Watches That Improve ADHD Children's Focus, Memory, and Sense of Time

Parents and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) children tested and reviewed three new watches that promise to grab your child's attention and teach them valuable lessons about schedules and responsibility.

Watch Minder watch, ADHD products

WatchMinder3

(WatchMinder.com)
Reviewer: Nancy, mom of Jason, 14

The Challenge: My son’s teachers have told me that he “spaces out” in class, and I’m worried that he will fall behind. Cell phones are prohibited in class, and a beeping alarm would be disruptive to everyone.

The Solution: The WatchMinder3 looks like a sports watch, so Jason didn’t mind wearing it to school. You can set a silent, vibrating alarm--he programmed it to go off every 20 minutes during class--as well as pre-programmed messages. He chose PYATTN (“pay attention”). The vibrating alarm nudges him out of his daydreams--at least for a few minutes. There’s also a mode for 30 daily reminders, and we set one for taking medication. The watch is rechargeable and you can create your own personal messages.

VibraLITE 3 Watch

(VibraLITE.com)
Reviewer: Cynthia, mom of Chas, 15, and Katy, 13

The Challenge: My kids lose their watches or won’t wear them--maybe because they see them as annoying reminders from me! I want them to remember to do things on their own.

The Solution: We were mainly interested in the stopwatch function of the VibraLITE, with a silent, vibrating buzzer to notify you of the time. Katy was excited to try it, but she found it too complicated to set up. Chas figured it out easily, but the watch wasn’t his style--so Katy wore it. Katy had trouble setting the watch with one hand while wearing it on the other. Larger buttons or an easier set-up process would help. The vibrating buzzer does alert Katy to the time and helps her stay on track--when she remembers to set it.

Cadex 12-Alarm Watch

(Cadexwatch.com)
Reviewer: Stephen, dad of Jeanne, 13

The Challenge: My daughter forgets to do simple chores--taking out the garbage--and to take medication. I am tired of reminding her to do things.

The Solution: I needed something (besides me) to nag Jeanne to get things done. What I like about Cadex is the alarm, which rings every three minutes (for up to four hours), reinforced by a text message, up to 36 characters long, that appears on the face. Jeanne, even at her most distracted, can’t ignore both the auditory and visual prompts. When she finally takes out the garbage, she presses the FORWARD button on the watch to stop the alarm and text messages. At school, she takes her meds quickly when the alarm goes off, to avoid being embarrassed in front of classmates. Jeanne still doesn’t do all of her chores, but, thanks to the watch, I get an occasional reprieve from being a 24/7 nag.

NOTE: This article was last updated in June 2013


This article appears in the Spring issue of ADDitude.
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