Assistive Technology to Help Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Succeed Academically
Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is a frustrating problem for students who want to succeed in the classroom. They often struggle to stay focused on lessons, to perform time-consuming tasks, and to follow instructions during class. Educators can become frustrated by the amount of class time spent prompting students or redirecting them to little avail. However, assistive technology may provide students with the solutions they need to find real academic success.
If you have been struggling to find solutions for a child with ADD, take a look at some of these top assistive technologies that other students have found helpful.
Students with ADD tend to have minds that wander all over the place. Teachers will find themselves constantly prompting students to pay attention to a lesson or their classwork. Now, educators can take a step back with assistive technology like the vibrating wristwatches. You can set a fixed interval of time between each alarm which quietly reminds students to pay attention. This gives them control over their attention span and reduces the time teachers need to spend on redirection.
Sometimes, reading is difficult for a child who has issues with their attention span. It can be much easier and more effective for them to hear the text read aloud. With apps like Voice Dream, students can hear text from any source including Word documents, internet pages, and PDFs. They can pause, rewind, or adjust the reading speed until it suits them. Some of these software programs will even highlight the word as it reads, helping students to pair the sight of the word with the sounds.
Reading might be difficult, but writing can be equally challenging for a child with ADD. They often have poor spelling compared to their peers, making their finished papers hard to read. It takes too long to record their full ideas on paper when they have to write by hand. The speech-to-text software allows them to say what they want while the computer commits it to paper. This is built into many platforms already, including Google Docs. It can be a real asset to students who struggle with written communication.
Looking at flashcards isn’t likely to help children with ADD to learn their basic math facts. Instead, educators and parents will have better success with apps like Motion Math that provide different levels to challenge students as they grow. Always be certain to look for the research behind a math app before committing to it as assistive technology for a child with ADD. This ensures that you are spending money and time on a program that works instead of a mindless game.
Students with attention deficit disorder often face unique struggles in the classroom setting. With the invention of more assistive technology, these students can thrive better academically. Consider what programs a child with ADD might need to help with the specific challenges they encounter in school. This can help to make a more informed decision regarding what assistive technologies will best suit them.