While researching this topic I came across several articles listing a variety of Apps that can be useful for those with ADHD. Not surprisingly, many of these APPS are simple reminders, or assist with time management and organization. Some are designed for children, such as Epic Win which turns boring chores into a fun role playing adventure, or 123Token which rewards positive behaviours with a token system.
An APP named Rescue Time builds reports on how you spend your time. This allows you to track time spent procrastinating as compared to time spent on productive activities. Another APP, Freedom, allows you to set the time(s) that your internet is turned off, allowing you to restrict distractions at the end of day or for particular periods during the day. We all know that e-mails and social media etc. can be hugely distracting if not limited. Others are designed to help build healthy habits, manage your money and restrict impulsive spending.
A note of caution; be leery of Apps that claim to improve executive functioning and decrease ADHD symptoms. To date there are no peer reviewed, large scale studies that back up these claims.
Articles on Apps for those with ADHD
I have been aware of the connection between ADHD and eating disorders for many years now. I first became aware of this relationship when assisting with a research study that examined the impact of a new medication in adults. On long term follow-up, one particular adult with celiac disease reported that her disease symptoms greatly improved when she was taking the medication versus the placebo. When we discussed why she thought this occurred she said that it was very obvious. When on the medication treatment she was able to resist her impulsive urge to drop into a McDonalds or other fast food restaurants, thus reducing flare-ups of her celiac symptoms. Now, years later and after attending presentation’s by Dr. Lance Levy (for CADDAC ) and by Dr. Brain Stonehawker (for CADDRA) on ADHD and obesity, the correlation between ADHD and eating issues seems like common sense.
A recent blog post by Dr. Mark Bertin (a featured speaker at our next CADDAC conference) directly links poor decision making around food with impaired Executive Functioning (EF) – poor planning and organization, as well as impulsivity, all symptoms seen in those with ADHD. Bertin also points out a link to emotional over-eating due to boredom, stress or overstimulation. Eating disorders associated with ADHD are not only those associated with impulsivity, such as binge eating and bulimia, but also the often overlooked anorexia – seen in those seeking order in their chaotic world. Poor decision making due to EF impairment - lack of thought and structure around meal and eating routines and even hyper-focusing can also lead to poor health even if weight is not an issue.
Dr. Bertin closes out the article with a list of useful strategies that he refers to as “mindful eating”.
To access Dr. Bertin’s full article visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-bertin-md/mindful-eating-adhd-and-n_b_7257190.html.
A Great Resource for Teens, Preteens and Young Adults with ADHD
by Heidi Bernhardt
I came across an interesting resource for teens and young adults with ADHD, a web site http://www.addyteen.com/adhd/ that also hosts a free guide for teens with ADHD entitled “Embracing Your ADHD.” The guide is free to download after registering on the site.
The site notes that, due to high costs, medication is often the only option for many teens with ADHD despite the fact that so much more is required to meet their needs emotionally, socially, academically, and organizationally. The free guide is written by Grace Friedman who is still a teen herself, and provides useful tips and strategies on how to not only “survive but thrive” in school and life in general. The guide is a well balanced view of ADHD addressing it as a medical condition while looking at it from a young person’s perspective.
Wisely, the guide devotes a great deal to addressing emotional challenges and ways to understand and cope with them when you have ADHD. It also covers the topic of medication and typical feelings around this and reviews beneficial health strategies around diet, exercise, and sleep. In addition, academic strategies, accommodations, and self-advocacy are reviewed along with methods that can be useful at home. The guide ends with a section on the importance of and how to discover your talents, gifts, and passions – a great message for any teen.
Below is a link to an article written by Grace Friedman for the Huffington Post that originally led me to this great resource: