Video game enhances sensory, motor stimuli in children with ASD
Kids with autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring ADHD had “high engagement” with a video-game based tool that delivered sensory and motor stimuli, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
“There has been an urgent public need to develop and validate alternative treatments targeting cognitive control for individuals with co-occurring ASD and ADHD,” Benjamin E. Yerys, PhD, of the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues wrote.
Researchers examined how well 19 children (mean age, 11.25 years) with ASD and co-occurring ADHD responded to Project EVO’s (Akili Interactive) multi-tasking test, which used a video game to have children quickly switch between a perceptual discrimination attention/memory task. They also gauged responses to Project EVO’s comparable educational treatment’s pattern recognition test that required children to generate words from an assortment of letters.
Primary outcomes were based on a score that took response time, this type of time's variability, as well as commission and omission errors from different time segments of the task. The higher the score, the better the performance.
Yerys and colleagues found the multi-tasking group had 99% engagement rate in the 25 recommended treatment sessions after week 1, 97% engagement rate after week 2, 88% engagement rate after week 3 and 96% engagement rate after week 4. The educational group had 107% engagement rate in their recommended 125 minutes of treatment per week after week 1, 95% engagement rate after week 2, 87% engagement rate after week 3 and 101% engagement rate after week 4.
“Our study showed that children engaged with the Project EVO treatment for the recommended amount of time, and that parents and children reported high rates of satisfaction with the treatment," Yerys said in a press release. “Based on the promising study results, we look forward to continuing to evaluate the potential for Project EVO as a new treatment option for children with ASD and ADHD.” – by Janel Miller
Disclosures: Yerys reports receiving partial salary support from Akili to carry out the study reported on here. Please see the study for all other authors' relevant financial disclosures.