ADD / ADHD, Dyslexia, Games

Disney, Dance and Improving Reading

In a paper presented to DIGRA 2005, a conferance for academics and professionals who research computer games, research found that play Disney Dance Dance Revolution improved reading skills.
It was tested on 74 sixth grade students all of whom had been diagnosed with ADHD. They were all given Process Assessment of the Learner: Test Battery for Reading and Writing (PAL-RW) tests to establish a baseline of ability. Some children were assigned to a control group who received normal classes whilst the others had two 25-minute sessions each week for either 4 weeks, 8 weeks or 12 weeks.
The result were small but noteworthy.
“…a positive relationship between the number of treatment sessions completed and the gains made on Receptive Coding and Finger Sense Recognition subtests. This supports the need for further research and provides guidance for it (e.g., longer intervention periods, increased treatments during the intervention period, and targeted PAL-RW testing versus full administration).
Here on Myomancy I’ve been writing for two years about how video games are good for you (If they involve movement) so I’m not surprised about the results. The benefit of dance games is also supported by work on Interactive Metronome that showed significant improvements when children learn rhythmic skills.
I’m sure the improvements in the study would of been larger if the training session had been everyday. From my own playing of both Eye-Toy Groove and dance games I’ve found that with twenty minutes a day you can see noticeable improvements in ability. The only downside of the commercial games is that they are hard, even on the easy setting though there are kid’s versions available like Eye-Toy Disney Move that are easier.
Though the results of this study are small and there are some limitations in how the study was conducted, it still demonstrates that movement, rhythm and reading problems are connected.
Study: The Effects of a Consumer-Oriented Multimedia Game on the Reading Disorders of Children with ADHD. Abstract, Full Paper [Word document]

2 Comments

  1. Eve

    I plan to cite this study when I force my (future) children to play DDR with me right after forced clarinet lessons and Kumon. This is the greatest news I’ve heard all day.

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