Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Jungle Memory for improving working memory...

(24 Posts)
SE13Mummy Fri 01-Oct-10 21:25:13

I have two children in my class who've been assessed as having incredibly poor working memory. I asked the person who did the assessments how I could help in class and she wasn't overly sure so I asked if she knew of any computer-based activities that might help (I was thinking of games that require information to get onto the next level etc.). She mentioned something called 'Jungle Memory' so I have now looked that up.

It looks good and the results are promising but it's incredibly expensive for a single child's 8 week programme (and I reckon I have another 6 children in my class who would benefit from something like it). I was wondering if any of you have had any experience of it - positive or negative? I'm more than happy to demand money/resources if I believe they might make a difference to a child's progress but I would like something other than the company's propaganda to point to as evidence!

debs40 Fri 01-Oct-10 23:23:35

I don't know the answer to this one but, not for the first time SE13, I have to say you sound like a super teacher!

IndigoBell Sat 02-Oct-10 00:55:45

I tried it with my DD who has incredibly poor working memory and it didn't go well at all.

First of all you had to get them all right to get the 'prize' (star or whatever). So if one day she got 5 / 10 right, and the next day she got 6 / 10 right she didn't get any positive feedback from the program.

Secondly it was way too hard for her. If I remember correctly there were 2 games. One involved adding - which she couldn't do. The second involved remembering which she couldn't do

So after a few weeks on it and no progress we stopped. (However I have a very bad habit of stopping programmes too soon. We were also trying to fit it in before school which was making it all very stressful for her.)

ontherainbow Sat 02-Oct-10 00:59:31

Are you after computer games or open to any games that improve memory skills?

Is it memory skills? Is this the same as working memory?

IndigoBell Sat 02-Oct-10 01:08:47

I'm interested in this website: challenging our minds - but haven't got round to trying it yet. (Also it is way more expensive than jungle memory)

(I'm trying not to keep starting things when we haven't got the time to commit to them properly)

What about just the old fashioned Simon game - you know the one with the flashing lights you have to follow?

ontherainbow Sat 02-Oct-10 01:39:27

objects on a tray then take one (or 2, 3) away and see if they can name missing one

we had something similar called wizard! Brilliant!

what age are they?

Gotabookaboutit Sat 02-Oct-10 09:34:15

I did it with my then 10 and 6 yr old - was hard to stick to program but did make a difference in retention of oldest adhd/asd - I keep saying we must do it again and they are both vehemently against it. It is very boring and very challenging

madgebettany Sat 02-Oct-10 16:20:02

I tried this with my fairly able child who has a low average working memory (40%).

Jungle Memory, compared with other programmes is not expensive. BUT it made him cry with frustration on more than one occasion. You have to remember locations of letters/totals of several addition sums and another game.

It was very hard (and boring) with nowhere near enough gradations of difficulty. We got locked into being able to do a level but the next being unmangeable.

I wouln't do it again in its present form, and it has put me right off the massively more expensive programmes in case they are similar.

cansu Sat 02-Oct-10 16:23:47

University of Northumbria psychology dept are trialling a new computer training programme called Robomemo, which trains working memory for school children. Might be worth talking to them. Maybe you can be involved in trial and get it for free??

SE13Mummy Sat 02-Oct-10 17:20:03

The children are aged 8 and 9 (year 4). Suggestions of other games would be welcome but part of the appeal of something computer-based was that I could ensure that the children could have at least one session per day regardless of whether or not I managed to secure any TA time. I also rather like the idea of children being able to log in to the same thing at home and at school so parents know I'm not simply parking them on the cBeebies website for an easy life!

Kim's game (the tray one) is something I will try too - thank you! My concern about group-based tasks is that the child I am most concerned about has incredibly low self-esteem and I'd like to avoid placing him in situations that may contribute to this further. Hence the privacy of a computer thing.

Thanks for the input so far. I've heard back from the company who produce the game and they will give a 50% discount if the school purchase 50 subscriptions (which would only need 10 children per year group to make it worth while).

Indelible Sat 02-Oct-10 18:25:27

There is also a programme called Cogmed which is supposed to be research-based but it very very expensive.

I've just bought a book called Auditory Memory Skills by Mark and Katy Hill which has activities. Same authors do one for visual memory. Thing is, I don't know if the activites use working memory or another type of memory. confused

daisysue2 Wed 06-Oct-10 15:13:00

I tried Jungle Memory with my DD age 10 with ADHD and she found it incredibly frustrating. You can't just put them infront of the computer as they need help to understand how each section of the game works.

You only get one go at the game a day, or you did when we did it. So if she didn't remember how to do the game properly she wouldn't have the chance to go over her mistakes and learn how to do it. This I found was its fatal flaw for me. Unlike, say, Mathletics which my other daughter does through her school. They get to go over and over sections until they are happy, they can also work for as long or short a time per day as they want.

SE13Mummy Tue 12-Oct-10 19:48:39

Quick update.... prompted by your posts I've contacted one of the lead researchers in the field of working memory training and offered my class* as potential participants in their research on the grounds that they would provide WM training for the children I know have WM issues (in addition to any used for their study).

Not only have I heard back but it looks as though there is a study they'd like 'us' for If all goes according to plan I'll have secured a potentially positive intervention for no cost aside from my time and a couple of e-mails.

Thank you for the information!

*I will obviously be speaking to parents about this, getting consent etc - I used to work in psychological research before I was a teacher so will be doing everything properly!

