Can Technology become an antidote to ADHD?

Do you think TECHNOLOGY has a role to play in addressing ADHD?

A child’s academic success is often dependent on his or her ability to attend to tasks, teachers and classroom expectations with minimal distraction. Such skill enables a child to acquire the necessary information, complete assignments and participate in classroom activities and discussions.

Over the years ADHD seems to occur more in children. When a child exhibits behaviours associated with ADHD, consequences may include difficulties with school work and forming relationships with his or her peers.

The behaviours associated with ADHD change as children grow older. For example, a preschool child may show gross motor overactivity, always running or climbing and frequently shifting from one activity to another. Older children may be restless and fidget in their seats or play with their chairs and desks. They frequently fail to finish schoolwork, or they work carelessly.

Adolescents with ADHD can be more withdrawn and less communicative or more openly confrontational. They are often impulsive, reacting spontaneously without regard to previous experiences.

According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), ADHD can be defined by behaviours exhibited. Individuals with ADHD exhibit combinations of the following behaviours:

  • Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in their seat (adolescents with ADHD may appear restless)
  • Difficulty remaining seated when required to do so
  • Difficulty sustaining attention and waiting for a turn in tasks, games or group situations
  • Blurting out answers to questions before the questions have been completed
  • Difficulty following through on instructions and in organising tasks
  • Shifting from one unfinished activity to another
  • Failing to give close attention to details and avoiding careless mistakes
  • Losing things necessary for tasks or activities
  • Difficulty in listening to others without being distracted or interrupting
  • Wide ranges in mood swings
  • Great difficulty in delaying gratification.

It has been documented that approximately a quarter to one-third of all children with ADHD have learning difficulties, they also have coexisting psychiatric disorders at a much higher rate. According to studies, the rate of conduct or oppositional defiant disorders varied from 42 to 93 % and anxiety or mood disorders from 13 to 51, children who receive special education age 6-13 years who have an emotional disturbance have ADHD. Parents of 28 % of children with learning disabilities report their children also have ADHD.

A child with ADHD may be able to focus when he or she is receiving frequent reinforcement or is under very strict control.


All students and those with ADHD, in particular, can benefit from the use of ICT technology, it makes instruction more visual and allows students to participate actively. Devices and apps, used properly, can help combat issues with focus and help these students stay engaged in their work. For instance, interactive whiteboards provide visual stimuli such as the use of colour to help highlight key ideas that help these students attend school for longer periods of time.

  • Younger students can benefit from tools that teach fundamental skills. Digital apps that have received high ratings include Starfall, Cool Math, ABC Mouse, Brain Pop and Fun Brain.
  • Older students can benefit from apps that support study skills. Some good ones include The Chemical Touch, World Atlas, Graphing Calculator and AccelaStudy for foreign language study. Gantt Charts for mapping out assignments can help students organize, sequence and plan homework assignment as well as create visual learning review guides for test preparationDigital tools can help students stay on task, improve focus, remind them to turn in their work and create a higher level of productivity.


Students with ADD and ADHD commonly struggle with time management. How can tech tools help them manage these issues?

Electronic timers and alarms can help students stay on task and pace themselves through their work.

EASY AS THIS CONCENTRATION is a timer that helps students determine how much time they’re spending in focused versus unfocused activity. Students play games to help them improve concentration and time on task.

ATTENTION Control aims to help improve concentration through brain-focusing training. There is an app, created by neuroscientists and psychologists, is designed to help teach students how to block out distractions and concentrate for sustained periods of time.

STUDIOUS can help older students with scheduling. Younger students can use Choice works. This app is designed to teach young learners how to make schedules. It includes templates students can use to make visual schedules.

Students with ADHD reported significantly less frequent use of computers for almost all educational activities compared with students with physical disabilities and students from the general population. Students with ADHD reported low satisfaction with computer use in school.

In addition, students with ADHD reported a desire to use computers more often and for more activities in school compared with students with physical disabilities.


What should parents and educators watch for when giving children with ADD and ADHD a device or an app?

Digital tools can help students stay on task, improve focus, remind them to turn in their work and create a higher level of productivity.

Monitor students to ensure they arena just appearing focused but are truly concentrating and learning from the app or device. There is always the chance that students are using their devices for non-learning related activities. Students’ grades should improve but if the opposite occurs, be prepared to make adjustments to their technology use.

Also, be sure the technology does not become a crutch. Students still need to take instructions from teachers, connect with their lessons and perform academic skills using the traditional paper-and-pencil method. If students can only accurately perform educational skills using a device then the transference of knowledge from the technological device or app may not be present. These results indicate that occupational therapists should place more emphasis on how to enable students with ADHD to use computers in educational activities in school.


In conclusions: parents should not think their child is overly happy not knowing the child is diagnosed with ADHD and yes, you can take your child for a check-up at any childrena hospital for a test for ADHD just to be sure and also for the safety of your child. Children are said to be leaders of tomorrow, their safety should always come first no matter what.

Article written by Titilayo Adewunmi, Content Developer at Edufirst.ng.

Posted On: 2 August, 2018