Assistive Technology for Students with ADHD

Instructor: Jocelyn Cherry

Jocelyn has taught Special Education for over two decades and has three post secondary degrees all in the field of Education.

By adding pivotal accommodations such as assistive technology, educators can address the unique needs of the student with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder without compromising the level of rigorous instruction for the students without.

Background

Contrary to the common belief that ADHD is a trendy diagnosis for the lazy or unmotivated, it is a true health impairment. Students with ADHD not identified as requiring special education services are served under Section 504 plans. Regardless, the majority of students with ADHD spend the majority of their day in the general education classroom. Implementing assistive technology into the educational experience will support the varying needs of the student with ADHD.

What is Assistive Technology?

The term 'assistive technology' implies a device that is technical in nature, but that is not always the case. Assistive technology is any item or piece of equipment that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of children with disabilities. An assistive technology device can be store-bought, built by hand, or modified from its original form. This includes hardware, software, and any stand-alone devices such as a cellular phone or tablet. Almost any classroom tool can be considered to be an assistive technology device.

Student writing on a whiteboard
Picture of student using a whiteboard in class.

Assistive Technology Devices

Assistive technology devices vary. A master list of assistive technology devices does not exist due to the extensive and varying needs of the students. The Section 504 plan team or the IEP team collaborate to determining what assistive technology device will be used and for what purpose. Below are a few examples that will benefit the student with ADHD based on the common characteristics of a student:

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