Intervención cognitiva con adolescentes con trastorno de déficit de atención, tipo hiperactivo

Cognitive intervention with adolescents with attention deficit disorder, hyperactive type


By Ana Priscila Santiago Albarran, CITPA psychologist

Working with adolescents with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as ADHD, can be challenging. Since added to the characteristics of volubility that occur at this stage of development, the characteristics of the disorder are found in the symptoms related to poor inhibitory control capacity and poor social skills that some of them have.

Negative and positive consequences

All this can result in being excluded by the typical population, if they do not benefit from tools to cope with such situations, leading them to a growth and building up of life skills.

However, it is also at this stage that patients begin to become aware of their disorder and to cooperate with neuropsychological rehabilitation, if the correct adherence to the process has been achieved. It is then when we must rethink therapeutic objectives in the social field, since we can build expectations in the short, medium and long term and in a procedural way, since the sense of temporality is glimpsed in a more punctual way.

The work of psychotherapists in cognitive intervention with attention deficit adolescents

As cognitive psychotherapists it is necessary to join efforts and provide new tools to carry out a process focused on an ecological and functional treatment, that is to say, that the sessions have transference in their day to day and what is approached can be useful to face the vicissitudes of each scenario in which our patients develop.

In this sense, NeuronUP has been a working tool that we use inside and outside the therapeutic space, and that is very useful to us. It is sensitive to recognize the diversity of current environments, as well as the closest or future ones that our patient will face at any given time.

It offers us different audiovisual materials very similar to reality, promoting a more effective and real work with them. In this way, it facilitates the acquisition of skills that perhaps with pencil and paper tasks would be more complex to achieve.

Exercises to work the theory of the mind with adolescents with attention deficit.

A clear example are the exercises associated with the Theory of Mind (TOM). Being part of metacognitive areas, they are difficult to access with conventional materials.  “False belief“, “cause-effect” or “What are you thinking?” are serial exercises in which everyday situations are presented in the form of scenes to which our patient has to give an assertion of the intentions, beliefs or emotions of others. Bearing in mind that its purpose is to enable metacognitive and socio-emotional processes.

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They also require first- and second-order skills intimately related to the above areas, such as sustained attention, information maintenance, updating, memory, cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control, and problem solving.

NeuronUP has facilitated our therapeutic work by giving us the possibility of observing error situations more clearly. This allows us to adjust it by means of other exercises and to stimulate underlying areas, since we can also register the latency time between each task, which is very rich.

Activities of daily life

On the other hand, we can make direct interventions with our patients, in which we promote reflection before each execution and attentive and conscious reading.

In addition, we can work with exercises related to the life of our patient, for the development of practical skills, transferring this learning from one situation to another.

Likewise, we find that the stress load decreases, because when working with a computer, confidence is given a guideline and there is a greater playful perspective.

By Ana Priscila Santiago Albarran, pyschologist at  CITPA

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