ADD / ADHD, ADD / ADHD Diagnosis, ADD / ADHD Medication, ADD / ADHD Treatment, Digital Fitness, Dore Achievement Centres, Dyslexia, Dyslexia Testing & Diagnosis, Dyslexia Treatment, Dyspraxia, Medication, Memory, Music, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, Rhythm Games, Wii Fit

WyyMi: An Announcement

One of the reasons I started this blog was because I was interested in creating a cerebellum training program that was quicker, more effective than Dore. Myomancy was my notebook of interesting technology and relevant science. Over the years I’ve examined many different approaches to the treatment of dyslexia and ADHD. Some were simply nonsense, others had promise but were lacking the scientific, technological or business resources to make them viable. Some lacked the ethical honesty necessary when selling products to parents desperately worried about their children.

Slowly overtime I refined my ideas about how cerebellum training should work and how a independent company without much in the way financial resources could develop and sell such a product in an ethical manner. One main stumbling block has been the cost and availability of the technology necessary to track a user’s limb movements and balance. So I’ve been watching the progress of the Wii and latterly the Wii Fit with interest. The technology needed for cerebellum training was finally cheaply and readily available. What’s more many people already own it.

Originally I intended to make an announcement after slowly develop a proof of concept over the next few months but with the collapse of Dore and the shadow that will cast over the cerebellum training field, I’ve decided to move my plans forward. So I’m pleased to announced the creation of WyyMi, a project to create a free, open-source, open-science cerebellum training program.

What is WyyMi?
WyyMi is a project to develop a cerebellum training program to help people with dyslexia, ADHD, dyspraxia and similar educational problems.

Project Goals
To develop a system that cost nothing (or as close to nothing as possible) to use; to do it using open-source software; and to make freely available as much scientific evidence on its effectiveness as possible.

How Will It Work?
The idea is to use cheap and easily available computer hardware that can monitor and assess gross motor movements and balance. At the moment the Wii Remote and Wii Fit Balance Board seem the best candidates but they need to be adapted to work on PCs and Macs because the Wii console itself is difficult to develop for.

Using this hardware and software on the website, users will be perform a series of exercises. The amount of time spent training and the accuracy of the user’s movement will be logged on the server so that the user can track their progress and so the server can inform the user which exercises to do next. This data will also be aggregated, made anonymous and published so that it can be analyzed by any interested 3rd party. Ideally, symptom specific measures (e.g. spelling tests) will also be included so that the training programs effectiveness in treating educational problems can be measured.

Other than a broad statement of goals and the planned route for achieving them, there is nothing else on site at the moment. Progress is likely to slow, not least because I am working on another project at the moment as well maintaining my existing portfolio of web sites. If you wish to help in anyway, please see the announcement for ways you can contribute, not matter what your skills are.

Myomancy will be continuing to report on anything and everything I think is relevant to dyslexia, ADHD and autism. Obviously as I am planning to create my own training program, that might create a conflict of interest when discussing other people’s approach. I will try and be as unbiased as possible and make my conflict of interest clear.

7 Comments

  1. dvnutrix

    Using the available technology and taking an open source approach is a brilliant idea. Whilst your own time may be limited (for good reason) I wonder if you could attract some community effort on software development, etc. from the GNU or Linux crowd or similar? Give a bunch of “hackers” an interesting problem with a social good as clear as this project, things could really take off.

  2. myomancy

    dvnutrix – I certainly hope to find volunteers who can assist, both in the development of the software but also in the science and testing sides.

    Robin – Having lived with dyslexia until my mid-thirties, I am all too familiar with what is does to the sufferers and their parents. Developing WyyMi will be a long and difficult road but I hope to be able to give something back to all the people who have helped me over the years.

    Chris

  3. Lesley

    I got my son to do the Dore beanbag tossing standing on 1 leg on the yoga game on Wii fit where you balance on 1 leg. It then monitors your balnce while exercising and you get a score that you can try to beat the next time. The meditating game where you have to sit crossed legged as still as you can is also another great balance practice.
    it’s really exciting Chris, there could be a cheaper solution that could be world wide very soon (in research terms). What does WyyMi mean, have I missed a post?

  4. myomancy

    Lesley – The name is pretty meaningless but I wanted something short

    I originally started out with “Wii Myomancy” which became contracted to “WiiMy” but I was concerned about the trademark issues of having Wii in the name. So I swapped a few letters around to get WyyMi

    I’m not sure how to pronounce it. “Why-Me” is the best I can come up with.

    Thanks for the comments on the Wii Fit + beanbag technique. It would be good to assemble a list of all the possible ways to use the standard Wii fit in a Dore-like manner. This might help people in the gap between now and WyyMi become useful.

    Chris

  5. Robin

    hi Chris,
    i’m 40 with dyslexia and ADD. Both are pretty seaver. It’s the same with my daughter. Lots of old hurts come to the surface wacthing her go threw this. As I’m sure it does with ever parnet in the same shoes.
    Any how, Once i read about Dore’s collaspe in the UK I started email you/myomancy about re creating the dore program. I was very happy to read about WyyMi.
    I do have general questions for anyone. If a dyslexia gets to the point of haveing perfect (or near perfect) balance that has been mesured would they be in a sence “cured”? There are lots of ways to improve balance. But does that equal retraing the cerebellum?
    I own a Wii also. I bought it to improve hand eye. I plan on getting balance board and ds vision trainer soon. I have offen wondered if the dore program gave ideas to the makers of Wii.
    Robin

  6. myomancy

    Robin

    I don’t think having perfect balance is the cure to dyslexia but balance is one of the skills that needs to be addressed.

    Dyslexics tend to have poor balance, poor gross & fine motor skills and poor hand / eye coordination .

    Dore and WyyMi are based on the idea that once these skills are brought up to a level equal to a non-dyslexic, the child can learn language skills normally.

    Chris

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