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Intervention Programme Based on Executive Functions in Children with ADHD

Author(s): Maria Jesus Cardoso-Moreno, Santos Orejudo Hernandez, Cesar Rodriguez Ledo

Attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurobehavioral disorder with onset in childhood. Children with ADHD have been found to show impairment in emotional self-control, self-regulation and motivation. Numerous studies have reported cognitive disabilities in memory, executive functions, spatial abilities and language skills. The main objective of this research was to determine if the executive function intervention programme implemented could improve attention process and executive functions in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The sample consisted of 50 children (14 female and 36 male) aged between 8 and 12 years, diagnosed with ADHD and who were not under any psychopharmacological treatment at the time of the study, and had not taken medication to mitigate such disorder. Executive functioning was assessed through the Zoo Map Test and attention was evaluated by the “D2 Test of Attention” in a pretest-postest cuasi experimental design. The executive functioning intervention programme implemented was designed and tested for this research and consisted of 12 one-hour weekly sessions and the participants were trained individually. The data indicated that the intervention lead to improved performance in the execution of tasks that evaluate executive functions. After the intervention, the children took less time to resolve the Zoo Map Test, and the results in the “D2 Test of Attention” also improved after the training. Therefore, data showed that such executive functioning intervention programme could improve attention processes and executive functions in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Therefore, the programme used becomes effective intervention as well as the data found links the nature of the problem to a specific treatment management by objectives.

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