Technology and Therapy: adding heart rate monitoring to video games helps kids with self regulation

Technology and Therapy: adding heart rate monitoring to video games helps kids with self regulation

“When Children Can Benefit From Playing Video Games” reports on the work by a group of researchers in Boston who have developed video games to help kids with anxiety, anger management problems and ADHD develop more effective self regulation.  Their games are similar to regular video games, but the child is hooked to a heart monitor, which increases the effectiveness of the training.

The researchers have published two studies that found benefits of the games.  The kids learn to “stop and give pause when their emotions feel out of control.” The developers find that the games work particularly well for kids who “are not interested in psychotherapy and talking.” They have developed 7 games and predict that they will have 50 games on their platform by the end of the year. Customers (parents) start the program by purchasing a 3 month subscription that includes a tablet, a wrist monitor for the heart monitoring function, individualized parent coaching and a subscription to the platform.  After the initial 3 month subscription, the cost to access the games is $19 per month. The developers note that this program may be less effective for kids with visual-motor and sensory integration problems. The recommended “dose” of this treating is about 45 minutes per week.

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