EC Brain Program for Children With Special Education Needs

  • End date
    Nov 30, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Chinese University of Hong Kong
Updated on 12 July 2022


Children with special education needs (SEN) (e.g., autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia) who are studying in the mainstream primary schools are commonly found to have difficulties in learning school materials, and controlling their emotion and behaviors in class. Such schooling problems are likely related to their deficient attention, self-control ability and language abilities. As a result, they will easily be stressful, losing confidence, or even be the target of bullying or discrimination. This project aims to evaluate a neuroscience based after-school training program, namely EC Brain Program, to improve academic performance, cognition (attention, self-control and language ability), behaviors and psychological health of primary school students with SEN. The EC Brain Program is composed of computerized training programs that were developed to enhance abilities of attention, self-control and temporal processing (i.e., a fundamental cognitive ability in mastering reading and language skills), and education on basic neuroscience knowledge and ways to enhance brain functions and psychological wellness, e.g., relaxation, stress management and balanced healthy diet. A total of 100 - 250 students with SEN from 10 ordinary primary schools will be recruited in 3-year period. They will be randomly assigned into two groups. Both groups will undergo pre- and post-assessments evaluating their academic performance, cognitive functions, saccadic eye movements, physical and mental health conditions before and after the training. Students in the group A will have to participate in the EC Brain after-school program, whereas students in the group B will join conventional intervention. It is an eight-month weekly program, 90 minutes per session. It is hypothesized that students who have joined the EC Brain Program will show greater extent of improvement in academic performance, behavioral problems, cognitive functions (e.g., attention, learning, self-control, language), saccadic eye movements and psychological wellness than those in the other group. The findings of present study will shed some light on the effectiveness and applicability of the EC Brain Program as a potential after-school neuropsychological intervention for students with SEN.

Condition Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Treatment Conventional intervention, EC Brain After-school Program
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05428657
SponsorChinese University of Hong Kong
Last Modified on12 July 2022


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Inclusion Criteria

We will recruit a total of 100-250 primary school Chinese students (aged between 6 to 12 years) with SEN (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders, Specific Learning Disorders) from 10 ordinary local primary schools. All of them have received formal diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders by psychiatrist or clinical / educational psychologist based on the record provided by their school teachers

Exclusion Criteria

Students with mental disabilities, significant physical disability, or history of other neurological or psychiatric disorder or brain injury will be excluded
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