Unlocking the Power of Hyperfocus in Children with ADHD and ASD: A PlaySEND Journey

Alex & Anika Brain (PlaySEND founder)

Meet Max - The Aspiring Aviator

Imagine a child named Max, diagnosed with ADHD, who loves everything about airplanes. At PlaySEND, Max spends his afternoons navigating the bustling virtual airports of Roblox, taking off and landing planes, managing airport logistics, and learning aviation-related English vocabulary. His mentor, interacting with him within this virtual world, helps Max improve his language skills while ensuring he stays engaged and learns to balance his hyperfocus with social interactions. Max’s parents are thrilled to see him excited about learning and developing new skills in an area he loves.

Meet Michael - The Chess Enthusiast

We have another student, a young boy with ASD, who has a profound passion for chess. For him, we created a virtual chess world within Roblox. He navigates the chessboard as various characters, playing the roles of pawns and bishops, and thoroughly enjoys exploring the chess world. This immersive experience has not only enhanced his chess skills but also improved his cognitive abilities, such as strategic thinking and problem-solving. Moreover, he interacts with his English and Spanish mentors within the game, which helps develop his communication skills in a safe and engaging environment.
the Power of Hyperfocus in Children with ADHD and ASD: A PlaySEND Journey

PlaySEND's Approach to Harnessing Hyperfocus

As the founders of PlaySEND, we’ve seen firsthand how hyperfocus can be a transformative force in the educational journeys of children with ADHD and ASD. Our approach is designed to channel this intense concentration into productive and educational experiences. Here’s how we do it:

Creating Engaging Learning Environments:
We use popular immersive games like Roblox and Minecraft to create interactive learning environments that captivate children’s interests. By integrating their passions into these virtual worlds, we make learning enjoyable and effective. Research shows that aligning educational activities with a child’s interests significantly enhances motivation and engagement.

Facilitating Social Interaction:
Learning at PlaySEND is not a solitary experience. Children interact with their English and Spanish mentors within these virtual environments. This setup allows for natural social interaction, crucial for their overall development. Interacting with mentors during games helps improve communication skills, especially for children who often struggle with social cues in traditional settings.

Customizing Learning Based on Interests:
We understand that children learn best when they are engaged with subjects they are passionate about. For our students with ADHD, allowing them to choose their favorite virtual worlds within Roblox keeps them highly engaged and motivated. This self-directed learning approach is much more effective for maintaining their focus and enthusiasm.

Balancing Hyperfocus with Broader Development

While hyperfocus can be incredibly beneficial, managing it properly is essential to avoid potential downsides like difficulty transitioning between tasks or social isolation. At PlaySEND, we incorporate structured activities and regular breaks to ensure a balanced approach. Our mentors play a crucial role in guiding children back to tasks and ensuring they engage in a variety of activities, fostering both academic and social development.

At PlaySEND, we are dedicated to transforming the educational experiences of children with ADHD and ASD by leveraging their unique strengths. By integrating their interests into our educational framework, we help them achieve remarkable success while also addressing their social and cognitive development needs. Join us on this exciting journey, where every child’s potential is unlocked through the power of play and focused learning. For more information and insights into our approach, visit PlaySEND mainpage.

By harnessing hyperfocus effectively, we can turn challenges into opportunities, helping each child reach their full potential through engaging and personalized learning experiences.

Alex & Anika Brain