Leading neuroscience expert call for government action now to avoid long-term consequences
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17th May 2021: TALi Health, a leader in assessment and treatment of childhood attention difficulties in Australia, has unveiled ground breaking Australian research which reveals Australian children with attention deficits can have ongoing impacts throughout their adolescent and adult lives in critical areas such as social inclusion and employment, presenting longer term consequences not only for the individual, but for society as a whole.
Supported by over 20 years of clinical research and early childhood developmental psychology, TALi Health’s latest report, entitled Vision for Australia confirms attention is critical for cognitive and social development. Children with the inability to focus on tasks, absorb information and control emotional outbursts can have detrimental impacts in other areas of their lives including education, social inclusion, relationships, general wellbeing and employment. 1
The report also states that inattention in children is linked to mood disorders including depression and anxiety, negative impacts on the education system and future links to financial burdens including loss of income and unemployment. 2
Childhood attention deficits remain a significant and growing concern with over 40,000 children in Australia starting school with attention deficits.3
Neuroscience expert and TALi Chief Scientist, Dr Azadeh Feizpour, says the causes of inattention are multi-faceted, with the early signs often missed, causing detrimental impacts. “Children living in regional and rural parts of with attention vulnerabilities face many challenges and it is vitally important to gain insight into their needs, earlier on in life,” Feizpour said. “This is not just a social issue but also an economic issue with attention vulnerabilities including ADHD and dyslexia imposing a significant risk on the economy and Australian population,” Feizour added.
With the Vision for Australia report showing an urgent need to address the problem of inattention in early childhood, TALi Health Managing Director Glenn Smith believes attention assessments should be made mandatory for all young children prior to starting school.
“Now is the time for our Government to address cognitive performance in young children at a grassroots level. It is imperative to provide universal access to attention assessments and training and it needs to be of equal priority to reading and writing. Addressing attention vulnerabilities should be explicitly taught during early childhood.”
With treatment options sparse, Dr Feizpour adds that online health platforms, like TALi’s digital game-based cognitive training platform, TALi Train, play an essential check point in measuring a child’s baseline cognitive skills. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved, game-based platform engages the minds of children, measures their cognitive abilities and provides tailored and actionable insights clinically proven to improve core cognitive performance.
TALi Train is NDIS approved and can identify early signs of attention deficits and has the potential to make a positive impact to assist in early detection due to the platform’s accessibility via online and telehealth services. Parents in rural and regional areas of Australia can