Working Memory
October 12, 2021

Ji-woon's Story

Ji-woon's Story

Meet Ji-woon

Ji-woon is a high school freshman who has ADHD and struggles with Working Memory. Throughout his education, he has found it hard to retain information – which often reflects in subpar grades. Upon teacher recommendation, his parents bring Ji-woon to a psychiatrist, who officially diagnoses him with ADHD. This diagnosis sheds light on Ji-woon’s problems, but medication won’t fix his problems. As Ji-woon tries to redeem himself in high school, he and his family are on the hunt for an accessible, alternative ADHD treatment.

He Struggles With Working Memory

Exam day is always the worst part of Ji-woon’s week. No matter how long he studies, or how many notes he takes, he can never recall things when he needs them the most. So today, just like every other week, Ji-woon toils away at his physics test only to earn a high D for his hard work. But unlike the previous weeks, where he would race home after school and console himself with a fantasy novel, Ji-woon is held after class by his teacher.

To Ji-woon’s horror, Mrs. Garcia accuses him of cheating on his homework. How else could he earn good grades there, but nearly fail his exams? In a panic, Ji-woon fumbles through his backpack for his binder and shows Mrs. Garcia his notes. He explains to her that when he’s doing homework, he has access to all the equations and theories he needs. But once he’s on his own, it’s as if he’s never learned the material at all. No matter how hard he tries, he just can’t commit things to memory.

Mrs. Garcia’s suspicion turns to concern, and she recommends that Ji-woon sees a tutor – or perhaps a specialist for learning disabilities. Ji-woon feels embarrassed and rushes home once dismissed. His mother is there waiting for him, demanding to know why he’s late. When Ji-woon explains what happened with Mrs. Garcia, his mother is furious.

Ji-woon has had tutors in the past, but this is the first time someone’s mentioned anything about a learning disability. Although she feels insulted by Mrs. Garcia’s suggestion, Ji-woon’s mother admits that she has looked up learning disabilities online and has, herself, concerned that Ji-woon might have one. After a lengthy conversation, Ji-woon’s mother books him an appointment with a child psychiatrist.

At the appointment, Ji-woon is sheepish as he explains his problems: he can focus just fine during lecture, and he understands things in the moment; he just can’t commit information to long-term memory. He feels like trying gets him nowhere and that he’s just dumb compared to his classmates. Ji-woon also admits that he’s scared of a formal diagnosis and doesn’t want to go through life taking medication.

His psychiatrist smiles and reassures Ji-woon that not all problems are solved with meds. She further explains that Ji-woon has ADHD, and that his symptoms are caused by failures in his Executive Functions – the cognitive skills that allow us to stay motivated, stay on a task, and process information. In Ji-woon’s case, ADHD affects his working memory, which can be improved through cognitive behavior treatment instead of medication.

To help Ji-woon, his psychiatrist prescribes him not a pill, but rather a subscription to Eachday, Eachday is a scientifically-validated tool that focuses on education instead of medication, allowing users to manage themselves through its library of expert tips, tricks, and learning strategies aimed at alleviating ADHD symptoms. In Ji-woon’s case, he can use Eachday for daily exercises that can improve his working memory.

Leaving the appointment, Ji-woon and his mother are confused. The ADHD diagnosis makes sense, but being prescribed a mobile phone app feels weird. Regardless, once they are home, they download Eachday onto Ji-woon’s phone and make him a profile. That night, Ji-woon explores Eachday’s library to learn more about ADHD and how it personally affects him. He is relieved to see that he’s not alone in his diagnosis, nor is he the only person who struggles with working memory. He goes to bed feeling hopeful, but still wary of the weeks to come.

Over time, Ji-woon’s working memory gradually improves. Eachday becomes a part of his routine, and every day after school, he spends a half hour doing cognitive exercises to improve his working memory. His parents and teachers have also created accounts on Eachday, too, so they can track Ji-woon’s progress as he uses Eachday. By the end of the school year, Ji-woon’s grades goes from low Ds to solid Bs – something that felt unattainable mere months ago. Ji-woon knows he still has room to improve, but thanks to Eachday’s alternative treatment, he’s regained confidence both in school and himself. 

“Ji-woon’s grades goes from low Ds to solid Bs – something that felt unattainable mere months ago. Ji-woon knows he still has room to improve, but thanks to Eachday’s alternative treatment, he’s regained confidence both in school and himself. ”

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