Cognitive Training in Children with Neurodevelopmental Conditions

  • Marieke de VriesEmail author
  • Lauren Kenworthy
  • Sebastiaan Dovis
  • Hilde M. Geurts


Neurodevelopmental conditions and associated disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and learning disorders (LD) become apparent in childhood. These conditions often come with difficulties in cognitive functions, e.g., executive functions (EFs). Targeting EFs in an intervention might benefit these children. The child’s brain is malleable, hence susceptible for cognitive training. In this chapter we give an overview of the state of knowledge about the effectiveness of cognitive training for children with ASD, ADHD, and LD. Additionally, we shed some light on cognitive training for pediatric conditions with similar cognitive problems: prematurity, brain tumors, and sickle cell disease. Despite the first promising results from process-based training, transfer to broader cognitive functions and daily life remains challenging. Strategy-based training seems more promising when combined with extensive opportunities for practice. Several factors might influence the effectiveness of cognitive training for children with neurodevelopmental conditions: the type of training, the training level (adaptive), and the targeted behavior. Training multiple functions in a broad variety and focusing on generalization appears most effective.


Cognitive training Neurodevelopmental conditions Children Executive functioning Process-based training Strategy-based training 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marieke de Vries
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lauren Kenworthy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Sebastiaan Dovis
    • 4
    • 5
  • Hilde M. Geurts
    • 4
    • 6
  1. 1.School of Psychology, University of Nottingham MalaysiaSemenyihMalaysia
  2. 2.George Washington University School of Medicine & Health SciencesWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric NeuropsychologyChildren’s National Health SystemWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Youz Child and Adolescent Psychiatry UnitZaandamThe Netherlands
  6. 6.Dr. Leo Kannerhuis AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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