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Memory Is Inconsistent in ADHD Children

Variables in working memory means children have trouble learning from situations.

Friday March 27th - 10:14am

ADHD students may need help to stay focused and pay attention during long lessons at school.

Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have inconsistent working memory--which may explain why your child is able to focus at school one day but is easily distracted the next. A new study from the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute, published online in the journal Child Neuropsychology, suggests that what underlies impaired working memory is a problem in how consistently a child with ADHD can respond during a working memory task.

The study looked at whether children with ADHD were faster or slower at memory tasks than children without ADHD, or if another, more complicated process was occurring.

“We found that the children with ADHD were much less consistent in their response times,” said Wendy Buzy, study lead author. “But the accuracy of the two groups was the same,” she said. Higher levels of hyperactivity and restlessness or impulsivity correlated with slower reaction times.

Variability in working memory means children cannot generalize what they learn in one situation to another--which may lead to repeated reminders by parents.

Read more about the study.

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