We all know about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It has been well-publicized. It has often been cited as the cause of learning difficulties, beginning in childhood. According to one of the sources quoted below, 7.2% of children are affected by ADHD. So how do teachers determine that ADHD is the reason for learning problems in their students?
In this academic paper a relatively simple computer video-based game has been used to investigate ADHD in children. This test is done using commonly available computer hardware and software. The investigative work was done at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain. The paper’s authors state that: “…this team of researchers proposed using a video game that children are already familiar with to identify the symptoms of ADHD and evaluate the severity of the lack of attention in each case.” I wonder if that means that any one of you could set up this video game and use it in the evaluation of ADHD in your students.
To quote the paper: “In this game genre, the player has a running avatar which they have to use to avoid different obstacles in their way. “In our game, the avatar is a raccoon that has to jump in order to avoid falling into the holes it will encounter on its route,” explains David Delgado Gómez, the lead author and professor at the UC3M’s Department of Statistics.”
“”We hypothesise that children diagnosed with ADHD inattentive subtype will make more mistakes by omission and will jump closer to the hole as a result of the symptoms of inattention,” says Inmaculada Peñuelas Calvo, another author of the study, psychiatrist at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital and professor at the UCM’s Department of Personality, Evaluation and Clinical Psychology.”
It occurred to me that any teacher of children could use this freely available video-based game to evaluate her/his students. The real challenge I would guess is in both capturing relevant data and then interpreting and codifying it to make some sense of the individual performance scores that are obtained.
The actual “Running Racoon” game is available on-line here: