Working Memory Training
What it is: Training that aims to build up those areas of the brain that hold onto information long enough to accomplish a specific goal. For example, you hold a phone number in your mind as you dial it, or you hold the task at hand in your mind—organizing your room, say—as you work on it.
How it works: When you improve working memory, you improve fluid IQ—the ability to solve problems or adapt to situations as they occur.
Treatment: The patient logs on to the working-memory program, such as the software developed by Cogmed, which is downloaded on his home computer. He completes eight exercises that vary from shooting down floating asteroids to recalling numbers in the reverse order in which they are given. The program stays a step ahead of the patient's ability, making exercises increasingly harder. A trainer calls once a week to talk with the parents, troubleshoot, and encourage the patient.
Cost: The training runs five weeks, five days a week, an hour a day. It ranges in price from $1,500 to $2,000, and it is not covered by most medical insurance plans.