Conventional wisdom suggests that screen time should be limited. Many pediatricians, parents, and teachers agree that children need to spend time each day exercising and building their imaginations. It’s important to take time to capture that castle! But one recent study suggests that computer games aren’t all bad, and they might even help learners with attention issues.

Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects ability to read. Many individuals with dyslexia have slower processing speeds for information than individuals who don’t have dyslexia. Some have also been found to have attention issues. Surprisingly, action video games may have a positive effect on attention and processing speed.

A 2013 study from Italy set up individuals with dyslexia up to play action video games. After they played, the subjects of the study were given academic activities to do and  showed a marked increase in processing speeds. . What’s interesting is the games did not teach academic skills but rather required concentration and fast action. Study authors concluded that “this attention improvement can directly translate into better reading abilities”. To see the abstract, click here.

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Do you know a learner with attention issues? Learning Games for Kids has some great classic action games to get their brain moving. Arkanoid, Asteroids, PacMan, and Snake require concentration and quick reactions. Have them play for a while and then do a bit of homework or reading. You might just find it goes more quickly and easily after a few games!

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