentive subtype of ADHD. These test tools screen for our ability to divide our attention and our ability to screen out distractions. WM (WM) diagnostic tools not only test our attention capacity they may be used as a training tools to increase our attention span.

The main problem for people with The Inattentive subtype of ADHD (ADHD-PI) is what neurologist call working memory deficits. This term does not refer to our ability to remember it refers to what some neurologist call “divided attention capacity”. A working memory strengthening tool may help increase attention span by improving our divided attention capacity.

Multitasking is the ability to attend to more than one thing. It has gotten a bad reputation these days especially given that many people try to do more than one thing at once while they are driving, caring for young children, or performing other dangerous activities. The most reported danger of multitasking involves cell phone use and driving.

This is not the type of multitasking that I am referring to. I am referring to the ability to divide your attention between information that is coming from two or more different sources. For example being able to watch what is being written on the blackboard while also listening to what the teacher is saying.

For those of us with The Inattentive subtype of ADHD symptoms it is important that we increase attention span for both incoming verbal and visual information. Working memory strengthening tools help increase attention span by strengthening the parts of our brain, the pre-frontal cortex, that control our ability to divide attention.

Brain training is a multi-million dollar industry because people with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD are not the only people needing tools to help to increase attention span. There are several software tools that have been shown to improve our ability to divide our attention and to increase our attention span.

These tools have been found useful for improving the divided attention capacity of aging and teenage drivers. The most well known and respected auto club in the nation has even endorsed the use of these software tools because they have been found to decrease motor vehicle accidents.

Two companies have software tools that help increase attention span and that improve divided attention. The programs are called Drive Sharp and MindFit. Both these software programs are made by very reputable companies and they have both been tested and found to be effective in increasing attention span.

There are several online sites that have WM strengthening tools that are free and that have also been found to increase attention span. While programs you pay for have more bells and whistles, I have found the free online WM strengthening tools to be quite addictive and almost fun. My favorite is the Icy Lime WM strengthening tool but I have found all of the free tools useful for increasing attention span.

Many neurologists believe that the main problem in people with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD is a deficit of working memory which impairs their ability to divide attention when there are competing bits of visual and auditory stimulation. Fee online WM tools such as the tools called ‘DualTask’, ‘TaskSwitching’ and ‘IcyLime’ can help.

Performing the tasks on the WM tools that I have discussed can reinforce our working memory and increase attention span. Those of us with the Inattentive subtype of ADHD and with children who have ADHD-PI should make these tools a part of our ADHD treatment plan.

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