Cogmed is an evidence-based program specifically designed to improve working memory with auditory and visual-spatial exercises. Working memory is that ability to hold onto information and use it in our thinking. It is critical to be able to control our attention and our ability to focus without being distracted in order to complete tasks effectively.
Sitting within ‘behavioural optometry’, which focuses on the child’s visual processing skills and ability, Cogmed fuses neuroscience, psychology, optometry and technology to support improvements in a child’s attention and learning skills – “how you use what you see”. This is a nice adjunct to the in-office Vision Therapy currently provided for binocular difficulties, strabismus and amblyopia as well as vision processing difficutlies
The Cogmed program offered at Eyecare Kids includes professional coach support as well as access to the online computerised program of exercises. This includes:
- Initial interview
- Start-up session
- Five weeks of weekly personal coaching
- Access to the Cogmed Training Web to track progress
- Cogmed Extension Training (12 months)
Studies consistently show that problems with attention and learning are often caused by poor Working Memory. Working Memory is critical for focusing, resisting distractions and for complex thinking, which are all extremely important in a child’s early developmental stages, to primary and into higher stages of education.
ADHD is the most well-recognised disorder diagnosed among children who exhibit Working Memory difficulties. There is a strong body of evidence to show improved attention and learning capacity in individuals who complete Cogmed working memory training. Cogmed should be part of a comprehensive program to help a child improve their attention and learning skills.
Sunny, a mother from East Hills, NSW, was thrilled by the results Cogmed produced in her 15 year-old daughter, Krystal, saying, “Before seeking Cogmed training, my daughter had no concept of time, was always late and couldn’t get normal tasks or homework done on time, which was leading to lots of stress within the family, with mornings full of yelling and tears.”
Sunny’s daughter embarked on a Cogmed program, by completing eight different tasks over 45 minutes every day for 25 days. It was hard work and a bit challenging for her daughter at first, but she improved significantly as time went on.
The results have been outstanding. Sunny said, “After Cogmed training I was no longer ‘screaming and jumping around like a burned pork chop on the BBQ’ at my daughter. I was so impressed that she was no longer late for everything. This made me feel less guilty and my daughter’s confidence has grown enormously too.”
Although Sunny’s second daughter is much more organised and time-conscious, Sunny is going to have her Working Memory checked as well, because she believes that everyone can benefit from Working Memory training.
Optometrist Dr SooJin Nam said, “Krystal completed our visual memory assessment that included visual recall, visual memory, visual sequential memory, and visual manipulation. From the results of the assessment and the lifestyle questionnaire completed, I was able to see some of the difficulties Krystal had were related to working memory difficulties. Krystal’s positive results reflect the positive impact of the Cogmed program as part of a solution for Working Memory issues.”
For further information about Cogmed training, please visit www.cogmed.com.au.
Optometrists Association Australia recommends that children have a full eye examination with an optometrist before starting school and at least every two years thereafter. Eye examinations usually attract a Medicare rebate and no referral is required.