Help Your Child Focus and Learn with Assistive Technology for Kids with ADHD
Kids with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) are known to be highly distract-able. They pay attention to EVERYthing. Therefore, sitting and reading a book is a recipe for a wandering mind, intruding thoughts, interference from sounds, etc. Environmental noises can easily distract a child with ADHD from learning.
Similarly, kids with dyslexia or executive function deficits may benefit from more focused learning engagement through the use of audiobooks and noise cancelling headphones.
Kids with ADHD tend to love animated, active, audio-visual learning. Additionally, current research shows that multisensory learning using books and programs enables kids with ADHD to focus on their lessons better.
More about the Noise Cancelling Headphones as Assistive Technology for Kids with ADHD below, but I did want to mention, if you’re interested in other strategies for ADHD, you may want to check out other Assistive Technology for Executive Functioning and ADHD too!
What is Multisensory Learning Using Books and Programs?
Multisensory learning involves hearing, seeing, touching and/or moving all at the same time.
Multisensory learning with books involves listening to an audiobook, while reading along in the book, and using a finger or pencil to track each word. A child who is reading in a multisensory manner is hearing the words, seeing the words, and tracking the words with his finger.
Learning Programs on computers are similar in their ability for a student to see, hear, and interact with the lessons.
Noise Cancelling Headphones Used for Assistive Technology Helps Keep Distractions OUT
Using Noise Cancelling Headphones help kids, particularly those with ADHD, have the sound component of the multisensory lesson close to them. The headphones mask exterior noises that might distract your child, even if your child doesn’t actually have ADHD.
Proven benefits of using audiobooks along with print books include increased reading comprehension, increased reading speed and fluency, greater attention, and an improved working speed.
How Noise Cancelling Headphones Act as Assistive Technology for Kids with ADHD
Having the sounds from a program or audiobook “close” to your child engages your child as if he were in the same room as the audio speaker. This makes focusing on what is being said is much easier for your child.
Think of it this way, if someone whispers in your ear, you are more focused on what the speaker is saying than you are when a person is speaking to a general audience. It’s the same when a speaker is talking directly in your child’s ear, even if that speaker is coming through headphones.
Similarly, kids love using headphones for music because it allows them to focus on their music and drown out external noises. You can use this to your child’s learning advantage simply by using noise cancelling headphones for learning!
A SUPER SIMPLE Assistive Technology Solution
Many assistive technology solutions have a learning curve that is required when the technology is implemented; this is not the case with noise cancelling headphones. I bet you know how to use them and already see the benefits of the headphones!
Noise cancelling headphones are extremely easy for kids in every age group to use. Many kids with ADHD prefer using headphones with audio learning through programs and audiobooks with the possible exception of kids who have a high Hyperactive component to their ADHD.
If your child has a high Hyperactive component to his ADHD, then you will want to consider acquiring audiobooks in a mobile format, ripping audiobook CDs to MP3 player formats, or use the text-to-speech aspect of a tablet like a Kindle. Using one of these mobile audio option will allow your child to get up and move around while listening to an audiobook through the noise cancelling headphones.
The main complaint or problem parents have in regard to using the Noise Cancelling Headphones is that their child can’t hear them calling from another room! You can’t distract your own child without touching him or appearing in his field of vision.
Options for Headphones for ADHD Assistive Technology
My son has a pair of Dr. Dre Beats Noise Cancelling Headphones, and I strongly recommend them for the reason I’ll state below. My son likes these headphones quite well and they do help him focus.
One complaint some parents have about the Dr. Dre Beats headphones is that they “leak” noise. It can be bothersome if your child is listening to music you don’t love. HOWEVER, the noise leak is beneficial because you can hear what your child is listening to. When your child is supposed to be doing schoolwork, you can HEAR if he’s listening to a lecture, an audiobook, or his music!
Among the top rated noise cancelling headphones is the V-MODA Crossfade Noise Isolating Headphones line of products. People love the sound quality, but complaints are primarily about mechanical failures or low quality. These headphones would probably be good for a child who has a gentler nature, but may not stand up to rigorous use by an active, dynamo child! 😉
Your highest sound quality option may be the Bose Quietcomfort Noise Cancelling Headphones. If your child loves music, you may want to consider these for your child’s musical enjoyment in addition to using them for learning. You’ll pay for the Bose name, but your child will surely appreciate it if he’s a music fan.
Audio-Technica Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are well liked because of their low cost and good sound output. These headphones are one of your lowest cost options in noise cancelling headphones.
Let Your Kid Listen UP! And Learn with Assistive Technology for Attention Deficits
Whether your child has ADHD, Dyslexia, Executive Functioning deficits, or any other learning disabilities, using Noise Cancelling Headphones for learning can help your child stay academically engaged. Using headphones for multisensory learning is proven to be an effective way for kids to learn, and it is particularly true for kids with learning disabilities.
Therefore, I hope you’ll consider the use of headphones with computer-based learning programs and audiobooks to help your child remember learn more effectively.