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The Seven Best Apps To Help Kids With ADHD Thrive

09/12/2020
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For children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), finding the right learning methods can have a significant impact on both their grades and their confidence. Today’s ever-evolving technology provides us with an alternative approach to traditional learning styles that might suit certain kids better. These seven brain-healthy mobile apps can help children with ADHD to improve their educational, social and emotional skills while having fun!

1. Khan Academy Kids

(FREE; iOS, Android)

This award-winning app contains thousands of educational activities books, songs and games. This is a great learning tool where the material is presented in short chunks, making it ideal for kids with ADHD who can have a limited concentration span. It is suitable for pre-schoolers up until around the end of Key Stage 1. Children can play at their own pace and repeat their favourite activities as many times as they like. The app features friendly animal characters who can be gifted special items to go in their personal collections. The library section is full of short books, videos, phonics and counting activities. There are no adverts on this app which is another bonus for kids who are easily distracted!

2. Reading Eggs

(£6.99 per month; 50% discount for additional children; iOS, Android)

Reading Eggs is used widely in schools but is also a useful home reading resource. It is an alternative to traditional reading books which kids with ADHD are sometimes reluctant to read. It teaches children using interactive reading games, guided reading lessons, fun activities and a vast library of digital storybooks. Monthly subscriptions include access to different reading stages according to children’s ages and abilities.

3. Colour by Numbers: Paint Game

(FREE; iOS, Android)

This is one of the best-rated colour-by-number apps that are available. This simple game can help to calm the busy mind of kids with ADHD. To use, you need to choose an image and zoom in until you can see the numbered areas. Then just select the correct colours from the bottom of the screen for each square. It’s suitable for young children up to adults.  It’s completely free but unfortunately, there are distracting adverts. If this one is not suitable, there is a really wide choice of other similar apps available. Colouring and painting apps such as this tend to work better on a larger screen, so it’s a good idea to try this out on a tablet rather than a phone.

4. Visual Schedule and Social Story

(FREE; Premium £7.99; iOS, Android)

Social Stories are designed to help children who struggle with expressive language and social skills. They are often used by teachers and parents of children with ADHD to show children the appropriate way to act in a social situation.  This app includes visual timetables which show children which activities they will be doing that day. Along with the built-in Visual Schedules and Social Stories (free version), the app also helps parents and children to create their own unlimited personal schedules and stories about new events or skills they are experiencing (premium). You can even upload your own images to use in the story.

5. Monster Physics

(£1.99; iOS only)

Minecraft enthusiasts will love Monster Physics with its open-ended designs and infinite possibilities. Users are given various materials to build a vehicle which they then drive through an imaginary world. This app is a great way to provide a focus for children with ADHD.  Kids are encouraged to move past mistakes and try again. They won’t even notice they are learning about physics! This app is recommended for age 10+ but could be managed by younger children with supervision.

6. Hay Day

(FREE; iOS, Android)

This is a popular and captivating farming game where users grow crops, raise animals and make a profit while keeping the farm running smoothly. It is great for teaching time management and organisational skills; children with ADHD often struggle with these concepts. While it is completely free, some items can be purchased for real money so be sure to set up password protection on your device as it could get unexpectedly expensive! You can do this in the App Store or Google Play settings.

7. Happy Kids Timer Family Chores

(FREE; Premium £3.99; iOS, Android )

This visual timer app helps children to complete morning and bedtime tasks easily and on schedule. The child controls it and there are related stars, certificates and incentives for completing tasks on time. The free version has predefined settings and is fairly limited, but it’s worth a try to see if it works in your home. The premium version allows you to amend and add chores, change the duration, set awards and print certificates. This app has been designed specifically for kids with ADHD/autism; its visual elements and specific instructions will make it especially appealing for those who struggle with structure and routine.

Of course, there is a down-side to kids with ADHD using apps. Excessive screen-time is never a good idea for anyone! However, if used carefully, in moderation and with firm boundaries, apps such as the ones listed above, can be really beneficial for developing educational and social skills. Every child is different and as with everything else, it’s a matter of working out what suits them best as individuals.

If you would like to find out more about how The ADHD Centre works with parents to support children with ADHD, have a look at this video
 An Introduction to our 4 Step Parenting Programme.

If you would like to find out more about our ADHD assessments and treatments, please contact us at the ADHD Centre on 0800 061 4276 or via connect@adhdcentre.co.uk.

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