Blogs — Cognitive Remediation Training - A different alternative or a supplement

There are many therapists and interventions for rehabilitation of children and adults with ADD/ADHD, many of whom are parents of children with this problem. The most frequently used treatment method involves the administration of drugs such as methylphenidate, and many argue that drugs do not rehabilitate but only relieve people with ADD/ADHD from the social and behavioral disruptiveness caused by attention deficiencies and hyperactive behavior.

However, many others argue that such symptom relief enables the person and those around him or her to improve cognitive and motor functioning and controls through standard educational and social training that would otherwise be impossible.

The next most common rehabilitation approach for ADD/ADHD uses various and specific cognitive/behavioral methods to help establish new brain-behavior relationships or functioning that is impaired in people with ADD/ADHD.

Cognitive Remediation Therapy is a treatment intended to improve difficulties with such cognitive skills as attention, memory, speed of information processing, problem solving, organization, and planning. 

Cognitive remediation is a behavioral treatment that uses drill and practice, compensatory and adaptive strategies to facilitate improvement in targeted cognitive areas. It aims to improve cognitive impairments that are making it difficult for a person to achieve their functional goals. For example, someone with attention and memory problems, an ADD/ADHD. may have difficulty following directions from their boss, or may lose track of important information their friends and family tell them. People who have difficulty being organized and prioritizing information may find it hard to manage independent living, or going to school. 

Different types of cognitive remediation treatments have been developed, and they vary in the diagnostic population they were designed to treat, the frequency of sessions, the tasks used, whether everyone does the same activities or the sessions are tailored to the particular needs of the individual. 

For example, if a person wants to go to school, but finds it hard to pay attention, he or she would work on tasks that improve attention. Part of the session would be devoted to working individually on cognitive tasks, and another part of the session would be devoted to working with a therapist/coach to practice strategies to improve cognitive skills and ways to use newly developed cognitive abilities to improve performance of everyday tasks.

Cognitive remediation is also available for children and adults suffering from psychotic disorders,  people with mild intellectual deficits, people with brain injuries, and for older subjects suffering from early stage dementia.