Train your brain – how video games may help with learning difficulties

video game help with learning difficulties

Kids love their video games. In one 2020 survey, American parents estimated that their adolescent sons were spending about 3 hours a day playing video games on average. Many parents were understandably concerned about that.

But what if you could put that interest to good use? What if you could harness your child’s love of video games and use it as a brain-based therapy for anxiety, OCD or learning difficulties?

It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

If you’re usually telling your kids to get off their screens, it seems quite counterintuitive to imagine that a video game could actually help your child’s brain development.

Think about it though. Playing any video game involves many different brain functions and sensory processes. Your child is watching, listening, strategising, anticipating and reacting. They’re probably quite emotionally invested too, meaning they’re learning to handle excitement, frustration, success or disappointment. And sometimes they’re playing with friends meaning they’re navigating a social situation too.

How does playing a video game help with learning difficulties?

The American Psychological Association reports that video games have been successfully used to improve outcomes among dyslexic children.

Research by Yale University found that dyslexic children don’t have the usual connections between brain regions so must rely on alternate neural pathways to read. It’s a bit like having major roadworks on the motorway – you end up taking smaller, slower roads instead.

Now, the good news. Brain-based computer games can rewire the brain circuits so that the areas that are critical to reading skills become more active. Games designed for language learning can help children to improve their awareness of phonics (sounds), language and grammar, all of which help to develop better reading skills. Fast-paced action games can help kids to improve their attention span and reaction times, which also translates into improved reading ability.

How does playing a video game help with neurodiversity?

The Aspberger / Autism Network (AANE) finds great value in video games for neurodiverse players.

Video games can:

  • Provide an easier way to interact with others as face-to-face contact isn’t required
  • Help children become more comfortable with making mistakes
  • Improve gross and fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
  • Help children become more adaptable since the game may require them to change tactics.

Those are general benefits from many different mainstream video games.

It gets better, though. In the era of digital medicine, there are now certain video games that have been deliberately designed to create rapid and sustained changes to specific neural pathways in the brain.

Introducing NeurosageTM

NeurosageTM is a computer game that intentionally changes the body and brain over time. It’s a lot like many other video games except that we can set it up in certain, very specific ways to target the left or the right side of the brain as part of your child’s therapy.

NeurosageTM can help improve:

  • Balance and coordination
  • Flexibility and range of motion
  • Cognition, memory and focus
  • Muscle strength and endurance
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Reaction times.

We can deliberately stimulate the weaker side of the brain by:

  • Playing the sound through one ear
  • Choosing a Neurosage game with a specific movement pattern and a certain set of colours
  • Setting certain visual and auditory frequencies.

Your child won’t be playing Super MarioKart, Minecraft or Roblox here. But they will have a number of different NeurosageTM  games that are just as much fun. Take a look at some of them here –

How can Neurofit Brain Centre help?

Neurofit Brain Centre uses video games as part of your child’s therapy for neurodevelopmental or neurobehavioural disorders, including:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Learning disabilities
  • Dyslexia
  • Dexterity issues
  • Social and behavioural problems.

If you’d like to know more about how brain-based video games could help your child, please contact us.


All information is general and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Neurofit Brain Centre can consult with you to confirm if a particular treatment approach is right for you.