Written by Jane Sandwood
Experts in education are increasingly reminding us that far from being a mere distraction, technology is actually a useful tool in helping children manage their struggles with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD poses specific challenges for school-age children, who can find it harder to concentrate, organize, or retain the information they need to complete assignments and tests. Technology, including apps that up the fun factor in learning, can go a long way towards helping children memorize and structure their studies. It is also an excellent way to steer their attention towards one activity.
Smartphones and Tablets
These devices can be used above all to remind children of tasks to be completed. Alarms, for instance, can be used to partition the time allocated to each homework tasks. Built-in cameras can be used to take pictures of the board, or of an interesting Pinterest idea or page in a book they cannot take home. By looking at their gallery at the end of the day or week, children can find all their ideas for a project or an essay, in one convenient spot. Parents can support these technologies with an adequate home design. After all, a smartphone will not sufficiently arrest a child’s attention if the environment around them is cluttered, messy, or littered with toys. Research shows that home design is vital to promote peace and calm in children with ADHD – this means that personal spaces (such as study rooms or bedrooms) and common areas (such as bathrooms and bedrooms) should be minimalistic in design, clean and tidy, and divided into separate spaces for each activity. A learning space, for instance, should contain everything a child needs for their homework – including pens, paper, and educational technology.
Language and Development Apps
Memory retention can be incremented considerably with apps such as CommunicoTool 2, a tablet app which offers a gallery of images, pictograms and sounds to help children learn, express themselves and interact with the world around them. This fully customizable app comes with various modules, including the Communication Module, which includes colorful labeled images that allow children to create their own pictograms. They can use this to help them memorize words related to anything they wish. The Timer Module, meanwhile, is customizable, so you and your child can agree upon a specific time by which they should complete a set task.
Children with ADHD can find it challenging to process information and take down notes at the same time. Smartpens allow users to take notes while recording the classroom discussion. By tapping anywhere on their notes, the pen will play back what the teacher was saying. This enables them to fill in any gaps in their notes, enabling them to learn all they need to for their tests and other assessments.
Far from being a bugbear for parents, technology is now proving to be a fantastic way for children with ADHD to organize and retain information and to fill in the blanks via apps and smartpen technology. Although children also enjoy simply playing on tablets and smartphones, these devices can help them succeed academically and overcome many challenges posed by ADHD.
Jane Sandwood, Freelance Writer & Content Editor
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