Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a neurological problem characterized by an inability to focus intently and highly active, impulsive behavior. This disorder frequently interferes with a person’s ability to learn and work. Assistive technology for ADHD is typically aimed at helping people focus on a task, be where they need to be on time, and to help them find items they have misplaced. Some different types of this technology include computer programs, book readers, and noise-canceling headphones. Timers, pagers, and item locators can also help people with this disorder.
There are a variety of computer programs that are used as assistive technology for ADHD in both the classroom and the workplace. Math programs are available that use voice-recognition software to type out math problems dictated by a student or worker. The user can then solve the problem, hands-free, on the computer screen. Other computer software–related assisted technology for ADHD include talking keyboards and word processors or word processors that predict words. All of these types of technology provide instant feedback that keeps people with ADHD on track and on task.
For students, there are countless computer programs that can help teach skills, such as math, reading, and writing. These programs are usually learning games that teach by absorbing the student in an adventure or skill-based task. Computer games are also frequently used by classroom teachers to reward students who exhibit good focus during learning.
Book readers can also be used as assistive technology for ADHD. Students who struggle with ADHD often have trouble starting a new book. Books readers can be used to develop a student’s interest in a book, helping them along until they are engrossed in the plot. This form of technology can also be used as a reward when a student sits and focuses on reading for a certain period of time.
People with ADHD are easily distracted by the everyday activity around them. One form of assistive technology for ADHD is noise-canceling headphones. These headphones can be worn in a classroom, at work, or at home while trying to focus. They will help the mind concentrate on the work at hand and eliminate noise distractions that steal focus away from work.
Timers are another form of assistive technology for ADHD that encourage a person to focus for a specific length of time. Sometimes people with ADHD can learn to focus for short periods of time when breaks or rewards are given between periods of concentration. These timers can provide short periods of timed concentration without needing a teacher or parent to get involved.
ADHD can produce forgetfulness along with distraction. People with ADHD often forget where they need to be or lose important things. Pagers or personal digital assistance can be used to remind people when to do things. These items are especially helpful for parents and teachers, eliminating the nagging and giving the child a sense of independence.
Item locators are devices that can be attached to important items, such as cell phones and wallets, that are easily misplaced. Many people with ADHD frequently misplace items and spend a great deal of time searching for missing things. This can cause frustration, anxiety, and anger. Item locators can eliminate this annoyance.