Wii For ADHD?!

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A parent recently made a blog post on the ADDITUDE website, telling about how two medical professionals had recommended that she get a Wii for her ADHD daughter. More and more, I’m hearing that the latest generation of games is helping kids with their focus. If any of you have experienced success with video games – the Wii or something like PlayAttention – please share it below. In particular, what Wii games would you recommend?

And yes, as I mentioned in the newsletter, part of me remains skeptical, probably because my boys will STILL hyperfocus on video games and do nothing else for hours.

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About Kayla

Kayla Fay is a freelance writer and the mother of four boys, three of whom have been formally diagnosed with the inattentive type of ADHD. When she started “Who Put the Ketchup in the Medicine Cabinet?” in 2002, her sons were ages 8 through 14, when her life was a “progression of dirty laundry, lost homework, misunderstood Algebra, and a whole lot of love and fun”.

Connect with Kayla online Google+


  1. http://Beth says

    I am a Clinical Psychologist and I work mainly with kids. After getting the WII Fit Plus, I realized how amazing it is for ADHD. With all the games that require attention and the need to control impulses, I think it could be a great intervention to help everyone with ADD/ADHD.

  2. http://Jane says

    I’m starting to think that Wii is the worst thing I ever got for my son, 7 y.o. (on medication, adderall and tenex, w/ the hope of getting him off adderall). We play the Star Wars Lego game. I’m the only one he has played with. We play for 30 minutes and I have a timer in front of us. I give him and 5 and 10 minute warning.

    When it’s time, he gets very frustrated. I’ve tried to get him to turn it off, but he can’t. When I turn it off he goes ballistic and can’t control his emotions which is usually intense anger. He does every thing short of physical stuff – kicking and hitting We’ve been working on anger and he’s doing very well except for this Wii stuff.

    Does anyone else have this problem? I think it’s almost like a drug for him.

  3. http://Deanna says

    in response to Jane …
    one trick i’ve tried (with success) is for every half hour of “active” game my ds plays he gets 15 minutes of “non-active” game. ie – do Wii play or Wii fit for 30 minutes and get 15 minutes of Star Wars Lego.

  4. http://Niko says

    in response to Deanna i dont really think that will help ur kids after they get out of high school because all of it is what a kid would consider fun as aposed to math homework or any homework in general. i have ADHD and im a high school grad (and im in college) and im working on geting away from video games. it may work really well for ur kid right now but eventually they will turn to it for a “crutch” for when they are feeling down for example they were made fun of at school or they got a bad grade on a test. they will go to it without knowing that they are just using it to pour in their bitter feelings into it. the reason for this is that playing video games is realitively easy for kids that are growing up in this day and age and age(or growing up with video games like i did. i started with a gameboy color and it started very much how u are doing this today except that my parents would have me do 30 min of homework and then reward it with 30 min of gaming)

    im just saying this to warn u for the future. every kid is different and maybe they will be able to handle the videogames.

  5. http://Debbie says

    I have a Wii game and I have a few games that you need to follow directions. My son wants to ‘win’ all the time, so he learns to control his impulses enough to ‘win’ at these games. he gets easily frustrated, but when i redirect him to try again, he does and this times follows the directions and than learns to control his impulses. it’s rather amazing to watch him control his impulses. right now he’s not on meds because his father refuses to have him on meds, but i’m working to change THAT.

  6. http://Mom%20of%20Two says

    DONT DO IT!! Allowing my child to play video games was the biggest mistake I ever made. ADHD kids love them. It’s intense stimulation, with no follow through required. Things move so fast they don’t have a chance to get bored, and if they fail at something all they need to do is hit reset. There’s no true accomplishment, it’s just chaotic movement and reset. Yet it makes them feel like they’re accomplishing something, and it’s fun, so they don’t want to stop. You can control it when they’re 10, but by age 14 or 15, and they can’t sleep and you can no longer make them go outside, that’s all they want to do. My son would stay up all night if I didnt passcode everything. The real world represents failure and boredom. The computer is entertainment and success. It becomes an addiction. Don’t ever start.

  7. http://Laura says

    This is in response to the post by Jane about meltdowns and behavioral issues after playing a video game. My child was on adderall and other meds for several years as well and during that time we had the same problems with the Game Cube/Wii when it was time to turn it off. Didn’t seem to help much most of the time if there were warnings, talks before hand, timers used etc…
    What resolved our problems were digging deeper, resolving what was causing the ADHD which lead us to being able to take him off all the drugs. He was just fine at that point and behavior issues, meltdowns etc… had completely disappeared. It wasn’t that he’d aged to a point where he suddenly had self-control, it was that we had resolved the things that caused the ADHD behavior.
    Check for food intolerances, his body’s gut being messed up, sensitivities to chemicals, and Dyslexic tendencies. What we’ve seen if a large portion of kids diagnosed as ADHD are actually dyslexic. Take care of the hyper inattentiveness with a proceedure called Orientation – Davis Dyslexia practitioners can do this as well as some other people who do educational thearpy. The hyper activity and inattentiveness just disappeared within a couple of days of exercises.