Overcome Challenges Inside and Outside the Classroom
Organizational difficulties are among the hallmark symptoms of ADHD. Children with ADHD tend to struggle mightily with scheduling and organization, and this can affect everything from in-class performance and completion of homework assignments to extracurricular and social activities.
Fortunately, a wide range of both practical and technological tools are available to help both parents and educators meet the special needs of students with ADHD. Using tried-and-true organizational tools like clocks, day planners and calendars as well as high-tech software and smart products, students with ADHD can overcome the challenges they face, both inside and outside the classroom.
Let's go over some of the ADHD organization tools you can access and have your child integrate into their daily life.
Practical Tools for Boosting Organization in Children with ADHD
Here are tips for using practical everyday organizational tools to help students with ADHD:
- Clocks. Research suggests that analog clocks are better than digital clocks for helping kids with ADHD, as the movement of the clock hands reinforces the concept of elapsing time. At home, parents can use clocks to reinforce scheduled study or homework time.
- Day planners. Starting your child with a day planner helps him or her take more responsibility for getting organized. Encourage your child to use a day planner to keep track of important assignment due dates, tests and exams, social events, and extracurricular activities. Encourage your child to look ahead to upcoming events and make actionable plans to be prepared for them.
- Calendars. These are especially useful with younger children, and are an excellent way to help children visually understand the concepts of “yesterday, today and tomorrow.” They can be excellent short-term organizational tools for primary school-aged children with ADHD.
Most of all, it’s important that you spend time helping your child understand the concepts of temporal sequence and cause-and-effect. Structures such as, “If your project has five sections and is due in five days, you will complete it on time if you do how many sections per day?” and verbal cues that use words like “before and after” or “first and next” will encourage children to think in terms of time.
Software Products for Children with ADHD
Software developers have created a wide range of highly specialized organizational tools to help students with ADHD. Some of the most popular examples of these digital products include:
- Cloud-based note-taking systems. These programs allow students and teachers to exchange notes and information on any internet-connected device. Free products like Evernote can be invaluable in helping students stay on top of their studies, assignments and homework.
- Recording devices. Older students in particular can benefit a great deal from using recording devices to make a permanent record of lectures and in-class discussions. From “smart pens” with built-in recorders to tablets and portable digital devices, there are a wide range of inexpensive options available.
- Learning tools. If your child struggles with a particular aspect of learning, such as reading and writing or processing speech, you can use learning software to help make things easier for them. Products that turn speech into text, scan-and-read programs, and a wide variety of other specialized software tools are available to help students with ADHD. Look for products from manufacturers including Kurzweil, Inspiration, Livescribe and Comfort Audio.
With patience and some extra guidance, students with ADHD can close the learning gap and improve their scholastic performance. They are more likely to succeed if they feel confident in their abilities, and management tools like these can give their confidence a big boost.