Play Attention is...one of my foundational tools.

Dr Pitkin 3I've used Play Attention for years in my business. I have a couple programs that I've used for a long time, but Play Attention is the longest and most consistent tool I have used since I've started my business. Play Attention addresses attention and the cognitive skills.

Since I started using Play Attention with my students, I have had students, under the care of their healthcare provider, that were able to either not increase their medication, stay on a low dose, or not be on medication at all.  One of my success stories is about a client, who was on medication.  He began  middle school. Many middle school and high school students don't want to take their medicine anymore. His parents decided that they wanted to try an alternative to his medication, and so he started training here at my business. His mom gave me a report that he's getting A's B's and C's without his medication...so that's a great success story.

People shouldn't have to be forced to think there's only one way to help with attention. At the end of the day, medicine or not, my clients need to know exactly what attention feels like. Because if they have a day where they've forgotten their medicine, what do they do? They'll default to their old behaviors. So, by training consistently and being able to work on cognitive skills, it has enabled me to change my clients' lives.

For example, I had one student that was having behavioral problems. He constantly moved his legs, and, he wasn't aware of moving his legs. First, he didn't know why he was moving his leg. He wasn't mindful about what he should to be doing.   At that moment, he didn't know how it felt when his body and mind were focused. He didn't even know he was moving as much as he was.  He was visiting the assistant principal’s office way too much. We started him on Play Attention. And we started documenting his behaviors here, at my business, and working with the counselor at school. In about two or three months, he was easier to reason with and improved his behavior at home. At school he wasn't going to see the assistant principal anymore.  A side benefit  was that the counselor observed that he started to have friends in the lunch room and other areas. In his recent past, when he was getting into trouble, of course, nobody wanted to be his friend. But, this young man, he's only in second grade, had this life changing experience! And it will pave a new way for him. Instead of being known as the troublemaker kid, with no friends, now he is a smart little boy that has friends, that has learned to use his words appropriately, and has good relationships.

Data is important.  Play Attention is unique because it gives you feedback and data.  When a clients score is below 75% on an activity, that is feedback to examine what is going on.  Also, I like to teach them to breathe. A lot of kids hold their breath when they get into a stressful situation. So, I love the data component and using that feedback to find coachable moments. It's better for my clients. So that they can live up to their potential.

I have students that come in and they may have had a rough day at school, but they don’t realize how that affects their attention and the cognitive skills. So, that's the coachable moment that I like..."Oh, did you have a rough day at school? What happened?" And, then we work through that. Or they'll ask me, "Why am I doing this activity? What does it mean in real life?" I love it when my students ask me those questions. Because, then they are buying into what we’re doing and their level of performance and their level of being available for my coaching goes through the roof. I always encourage them to ask me ‘why I am doing this’, and ‘what's the purpose of this activity.’ That's another coachable moment, because that's when the rubber hits the road. This is why you practice these skills here. That's how they gain the tools or strategies, to use at school, at home, at the soccer field, basketball court, music lessons, or whatever else.

I was working with one of my students a while ago. If I hadn't had Play Attention to give feedback, it would have been hard to help him. At school, if his teacher was presenting an interactive activity, he was fine and calm, and he would do the activity. But, once there was a lull in the activity, his right leg would move. In Play Attention he had these up and down scores which precisely reflected this pattern. Play Attention showed that a lull in activity affected his attention and his auditory processing. It was a cool ah-ha moment. At that crossroads, when I could coach him this and show him this right there and then, it truly changed his life and performance. He was a good student. He became a straight-A student now.

What about Play Attention iLab?

Honestly, there's no comparison in my world. If you're going to have more than one student use Play Attention at one time it is a necessity to have iLab. I love the flexibility to individual my clients needs and alos be able to coach more than one student at a time.  I wouldn't have it any other way! Here's the deal...If you’re just going to have a stand-alone station for one student, fine. It's great. But, the way I run my business, I don’t have one student at a time. And I don't want to have students wait.  No waiting here. I have individual lesson plans set up when I'm using iLab.   I can have 2 students I can see who's going, I can look at their data, I can switch any parameters I need. I love the new version.  This is awesome!  I have seen it evolve, and it’s an amazing product. Amazing.

Did we miss anything...

I love Play Attention and I'm going to use it as long as my business is open. It's going to be one of my foundational tools.

The support that Play Attention gives is amazing.  They offer webinars as well. It's awesome. Being a part of Play Attention has been great experience.  Sometimes when you use a program for a long time, the support dwindles. However, that's not true with Play Attention. So, I really appreciate that as well.  Any kind of challenges I've had from setting up, adding the iLab, etc., Play Attention support has been great. Very supportive, patient, and willing to think out of the box and help along the way.

Dr. Trissy Pitkin
Academic Advantage, LLC