How Video Games Are Helping Kids With ADHD

With 91% of children ages 2-17 playing video games on a regular basis, parents and researchers alike beg the question—do video games have any effect on the brain? And if so, is it a positive or negative effect? 

Many studies have been done over the last two decades, and the results may surprise you regarding the link between video games and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Researchers found a strong link between kids with ADHD and compulsion to play video games, however, they found no evidence to suggest that video games actually cause ADHD or worsen symptoms. 

Instead, studies brought to light an extraordinary discovery on how much video games actually help players with ADHD. This research paved the way for clinical therapists and game developers to come together and create video games specifically designed for people with ADHD. In 2020, the FDA approved the world's first-ever video game treatment for ADHD.

The benefits of video games for children with ADHD

Video games offer instant and persistent stimulation. For a child with ADHD, fast-paced and visually exciting gameplay is something that they are naturally drawn to. There are a lot of strong benefits that come from this, including building stronger social and problem-solving skills. For kids who have trouble staying focused, video games offer an exception and can actually help improve concentration. A breakdown of some of the top benefits video games have on young people with ADHD are:

When to draw the line

Too much time spent with video games can cause unwanted behaviors and side effects. Here are some things to watch out for when determining if your child is spending too much time immersed in their favorite game:

You can take steps to make sure video games remain a healthy outlet for learning skills, making friends, and having fun by implementing these rules:

Video game treatment for ADHD

EndeavorRX is the first FDA-approved treatment for ADHD that uses video games as a means of therapy. According to the developers, the game is designed to "exercise" the brain and improve attention span. 

One published study looked at a group of kids with ADHD who played ADHD-designed video games similar to EndeavorX for 25 minutes a day over a period of nine weeks. The results were very promising—the kids who played the video game designed as an ADHD treatment had a significant improvement in their ADHD symptoms, including better focus and concentration. Some popular games that are helpful for kids and teens who have ADHD are:

If you think that you or your child may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD or video game addiction, the first step is to get screened by a professional who can help get you the proper diagnosis. Medens Health offers ADHD screenings, as well as counseling services for teens. If you are in the California or Nevada areas, reach out to us by phone or text at (833) 624-5400, or by filling out our online contact form.


The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Reliance on any information provided in this blog is solely at your own risk. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who is qualified to give you safe, professional, and ethical advice regarding your mental health.

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