Responsible Education and Development’s extra-curricular math program to advance at-risk achievement-gap children has proven to help improve the discipline and academic performance of students age four through seven. The abacus-based program is fun for children and improves academic performance and self-confidence. The instruction design strategically concentrates on the prefrontal cortex and right hemisphere of the brain to improve children’s attention, focus, and concentration. READ believes anecdotal results to date warrant a study to clinically to assess how effective the program is in mediating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The intervention may be one or two 30-minute sessions per week for ten weeks or more. A prospective research hypothesis could be: Abacus training for children diagnosed with ADHD may positively improve response inhibition, focus, and academic discipline.
READ is seeking interest from pediatric neuropsychologists and pediatricians to craft a treatment/group control group study employing measurement instruments the medical team deems most reliable for the clinical investigation. READ staff will collaborate on development of the protocols which would be submitted to an Institutional Review Board for approval.
The READ program is derived from successful instructional methods used in Asian countries. The READ program and the proposed study directly relate to neuroscience research findings published in medical journals.
“A Possible Pathophysiologic Substrate of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder,” The Journal of Child Neurology, Kenneth M. Heilman, Kytja K.S. Voeller, Stephanie E. Nadeau, 1991 6: S76 states “Children with ADHD are more likely to have motor impersistence than controls, providing additional evidence for the postulate that ADHD may be associated with right hemisphere dysfunction.”
“Neural Plasticity following Abacus Training in Humans: A Review and Future Directions,” Neural Plasticity, Yongxin Li, Feiyan Chen, Wenhua Huang, 2016: 1213723 concluded, “Abacus training may be an option for children with psychiatric diagnoses. Long-term abacus training might also be useful as a nonpharmacological intervention to improve attention and alleviate problems underlying a range of disorders.”
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“Association Between Abacus Training and Improvement in Response Inhibition: A Case-Control Study,” Kyoung-Sae Na, Soyoung Irene Lee, Jun-Ho Park, et al., Clinical Pharmacology and Neuroscience (2015; 13(2): 163-167) reported, “Given that response inhibition may be improved by abacus training, clinical trials including patients, such as individuals with ADHD, are needed…We found that abacus training may improve attention and comprehensive arithmetic abilities in children. Our results may be applicable in clinical practice as well as in education.” The authors concluded, “We speculate that abacus training improves response inhibition via neuroanatomical alterations of the areas that regulate such functions. Further studies are needed to confirm the association between abacus training and better response inhibition…Future comparative studies using large samples and prospective designs should be conducted to more precisely evaluate the possible role of abacus training in the neurocognitive functioning of children.”
Evaluation of VAK (Visual, Auditory & Kinesthetic Skill) in Abacus Learners, International Advanced Research Journal in Science, Engineering, and Technology, Yogesh Tiwari, Munmum Tiwari, August 2016 Vol. 3 Issue 8 noted, “It has been well documented that along with mathematical skills there is an increase in concentration, learning power, grasping power, memory, listening skills, observation skills, analytical skills in Abacus learners when compared to non-Abacus learners of the same age.”
You would be the Principal Investigator. I would work diligently to provide all that is necessary to craft IRB study protocols and provide the therapy to the subjects as I have designed the methodology for delivery to U.S. children and possess years of experience conducting program delivery. I am certain based on my prior work with achievement-gap children that the results we produce will warrant a larger follow-up study.