Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can an app help make life easier for children with ADHD?

Date:
February 28, 2014
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
We have tended to associate welfare technology with support for the elderly. Now researchers are looking at whether technology such as digital calendars and smartwatches can also provide support for children with autism and ADHD. Being able to function well in the morning is a challenge for parents of children with cognitive problems. Small details such as putting their leggings on inside out, or an adult saying something 'the wrong way' can trigger a temper tantrum and ruin the entire day. Children can become unruly, and some even become aggressive when something prevents them from following their routines and habits. Technology, research shows, can help this.

We have tended to associate welfare technology with support for the elderly. Now researchers are looking at whether technology such as digital calendars and smartwatches can also provide support for children with autism and ADHD.

Being able to function well in the morning is a challenge for parents of children with cognitive problems. Small details such as putting their leggings on inside out, or an adult saying something 'the wrong way' can trigger a temper tantrum and ruin the entire day. Children can become unruly, and some even become aggressive when something prevents them from following their routines and habits.

This is one of many insights that researchers from SINTEF have learned from interviews with mothers of children who have autism or ADHD. "Being able to function well on a day-to-day basis is a big problem for these children -- and for their families," say Lisbet Grut and Ψystein Dale of SINTEF.

Technology that can help

Previous studies have shown that ordinary aids such as mobile phones and MP3 players can help young people with Asberger's and autism to plan time and activities. Smartwatches may be able to help remind sufferers about appointments and tasks, and various software on smartphones and tablets can help them visualise sequences and structures in activities. The researchers believe that by developing aids such as this, they could help provide support in everyday situations. Now they want to test out their theories.

Find solutions and allocate responsibility

A survey has already been carried out, in which researchers interviewed staff from NAV, Centres for Assistive Technology, service providers to the municipalities, assistive technology suppliers and selected families.

Lisbet Grut explains that the aim has been to find out where the problems lie, and what the essential factors are in finding a solution. "ADHD is a group that is easily neglected, and it is difficult to help sufferers, because their problems are varied and complex," she says. "But we believe that the work we are doing now will help us to find some good solutions, and provide clearer distinctions between the roles and responsibilities of the various support service organisations."

Service mechanism for rule-governed behaviour?

The interviews with the mothers and the support services revealed that assistive technology tends to be provided more on the basis of a diagnosis than on functional problems and needs. This means that many families are not getting the opportunity to try out technology that may be able to help them.

The families said that they would like NAV to focus on their needs instead of basing treatment on a diagnosis and on the technology NAV had approved as an aid. Interviews with organisations involved in providing assistive technology revealed the same thing. Current regulations and practice in NAV mean that solutions are limited to a few aids, and solutions that are regarded as everyday technology are not taken into consideration.

Support services floundering

"We hope that this work will clarify some issues, but we freely admit that it is complicated and that there are no easy solutions," says Ψystein Dale. "Many of the problems are caused by the fact that the various support bodies are not sure what their responsibilities are. Each expects that others will take responsibility for many of the tasks. A lack of resources and expertise in the municipalities and the Centres for Assistive Technology are other reasons why families feel that they are not getting enough support," adds Lisbet Grut.

Tests on three families

The interview process was the start of more comprehensive work in which the researchers, together with three families in Vestfold who have children with ADHD or autism, will begin trying out welfare technology. With the help of the researchers, these families will try out mobile apps, smartwatches and other technology that could help the children to keep track of their daily activities such as getting dressed, cleaning their teeth, etc. The tests will take place in the spring, and a draft of the report should be ready by the summer. The Centre for Assistive Technology in Vestfold is involved in the project, and the lessons learned will be discussed with them at every stage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. The original article was written by Εse Dragland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "Can an app help make life easier for children with ADHD?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140228080651.htm>.
SINTEF. (2014, February 28). Can an app help make life easier for children with ADHD?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140228080651.htm
SINTEF. "Can an app help make life easier for children with ADHD?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140228080651.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins