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Action Video Games, Can Help Some Kids

By Deborah Williams

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A recent report on Science Daily is rather surprising.  Parents of video game addicted children should find the outcomes of the article’s results may have to re-think their desire to reduce how much time their children play video games.  If your child is dyslexic, you should know that “time spent playing action video games can actually make dyslexic children read better.  Even more shocking:  “…12 hours of video game play did more for reading skills than is normally achieved with a year of spontaneous reading development of demanding traditional reading treatments.

These findings come from the same group that linked dyslexia to early problems to visual attention rather than language skills.  Andrea Facoetti of the University of Padua and the Scientific Institute Medea of Bosisio Parini in Italy asserts that action video games improve  “many aspects of visual attention, mainly improving the extraction of information from the environment.”  Also, these findings further support their previous work by reinforcing the idea that the root of dyslexia is visual attention deficiencies.

In this study, a team of researchers tested the reading and attentional skills of two groups of dyslexic children before and after they had played action or non-action video games for nine 80-minute sessions.  The result:  “The action video gamers were able to read faster without losing accuracy. They also showed gains in other tests of attention.”

Facoetti does not recommend unsupervised, uncontrolled playing of video games, but these results do point to a better understanding of how the brain functions for dyslexics.

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