Best Activities and Applications For Teens with ADHD
Teenage years are known to be messy, fun, active, and full of emotions and surprises. Guiding your children to control their impulsiveness throughout this stage could save them from many problems. It’s particularly important for teens who have been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. However, identifying if your teen has ADHD can be pretty difficult because the symptoms depend on several different things, such as gender, age, and the type of ADHD.
According to the CDC, 11% of American children aged 4 to 17 have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD tends to cause impulsivity, hyperactivity, poor concentration, and disorganization. However, the severity of the symptoms can vary. While teens with ADHD are neuroatypical, know that this is not something to be ashamed of. It just means that they need to be given more attention than normal teens.
How ADHD Affects a Teen’s School Life
Since teens with ADHD have a hard time paying attention, their grades are likely to fall. They can be hard to deal with because of their mood swings. Their patience is often very limited, which can lead them to interrupt their teacher frequently. They tend to pick fights with peers and can barely sit still in class for more than an hour or two. All that being said, a teen suffering from this condition needs help, not punishment.
Their Everyday Routine
The minds of these teenagers with ADHD are so active that they tend to overlook what they are doing. For instance, they are two to four times more likely to be in a driving accident than neurotypical teens. In addition, they are impulsive, more risk-taking, and more immature when judging situations. These traits make them more vulnerable to dangers, especially peer pressure — the leading cause of teenage drug addiction.
When someone enters their teenage years, their body undergoes several hormonal changes that significantly impact their psychological and emotional conditions. This means that teens like to experiment. Their extracurricular activities should be beneficial for their physical and psychological development. In the next part of this article, we will list some of the best activities your child can do to help them reduce their ADHD symptoms.
Activities to Help Teens Cope with ADHD
First up, you should find activities that will catch their attention. Singing, dancing, soccer, basketball, or other after-school hobbies can be vital to a patient’s recovery. Here are some of the best options you can choose from for your teen with ADHD:
- Martial Arts — What makes martial arts better than other activities is discipline and self-control. It is a complex physical activity that helps strengthen the neural networks in the brain. The mind and body coordination needed will help the patient cope with their impulsiveness.
- Scouting — What kind of activity does a teen with ADHD prefer? Something fun and didactic! Scouting is interactive and systematic, and it can allow your teen to discover and develop their strengths and capabilities. Note that the scout leader should know that one of the scouts has ADHD, so they can keep an eye on your teen at all times.
- Team Sports — Teens with ADHD are more likely to have socialization issues. They are often misunderstood or bullied for their behaviors. While they might be socially awkward, they can learn to deal with people with proper discipline. Many teenagers with ADHD have developed social skills by teaming up with kids in team sports like volleyball, soccer, and basketball. These sports do not have much downtime, and your kid will have a consistent level of activity inside the court while playing. A sport can give your teen the chance to exercise while communicating with their team to win games.
- Art — Your teen should also learn how to practice solitude in less crowded environments. This will test your teen’s patience and exercise their mind. Art is one of the best mentally stimulating options because it fosters freedom and imagination.
- Music — Compared to art, music requires more attention to detail. It will need rehearsals and memorization of notes. Singing will let your child learn about rhythm and how to keep up with a certain tune. Playing instruments can be exciting, but they will need lengthy practice sessions with tutors.
- Drama — Acting and role-playing will give your child the chance to step inside someone else’s shoes. Self-discipline and memorization are the highlights of this activity. Your teen will have the chance to improve their concentration and develop social skills, since acting means having to work alongside other people.
- Biking — RTSG Neuroscience and Specialized Bikes found in 2012 that biking improves cognitive performance and information processing, negates impulsivity, and enables emotional maturity. Common biking mechanics like maintaining balance, biking with a group, and socializing can benefit teens with ADHD.
- Storytelling — This activity is often overlooked because it seems plain and simple. However, storytelling goes beyond reading. Comprehension, focus, and proper delivery are required to make someone understand a story. It also helps teens with ADHD in Los Angeles to consider the different characters of the story.
- Board Game —. Board games have been around forever, and they are only getting better. They are great for teens with a short attention span since they have to learn to wait for their turn and focus on their next action. This helps them focus on their problem-solving, strategic thinking, and cognitive processing.
- Swimming — If you want your child to work in a more restricted and safer place on their own, swimming might be the best choice. It burns excess energy, which is something that teens with ADHD have plenty of. Their bodies need to exert more effort due to the lack of oxygen under the water. Swimming can improve your child’s motor skills, brain functions, and physical fitness.
Modern Technology to Combat ADHD Symptoms
Many adults, especially those who didn’t have access to technology in their teenage years, oppose the idea that technology can be helpful. This is not true. As we advance to a more technology-inclined generation, people have developed valuable tools for mobile devices to help your child manage their daily challenges. Some of them include:
Due Reminders & Timers: Teens with ADHD get easily distracted, so an app like this can increase your child’s productivity. It can remind them of the tasks they need to prioritize, like when to take medications. You can set the app to ping your child in set intervals until the task is marked as done.
Conversation Planner: Your kid might have social skill issues that make them uncomfortable around other people. Conversation Planner boasts over 130 social skill situations to help your teen prepare for their next conversation. These scenarios are spread over 18 levels of difficulties, and once your teen unlocks a certain level, they can proceed to a more difficult one.
ClearLock: Teens with ADHD are easily distracted by other applications, such as online games. With ClearLock, you can cut these applications’ uptime on your teen’s smartphone. This will enable them to focus on the task they have at hand first.
Choice Works Calendar: Not every teen with ADHD can read well and comprehend. Many prefer to look at pictures to understand instructions, which is what the Choiceworks Calendar does. It is an image-based app where the user can schedule tasks with the help of images.
Google Calendar: Many people tend to overlook the fantastic features that Google Calendar provides simply because it is easily accessible to anyone. This app can help your teen to keep track of assignments and appointments. Also, Google Calendar has an integration feature that lets users access the app through other Google applications such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Keep.
The Sims FreePlay: This app is an open-ended simulation game that can help the player understand how real-life works. The player creates a character and helps them go through everyday life. Your teen will be responsible for feeding them, putting them to sleep, initiating conversations with strangers, and taking care of their well-being, such as personal hygiene. As the character evolves, they will eventually look for jobs, seek relationships, and have a family.
Battling ADHD with a Teen Outpatient Program
Although activities and apps will help your children fight the symptoms of ADHD, they might not be enough. If you are a parent in need of assistance, Key Transitions can help you! Our teen outpatient program helps teens with severe cases of ADHD with guidance from medical experts in Los Angeles.