Chess Lessons for ADHD & Special Needs Kids

Chess is a game for everyone. Anyone can learn chess openings and how to play, regardless of their skill or ability. That makes it ideal for individuals with special needs, such as ADHD. Prescription drugs (i.e. Concerta and Retalin) and therapy are usually provided, but chess can be helpful, too. It can be an alternative to help an individual learn how to focus and pay attention, improve their recall and long-distance thinking and learn chess openings planning skills, and enhance their ability to resist provocations from their external environment.

Value of Chess in Kids With ADHD

A child or an adult with special needs can learn chess openings to help them develop patience and a sense of being able to foresee future steps. According to educators, chess study has the potential to be a valuable educational tool for encouraging and teaching reading skills, math, and creative thinking. 

Online chess has made the game widely available to more individuals who may be looking for a different and engaging solution to enhance and train their minds efficiently.

Besides being helpful to individuals with ADHD, people with learning disabilities can also benefit from learning chess. The game is relatively easy to play, without requiring exceptional physical activity or skill. When online, individuals played can easily move the pieces and arrange the board quickly, making it easier for them to learn chess openings, even if they may have difficulty with their motor skills.

Chess- this game is characterized as a “brain using” game. Playing this game forcing the child to use the following skills:

  • Attention
  • Long distance planning thinking
  • Memory
  • Ability to resist external provocations
  • Global and General vision of what is occurring around the child
  • Patience
  • Forecasting of future steps

Educators say chess study is a valuable tool for teaching creative thinking, math, reading skills — and patience — to elementary students. Playing online chess helps the children to use their minds in an efficient manner that enhances their thinking skills. 

Does Chess Help ADHD Kids

Nationwide, 1,400 schools have teams that are affiliated with the U.S. Chess Federation, up from 800 a decade ago. New Jersey, for example, passed legislation recommending that chess be included in the public school curriculum so that students could study the game. In Philadelphia, funding for chess is part of a major revamping of the school system. The connection between chess and math, reading, and critical thinking skills are well-documented. 

In the early 1980s, researchers studying chess in Pennsylvania schools over a five-year period showed critical thinking skills improved by 17 percent for students in chess classes, compared with a 5 percent improvement for students in other classes. Chess tutors said Chess study is effective in teaching patience and concentration to students with short attention spans and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There have been no scientific studies on ADHD and chess, but educators say online chess for kids is remarkable in its ability to make kids pay attention. It turned out to be so helpful that in more than 30 counties, the study of chess is combined in a school program syllabus. For example, in New-Jersey it was offered to insert a new law to the constitution that recommends adding chess as any other subject in the school program syllabus. Our experience in working with ADHD kids and teaching them chess, we claim that there is relation between strong attributes among chess players and the same attributes that are defined as a weak once among the ADHD children. Hence we really believe that one is encountered as ADHD will improve his abilities with chess assistance. Chess study involves learning different chess strategieschess openings and the tactics used to improve your game of chess. Chess study for Kids having ADHD would not only help them to better their thinking skills, it would also make them develop an interest for a certain game which will increase their routine activities. Chess study is not only a valuable tool for ADHD Kids but it also helps people to learn to set goals and achieve them in real life.

Should Your Kid Start Learning Chess

 IchessU is developing a new tool that helps people with any cognitive problems. The tool is going through the diagnosis and after encountering the problems it builds a private course of chess. During the chess course a person learns chess, stimulates its brain performance and at the same time receives a direct feedback from the smart engine which supports the person at every stage. This tool would help a person to study and learn chess in a better way. User is able to study chess and at the same time to play against chess engine and compete against people from all around the world. Short outline of ADHD-Chess product:

  • We will get the teacher/parents opinion about the kid
  • Introduce the chess
  • Teach chess rules
  • The child will be using the software fluently
  • The program will explain the kid any situation on the board
  • Online playing-The child will be able to compete against the kids from any countries, what will increase his motivation to succeed
  • Online communities-All kids will relate to specific community, what will give them a feeling of a group, team and etc
  • The kid will be solving chess exercises, by this dealing with complicated and at the same time challenging missions. Each solution will raise his rating
  • The child will have an option to play against or with computer. In case the exercise is not clear or the solution suggested by the program is not acceptable, there will be an option to play the position against the computer what will prove the suggested solution
  • Every few months the software will ask the parents and teachers to fill the checking lists. This way we will be able to track the improvement of the kids?

Social Benefits of Chess

Chess has the tendency to be a social game, too, but it is less overwhelming to some individuals who may be having difficulty in socializing or find socialization overstimulating. Online chess lessons offer learners with special needs a safe environment where they can interact with their coach and other players. There are one-on-one classes, too, in case they require that type of instruction to effectively learn chess openings and other important things about the board game.

ADHD Over the Last 10 Years

During the last few years there is a clear ascension in the number of kids which are encountered as having ADHD, this number is increasing constantly. Today about 5% of all the kids are having ADHD, this number is slightly lower for adults, around 4%. Those numbers climb constantly, as today technology allows many ways to track the mentioned above problems. The common way to handle ADHD problems nowadays is medicine involvement, like Retalin, Concerta and etc. Those medicines are stimulating drugs. The basic need to use those pills is to accelerate the slow brain processing-typical condition for those kids. The parents find themselves chasing after different kind of solutions: psychologists, drugs, they make all kinds of diagnosis, but unfortunately in most of the cases they admit that there is no 100% cure for their problems. For each existing way of treatment today there is a clear disadvantage. For example, Drugs treatment- the disadvantage is side affects that always might take place in this kind of treatment. Psychologist treatment- it causes the unnatural behavior from the child and might give wrong results. 

Final Thoughts

A child or an adult with special needs can learn chess openings to help them develop patience and a sense of being able to foresee future steps. According to educators, chess study has the potential to be a valuable educational tool for encouraging and teaching reading skills, math, and creative thinking. Online chess has made the game widely available to more individuals who may be looking for a different and engaging solution to enhance and train their minds efficiently.

Besides being helpful to individuals with ADHD, people with learning disabilities can also benefit from learning chess. The game is relatively easy to play, without requiring exceptional physical activity or skill. When online, individuals played can easily move the pieces and arrange the board quickly, making it easier for them to learn chess openings, even if they may have difficulty with their motor skills.

Chess has the tendency to be a social game, too, but it is less overwhelming to some individuals who may be having difficulty in socializing or find socialization overstimulating. Online chess lessons offer learners with special needs a safe environment where they can interact with their coach and other players. There are one-on-one classes, too, in case they require that type of instruction to effectively learn chess openings and other important things about the board game.

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