Improve Cognitive Skills, Reduce Mind Wandering

May 28, 2013 by DrDonna

Improve Cognitive Skills, Reduce Mind Wandering

Improve Cognitive SkillsMind wandering is the ability of the brain to think about things other than what you are working on right now. For a child who has dyslexia, APD or a reading disorder, the ability to concentrate is decreased, and therefore their mind is participating in mind wandering during times when they should be focused on the task at hand.

Perhaps a reason for this mind wandering is the difficulty that these young brains have during reading and doing their homework. For example, a child with auditory processing disorder can’t hear the sounds spoken to them, so it’s easy to let the mind wander – and simply give up on listening.

This could be likened to learning how to bat a baseball. If you only hit the ball 1% of the time, how many hundreds of balls are you going to try to hit before you give up? Would you make it 50 balls thrown in your direction with no hits? Or 250?  And if you had auditory processing disorder, would you keep trying to listen to your teacher for 6 hours a day, five days a week without understanding her,  or would you let your brain engage in mind wandering?

We can go anywhere in our mind, says Matthew Killingsworth, who developed an app to track people’s happiness levels. He tracked over 15,000 people worldwide multiple times during the day to see what they were doing and how they felt at that time. The results were that people were less happy when their mind was wandering than when they were focused on the task at hand.

When our mind wanders, it often wanders to something that is unhappy, such as being worried or afraid of something bad that could happen. That’s what Killingsworth discovered. He found that forty seven percent of the time, people’s minds are wandering. Too bad he hasn’t done a study on kids’ mind wandering ratio, especially those with learning disorders.

But, in fact, there’s a way to reduce mind wandering. Improving the cognitive skills of children, especially those with learning and reading disorders, can increase their concentration. This can help these kids become more confident and even happier.

Whether your child has auditory processing disorder, reading difficulties or other learning issues, he or she could benefit from cognitive software designed to sharpen focus.