I want you to teach my dd... well done you

improvingslowly Tue 12-Oct-10 20:37:44

SE13 you sound fantastic.
also try googling 'retained reflexes'

SE13Mummy Tue 12-Oct-10 20:42:03

I'm delighted that I sound fantastic online... in RL the parents moan that I don't take their advice on who to sit their child next to and dislike that I have adapted the behaviour system so it better meets the needs of the children in my class with EBD. They also complain that I allow 'wronged' children to choose if they or the offending child should be offered time in the quiet room (which is seen as a massive treat).

Perhaps I should be a virtual teacher instead...?!

IndigoBell Tue 12-Oct-10 20:58:23

ImprovingSlowly - can retained reflexes therapy improve working memory?

SE13Mummy - you do come across as a fab teacher. I love some of your ideas and posts.

improvingslowly Tue 12-Oct-10 21:00:08

i think many people have very unrealistic expectations of what one person can do...

while many people get stressed out by having a birthday party of 5-10 giggly children, we all expect a teacher to teach 30 children with hugely varying different abilities quite easily.....

work with a sensory trained OT for retained reflexes has been v helpful for friends son with aspergers aged 12.

improvingslowly Tue 12-Oct-10 21:09:37

Ind Bell -i dont know whether work on retained reflexes specifically helps working memory, but it certainly has helped freinds son's with his coordination, and has increased his being part of things...

they have also done biomed stuff [www.treatingautism.org.uk]] which has also been very helpful

'a journey' i think is the phrase...

brr Fri 11-Nov-11 20:07:32

I have only discovered Jungle Memory recently. My 10y-old was diagnosed with mild dyslexia and poor working memory. The school's SENCO suggested Jungle Memory; the school had no budget, so I bought it myself for £33/8weeks. There are 3 games, the website recommends they should be played at least 4 days a week to see improvement but I am mean and my son does it every day, usually late afternoon after he's had a bit of a rest from school. It started relatively easy, got harder fairly quickly and now that we are on a higher level it takes longer to move up. According to the programme's stats, my son has made a very good progress but what really convinces me it works is that he learns his spellings for school with much less effort now and his mental maths has improved. He is also able to concentrate for longer. Yes, we had a few tears on 2 or 3 ocassions ('I will never be able to do this' sort of tantrum) when the game became a bit too hard, but with a couple of poor sessions the level got a little bit easier, which gave my son a chance to practice more, and then it moved him back again. I think it is important to be patient, not to rush it and be there if the child needs it. My son likes me to sit next to him and watch him when he plays - it is boring to watch, but gives me lots of opportunities for the 'you are doing so well' exclamations.

Referring to one of the comments from last year that the starting levels were too hard - in the beginning it was quite hard for my son too, but some of it was just getting used to how the games work. I don't know how the website worked a year ago but when I signed up, it asked me to enter my son's date of birth; perhaps for children with very poor working memory you could enter a later year to make it look they are younger, and the programme would give them much easier levels of play? I know it's cheating, but if it helps...when they start doing well and get to the end of the progress bar chart, the programme asks if you want to move up to a higher age group - that's what happpend to us on Code Breaker. Also, I noticed that Jungle Memory offer a refund if a child's score does not improve above a certain level, so if it does not work, they should give you money back without any hassle, because you can see at what level the child is playing and they can't argue about whether there has been an improvement or not - it's all logged on the system.

I would definitely recommend it if you have a child who either has poor working memory or problems concntrating for more than 2 minutes. For us it has been money well spent.

willsworld Sun 13-May-12 00:28:52

I was looking for something to address working memory. My 7 year old son's is considered average, but it's in the 66%. He is highly gifted in all areas except for working memory and processing speed. And, I was reading articles regarding how to improve working memory. I decided to try Jungle Memory. The first level, he did ok, but he kept complaining that it was hard. I had him continue and after a few days; I decided to set up an account for myself. I can tell you from an adults perspective who has some cognitive issues that it is working. The first level's were fine (it is age based) and then the next levels became difficult. I had problems passing the level. Then, I became busy and skipped probably a week unintentionally. I went back and thought, "This is going to be hard." And, I suprised myself! I passed the levels with ease that had been giving me difficulty. I believe this program works. My son has had so much homework, that I decided to deactive his account until school is out. But, it is on my todo list with him for the summer. I can also tell you that it is definetly a brain workout. Even though, as a parent observing, it seemed simple - it is much harder when you are actually doing it yourself. And, those mile stones are working. I could tell that I had subconsiously developed a technique to remember the data. I am excited that my son will be revisiting this in a few weeks. I kept telling him, that even though you have not passed the levels, it is teaching your brain. My goal is to improve his working memory so he can remain a strong student. I am also looking for information to improve processing speed.

adhdparent Mon 02-Jul-12 03:58:21

To SE13Mummy, brr and any others who finished Jungle Memory, did the working memory improvements remain to the present? I'm planning to try Jungle Memory for $50 for my daughter.

Unfortunately, the latest research claims that "Memory Training Unlikely to Help in Treating ADHD, Boosting IQ". sad

Queeniemadge Fri 07-Sep-12 12:42:06

I have just purchased jungle memory for my son who has a number of areas of difficulty working memory being one of his lowest scores 6%. I have read the thread and numerous articles for and against but decided to give it a go. I obviously hope it helps but also view the results/ stats as information I can take to his next statement review meeting . The cost was £27 sterling once converted from $ as a one off payment for 8 weeks access ( which can be suspended and re- started) or at least I understood it that way. I used the promotional code of WISE to get a 15% discount.

I fully agree with improvingslowly comments parents must not blame teachers fully for not being super hero enough to meet approx 30 students complete education needs. The home/community environment offers lots of opportunity for addressing prob areas or even consolidating learning.

Thank you for all the useful comments I am always looking for people's experience to help smile

IndigoBell Fri 07-Sep-12 15:33:59

Please keep us updated on how you found it.

Good luck.

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