Apps That Might Help Your ADHD Child

k-12

Children with ADHD face all sorts of challenges in their lives. As parents, it can be frustrating because we want to be there every minute to help them. Thankfully, there are many apps that can help your child with ADHD be successful in the classroom, and in life.

Living with ADHD

When your child has ADHD, they live life with certain challenges. They may struggle with anxiety, depression, or even getting enough sleep at night. While in another time and place, helping your child manage their life would have been a bit more challenging, technology has made it a lot easier. There are many apps that can help children with ADHD with the common struggles they face, such as organization, time management, and motivation.

Time Management

If your child has ADHD, you understand all too well how their symptoms cause them to struggle with time management. It seems sometimes you can leave them at the kitchen table for an hour doing homework, only to return and find that all they accomplished was getting their name on the worksheet. It can be frustrating. Thankfully, there are some apps that can help your child manage their time more effectively.

Apps for Time Management

Task Timer is a great organization app for your child with ADHD to have on their computer, especially now that many children attend schools with 1:1 computing in the classrooms. It allows students to setup tasks they need to complete and set a budget of time for completing that task. It tracks how much time they spend on each task, and even has options to setup reminders to prompt them along the way.

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30/30 is another great time management app for children with ADHD that works on iPhones or Ipads. In this app, your child simply sets up a list of tasks that need to be completed. So for example, when they get home from school they can set a list of specific tasks to work on during homework time. For each task, they set an amount of time they can work on it. You could even set in breaks, which is very helpful if you have a child with ADHD. As your child works, they pick the task they will work on. When the time is up, the app reminds them to move on to another task. That way your child doesn't spend two hours on a task that should have only taken 20 minutes to complete, and not gotten to any other subject that night.

If you are working with a younger child with ADHD, My Video Scheduler might be the app you need to help your child. In this app, there are options to include photos or videos along with reminders so that their ability to read doesn't get in the way. It also has tools to integrate rewards with time management, to help reinforce those skills and routines you are trying to build with your child.

Reinforcing Positive Behaviors

Motivation is an area that children with ADHD often struggle with. For children with ADHD, their symptoms can cause struggles that may at times make them think they are doomed to failure. On top of that, children with ADHD just need longer to do certain tasks, so just the simple act of leaving every class each day with a 'to do' list is enough to make them want to give up. There are, however, some clever apps to help you motivate your child to persevere and succeed.

Token Reward Apps

Do you remember the days of sticker charts to reward positive behaviors in children? Well thanks to technology, it got a bit more exciting for children and easier for parents. Reward systems work well for motivating children with ADHD. If you use an iPhone there is 123 Token Me. In this app, you setup a board for each desired behavior your want to see in your child with ADHD. For example, it might be calm hands, on task in class, turn in homework, whatever behaviors you wish to focus on. You can even set a reminder to check for certain behaviors at specific intervals, or at specific times during the day.

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For Android, there is a simpler version called Easy Kid Tokens. In this version, you setup a reward the child is working towards. Then, as they exhibit the desired behaviors, you assign them a token. You can also remove tokens and put them in a negative pile if your child with ADHD demonstrates an undesirable behavior.

Organization

When you have a child with ADHD, organization is a challenge. You can clean their bookbag and binder every night, and they can return the next day with it looking like it just got blown through a tornado. As parents, we know teachers do everything they can to help children with ADHD improve their organization. However, with twenty-five other students in the classroom it will be a challenge to give your child all the attention and reminders they may need during the day to stay on top of things. There will also be days when the teacher isn't there to be your child's reminder, and we need to build those behaviors into habits.

Organization Apps

Available for both Android and iPhones, MotivAider is a great tool to help your child turn behaviors into habits. Within the app, you setup behaviors you want your child to remember to do. For example, it might be fill out their agenda, or turn in their homework. It could also just be reminders such as 'Are you focused?' and 'Did you put your assignments in the 'to do' folder? You can then assign times during the day when you want their phone to go off and remind them. You can pick specific times, or even define intervals for the phone to vibrate and pop up the message.

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Another great organization app for kids with ADHD is called Any.do. This app allows your child to build task lists, schedule those tasks into a calendar, and get reminders all in the same app. It even will link with a Google Calendar if you need it to. The benefit of this app is that it offers location based reminders for tasks. So take for instance your child gets a field study form from the teacher. They can quickly put it into their app as a task, and set it to remind them to give it to you when they are at home. When they need to return it to the teacher, they can set another location based reminder to go off when they are at school. That way, they can get prompted when in the right place, so they never forget or lose track of anything again.

Let Technology Help your Child with ADHD

When you have a child with ADHD, helping them be successful can be a challenge. As a parent, your goal is always to raise children who can function successfully on their own wherever life takes them. With technology, you can use apps to assist your child in their goals whether you are there or not. There are apps that can help them with time management when you have to leave them to work on homework for long periods alone. When they need help organizing their school work, and after school activities, there are apps to help them with that. Even if you need to use a reward system to keep them on track, there are apps to do that as well. Take advantage of the tools that are out there and empower your child to be successful!

By Rachel Tustin
November 2017
k-12 parenting tips & tricks

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