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ADHD Alternative Treatments

neurofeedback or Cogmed versus play attention

We are searching for alternative therapies for my daughter, nearly 8, who has inattentive ADD. Have any of you tried Cogmed or Play attention or neurofeedback? She is doing better between DHA and GLA omegas, but we still have a ways to go. We did some neurofeedback with a practitioner (with electrodes on the head), but it was expensive and I am wondering if anyone knows of software I could buy for the same results? I have seen recommendations for play attention and cogmed, but am wondering what else is out there and what people recommend.


Check out the ‘Comments’ section of this article for some great ideas from ADDitude readers re: brain training for ADHD kids:

4 Brain Training Therapies for ADHD Children and Adults

And here are some suggestions for software programs designed to build a child’s attention span and strengthen focus…

ADHD Video Games: Building Better Focus Through Fun Alternative Treatments

I hope this helps!

Posted by Anni Rodgers on Jun 16, 2011 at 11:07pm

We’ve been considering this route of treatment as well.  Cost has prohibited us from doing so far.  I did do a lot of research into the Play Attention software and have heard from other people posting on different groups that they use it with great success.

If we can financially get to a point to use any of this, we’ll probably start with Play Attention because it’s the cheapest. 

Would love to know what kind of results you get with whatever route you take.

Posted by ANMom on Jun 17, 2011 at 3:17am

My daughter and I have been using NeuBecalm’d for the past 3 years.  A natural supplement and it has dramticaly changed our lives for the best.  If you need more information on it feel free to contact me.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by myfriendmarty on Jun 17, 2011 at 10:34am

I would love to hear more and how to purchase some.
Did you take it in conjunction with anything else?

Posted by Rafe on Jun 17, 2011 at 10:45am

We did 6 months of neurofeedback and playattention…it did not help my son at all. We were very disappointed.

Posted by Blondey63 on Jun 22, 2011 at 5:01am

We’ve heard great things about Captain’s Log (from BrainTrain) and also about CogMed.  We explored neurofeedback with three different providers (including LENS), but the cost and mostly anecdoctal support for it’s long-term benefits continue to discourage us.  Also, finding a ‘local’ provider is virtually impossible unless you’re in an urban area, so you have to look at providers that have a ‘home-based’ treatment program, and that seems to be even more complicated.

Posted by VPMom on Jun 25, 2011 at 7:22pm
Posted by M.J. on Jul 07, 2011 at 8:01pm


I want to thank the poster Anni for the links but I can’t seem to find the articles. I really would like to check out some of the neurofeedback type programs.

Posted by convalaria on Jul 09, 2011 at 2:34am

The link below is a for a free webinar about cogmed being offered by Pearson. I haven’t viewed it yet so can not comment on its content. Just thought I’d share the info incase anyone else wants to check it out.

Posted by cowboy on Jul 26, 2011 at 10:44pm

There is another brain training software that I have found online which is a subscription which seems way cheaper- Attengo. Does anyone know about it?

Posted by convalaria on Aug 25, 2011 at 10:10pm
Posted by ARLAM on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:38pm

Yes! i have heard about attengo and it seems to be worthed much more then they charge!

I use it my self and find it to be amazing in reducing my response time as well as reducing my impulsivity.

I signed up through where they resell attengo with an diitional 10% off discount code.


Posted by ARLAM on Jun 17, 2012 at 11:39pm

Stay far away from AttenGo.  My poor child worked hard on it for months, pressing the space bar thousands and thousands of times, but it was all a waste of time and money.  There was a “100% money back guarantee” but when I applied for it, they ripped us off and did not give any refund.  :-(

Posted by Merrygoround on Mar 12, 2013 at 6:33pm
Posted by Merrygoround on Mar 12, 2013 at 6:34pm

Thank you for your post I am also looking for alternative methods.  After a year of concerta with my 11 year old son, which has worked absolutely wonderfully to control symptoms, he is resisting taking it saying that it makes him feel dull, tired,sad,and no appetite.  His pediatrician has no answers and seems to have a lack of empathy (having no children of her own).  May I ask what type Omegas you use?.  My son is very interested in in taking them.

Posted by happydays on Mar 12, 2013 at 7:55pm

We are using carlson’s elite gems. FYI, we had slacked on because things were going better and had not been taking them regularly these last few months. Don’t know if that is why but my daughter has been recently much grouchier to deal with and her skin seems dry( flakey scalp and I by skin).

Posted by convalaria on Mar 12, 2013 at 8:13pm

I am part of a neuroscience research group which includes M.D.‘s psychologists, auditory processing specialists, vision professionals, educators, etc.  I myself am a learning disabilities specialist who has extensive hands-on experience with Play Attention, Cogmed, Interactive Metronome, PACE, and Fast ForWord, all of which claim direct or indirect effects on attention.

The key to effective intervention for attentional difficulties is careful testing.  Attention is not a 1-dimensional phenomena.  It can be affecting by many factors, including auditory processing deficits, visual processing difficulties, issues with brain timing, brainwave dysregulation, working memory deficits, etc.  One must get specific about causes and manifestations and then target appropriate interventions.  I am not anit-medication; however, it makes sense to me that other possible interventions be explored before the medication route is pursued.

Neruofeedback is effective for attentional difficulties when there are measureable difficulties with brainwave regulation.  I have used Play Attention in the past to address brainwave dysregulation, but have come to the point that I favor classic neurofeedback intervention by a trained and certified psychologist.  Play Attention formerly used a helmet with built-in electrode sensors to measure beta and theta wave activity, but has moved to an armband sensor.  I find it hard to understand how an armband can pick up brainwave activity.  I’m not sure what it is measuring—even galvanic skin response is only measurable where there is an eccrine sweat gland.concentration, and there is no such concentration where the Play Attention armband is placed—but I am skeptical that it is brainwave activity.  Play Attention proponents claim great results, but I see little research data to back up those claims.  Neurofeedback, on the other hand, has impressive research validation.  The problem with neurofeedback, however, is that there are a lot of quacks out there; thus, it is very important to check professional credentials.

Posted by schmidtlapp on May 03, 2013 at 4:27pm

Thank you for your feedback on AttenGO.
I am a researcher, i am always on the look-out for better software products to reduce the symptoms of ADHD.
I have a library of them in my database, including price comparisons.

I will not be doing any business with AttenGo from today.

If you have any knowledge on software pertaining to Brain Fitness, please do contact me.

Emilio- from Singapore

Posted by infoTBF on Jul 04, 2013 at 12:57pm

I am also searching for some kind of cognitive training to offer as an alternative or supplemental tx for ADHD. The idea of training to enhance attention makes sense.

I am intrigued by the Play Attention game, but as others have mentioned, particularly schmidtlapp, I have reservations. Are the children going to sit through hours of watching the whale or orca or dolphin go up and down when they are used to playing much flashier games? Does the arm band really measure brain waves? Is Cogmed, which is now being heavily marketed by Pearson, really worth the cost?

What other neurofeedback programs, as schmidtlapp suggested, have “impressive research validation?” My review suggests that there isn’t enough research to suggest any of these programs are useful.

Posted by ecr on Nov 15, 2013 at 2:53am

I am currently conducting research and nearly about to publish our findings on these programs: Learning Technics, Brain Balance, BrainGym, etc. Our findings are very interesting at this point and I am more than happy to share them with anyone interested! Please email Dr. Swede at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Dr. Swede on Jul 07, 2016 at 5:24pm

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