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Assistive Technology to Help ADHD Students



This is a small gadget similar to a pager. It functions by sending vibrations or beeping alarms at programmed intervals or duration to help the student keep track of his or her task deadline. This technology assistive tool may be programmed for a specific time, say 10 minutes, for the students to work on a task. At the end of 10 minutes, the clock will vibrate or beep. The students will be trained not to shift to another task until the clock beeps.

Similarly, a Motivator which is much like the Invisible Clock can be programmed to sound an alarm when the child moves say a few steps from his / her desk. The students will be trained to remain still on their seats until the Motivator sounds off the alarm.

Computer-Aided Instruction

Some schools have already used computer-aided instruction (CAI) as a method or tool to aid in the children’s learning process. Where conventional teaching instruction failed, CAI has promising results in improving the ADHD child’s learning abilities. Animation and games are two widely used CAI tools. Animation triggers visual appreciation and learning and games engage the child while information is provided.

Writing Aids

Voice-recognition technology is a form of writing aid. This tool is used to convert spoken or verbal explanations into written notes. This is available in the form of computer program and it helps ADHD students who have problems typing lectures or notes for a long period.

Organizational Tools

Personal Digital Assistants or PDAs are incredibly useful for students with ADHD. These PDAs may have installed programs such as voice recognition for capturing dictations, programmed oral reminders for task completion, allowing the user to stay concentrated.

While some schools have already tried some or most of these assistive technology tools and have integrated them into the curriculum for the students with ADHD or other learning disabilities adapting to them does not happen overnight. It needs time, patience, and lots of practice before the ADHD students will show signs of acquiring the skills targeted by specific assistive technology tools. As the ADHD students use them more often, their confidence improves and eventually cause them to reap successful results.

The use of assistive technology needs to have approval from the school district and should be properly documented through a plan of instructional services or accommodations also known as 504 plan, or through an individualized education plan or IEP, both of which are legal requirements schools need to comply with.

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