Best Apps for People With ADHD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders in children today, with an estimated 11 percent of school-aged children diagnosed. For years, kids with ADHD were viewed as a “disruption” and were placed in special classrooms so that other children could receive the “uninterrupted education they were entitled to.” However, as more and more is learned about the disorder, schools, parents and doctors alike are taking a more scientific approach to managing the symptoms in the hopes of helping children learn how to maintain their focus, stay organized and finish tasks that they start.
One group of people who have proved particularly helpful in the management of ADHD symptoms are the tech gurus. More recently, new technologies and apps have been released that facilitate organization, routine and positive encouragement. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD and you are looking for ways to help them stay focused and remain positive, consider downloading any one of the following apps to a phone, tablet or other device in your home:
Due is an app strictly for iPhone users and is an asset for anyone who is prone to distractions. The interface is clean and easy to use and allows you to set alarms for anything that is “due.” These alarms will repeat until a task is complete.
Remember the Milk
Aptly named, this app was designed to help its users organize their tasks so that they complete them on time and share them with the right people. Users can build their own to-do lists, organize them in order of importance and then set alarms to make sure that everything gets done on time. The app alerts users of an impending due date via text, email and even social media. If you use more than one app to organize your life such as Evernote or Gmail, you can sync the to-dos from this app with those. With the ability to share lists, parents can help their children stay on top of their homework, chores and other responsibilities.
While this app was designed for business use, it has proven to be especially helpful for children with ADHD. If your child has trouble staying on top of their homework assignments, create a to-do list in Asana and assign tasks as others are completed. Set due dates for each one and notifications that alert you and your child when a deadline is approaching. Asana also allows you and other users to communicate via the app, making it easy for you to stay involved in your child’s school work.
If your child is younger, this app may be just what you need to help motivate your child to get stuff done. With a colorful and interactive interface, 123TokenMe is fun and effective! The app rewards children with tokens as they complete tasks or at set intervals (set by you), making homework and schoolwork more exciting. It also sends feedback on a child’s performance to parents, teachers and therapists alike, that way the right people know how a student is progressing and what more needs to be done to help them.
Evernote is like a digital filing cabinet in that it allows you to store digital documents, videos, images and audio in one convenient location. Sync as many programs as you like from all of your devices so that everything is accessible via Evernote when you need it. You can also create to-do lists and set reminders to help your child stay organized and on track.
EpicWin is a child-friendly app that makes chores, homework and other “boring” tasks seem like a fun adventure. The app turns everyday tasks into “quests,” which a child must complete in order to win points. For children, this app truly is an epic win!
MindNode is ideal for people with ADHD who cannot keep track of their thoughts. The app is designed to help individuals visualize and organize their thoughts by making connections between seemingly unrelated thoughts. Once a person enters their thoughts, the app will rearrange them and organize them in order of importance. A person can highlight “nodes” they believe to be important and share their maps with friends, family members, teachers and therapists. They can even turn nodes into tasks and set reminders and deadlines for completion.
Dropbox, like Evernote, allows you to sync files from just about anywhere and access them on any device with an internet connection. For a person who has difficulty keeping track of the various files they have across a multitude of programs, Dropbox is an essential organization tool. Dropbox allows people to share files from one box to another, which is ideal for the parent who needs to be able to keep an eye on their child’s progress and track school work.
Trello is simple, easy to use and great for organizing and prioritizing tasks. You can create as many lists as they like, each that serve a different purpose. For instance, one list may be for school work, another for chores and another for finished assignments. You can then create “to-dos” in the form of cards, which you can place on a particular list. For instance, you may create the card, “Book Report” and house it under “School Work.” You can set milestones, such as “read book,” “create an outline” and “write first draft,” which your child can check off as they complete them. Once an assignment is completely finished, you or your child can move the card to the “Finished Assignments” list, giving your child a visual reminder of their accomplishments.
There are dozens of task-management apps available for you to choose from. Give each a try until you find one that works for you, your child and, if necessary, their teachers and therapists. Most are free, but each will go a long ways toward helping your child stay focused, organized and motivated.