ADHD and Technology Use.  Should Parents worry?

ADHD and Technology Use.  Should Parents worry?

What is ADHD

ADHD by definition stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. All children struggle at times to pay attention, listen, follow directions, sit still, or wait their turn. But for children with ADHD, the struggles are harder and happen more often. The best way to treat children diagnosed with ADHD is by medication, behaviour therapy, parent coaching and educational support.

 Things have changed

Many parents are finding their efforts to contend with ADHD being opposed by the constant use of technology by their children. Gone are the days when children use to spend countless hours playing hide and go seek- or simply enjoying the outdoors. Nowadays, most parents only wish they could peel their children away from the video games to go play outside and  get some fresh air.  Children with ADHD are no exception and in some cases more captivated by this phenomenon. All this due to the advancement, evolution and fixation on Technology.

A sample of the common complaints parents have about how technology is impacting their lives include the following :

  • Johnny is always watching YouTube and I don`t have control over what he sees.
  • Johnny is glued to his video games Fortnite and it’s highly addictive.
  • Johnny changes after he watches this particular show.
  • Johnny has a meltdown when I take away his tablet.

Technology is certainly impacting the ADHD family dynamic and word has it – that it’s for the worse. Due to the fact that ADHD is an attention and focus disorder- when children get use to the rapid pace and constant stimulation of video games and the digital world- they struggle to enjoy and embrace less stimulating endeavours  E.g. Homework, chores. These life responsibilities become boring and they lack the motivation to endure through these activities.

 Reliance on technology

There is no doubt that technology  is slowly taking over our world and our classrooms & playgrounds are no exception. Technology is slowly being incorporated into every aspect our children’s existence- E.g. Smart fridges, Smart TV, Smart Phones, Digital Black boards, Digital pens and on and on and on.

How can parents capitalize on this evolution- and use technology to their benefit rather than have technology swallow their children into a dark abyss? In this battle to win a child’s attention- is technology a friend or foe?

 Parents can take control

Technology does not have to have the last say- no matter how powerful it is. Parents can indeed incorporate technology as a tool to help their child manage struggles with ADHD.   In fact, there are so many apps and online tools designed for ADHD –that it may shock you as a parent. There are certainly techies and  innovators behind the scenes who are targeting tools, apps and resources for ADHD.  Below are just a few that we selected?

Dictation Technology – Since children with ADHD struggle with staying on task and get easily distracted, dictation technology helps to support the writing process. Every ipad, smartphone and laptop has an inbuilt microphone. It does take time to get used to the feature but it’s a great resource to help children with writing challenges.

Tracking Apps  “Due” is an app that helps with tracking reminders and can assist a child with tracking medication, homework and other life details. “Remember the milk”  is another app that helps assign due dates, input notes like location, passwords, details, for the child that has challenges remembering.

Smartphones – Children with ADHD can have a hard time keeping up with the pace of the instructor. A great way to capture information is to be able to take a picture or record a live presentation. Most Smartphones have built in cameras and recorders that allow this to be done effortlessly and reviewed later on at homework time  if need be.

These are only a handful of creative ways parents can capitalize on technology however there are many. While we understand there are in fact pros to using technology, we also recognize the concern that overuse of it can be harmful.  However, parents need to solidify a strong position when it comes to technology. They don’t have to be victims of technology and video games and take a back seat to whatever new developments and trends their children get introduced to. They too can access the world of apps, video games, online resources to see what is available that might help and support their child. Taking the path of least resistance and working with technology is a better option than fighting against it.   It looks like technology is here to stay– and parents need to accept their reality and get their feet wet in this movement

GET TO KNOW MORE

Positive Kids offer groups and classes for kids struggling with symptoms of ADHD. For more information, contact us at 866-503-7454.

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