‘Tis The Season for ADHD-Friendly Gifts
Deck the halls with ADHD-friendly gifts. Discover which products and tools will best suit the kids and adults in your life, plus choose a few for your own wish list.
It’s the holiday season again! And since we know how ADDitude readers are always looking for information, products, and inspiration to help them manage their own, or a loved one’s, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, we’ve chosen a range of gifts that offer a mix of sparkle, entertainment value, and practicality.
Gifts for Children with ADHD
High-energy kids need active play, especially when they’re cooped up indoors. Active gaming fills the bill. Check out Kinect for Xbox 360. The player’s body acts as the controller. Kinect tracks your child’s full-body movement in 3-D, while responding to commands, directions, even different emotions in his voice. Sports, fitness, dance, and animal games will be first off the assembly line.
Building toys, like LEGO, are great for creative kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but, oh, the mess! This year, along with the latest “Toy Story” or “Harry Potter” LEGO set, give your organizationally challenged child a LEGO ZipBin. When unzipped, it turns into a play mat, on which your child can construct buildings, airplanes, whatever. When zipped up, it’s a box or basket, depending on the model, which stores the bricks inside. Perfect for one-step cleanup.
A Maze and Marbles (via Young Explorers) is an interactive building toy that captures – and holds – our kids’ attention. The countless configurations of chutes, bridges, and drops, through which the marbles race, develop organizational and spatial skills. This hardwood version of the classic toy is sturdy, making it ideal for the rough play of kids with ADHD.
Spheres of Influence
Hoberman Spheres are an engineering marvel, and a habit-forming distraction that occupies busy hands and curious minds. The colored collapsible spheres, which expand from six inches to 30 via small plastic joints, are not only fun to play with, but can also teach self-regulation, a function often lacking in ADHD kids. 1000 Petals Yoga suggests using the Hoberman sphere as a visual aid for meditation. “Take a deep breath, while expanding the sphere, breathe out while contracting it.”
Feel the Burn
Super Skipper, by International Playthings, burns up a child’s extra energy while harnessing the therapeutic benefits of music and rhythm. Kids jump and skip over a revolving bar in time to music. Music is key to brain development, for language processing, motor skills, and coordination. As a bonus, the toy might just tire out your child!
Gifts for ADHD Tweens and Teens
Dance Dance Revolution is a video game in which players have to match their dance steps to flashing arrows on the screen, while trying to keep time with high-energy music. Dancing has been linked to improved reading scores in teens with ADHD, as well as having other developmental, academic, and health benefits. Now DDR is available for PlayStation 3. If your teen has a different gaming platform, consider DDR or Just Dance for Nintendo Wii, and Dance Masters or Dance Central for Xbox 360 Kinect.
A popular summer movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was based on the first book in a five-book series by Rick Riordan, now available in a hardcover boxed set. Staying current with pop culture helps our teens keep up with their peers. Another benefit: The hero has ADHD, which your young teen will find cool. If your teen is a struggling reader, consider the audiobook collection instead.
ADHD impulsivity and teen rebellion are a volatile mix. Direct your teen’s urge to express himself in a constructive fashion with the But Officer! This Is Totally Legal! graffiti set (from UncommonGoods). It includes 160 photographs of blank urban walls, ready to be defaced – or um, decorated – along with 10 dual-tip, thick-and-thin markers to allow him to leave his mark.
Deep breathing and yoga can help teens with ADHD-related challenges. The DVD Shanti Generation: Yoga Skills for Youth Peacemakers (ShantiGeneration.com) teaches poses for focus, energy, calmness, stress management, and self-regulation, as well as mindful meditation. The teen practitioners and music – composed by the bassist of the popular rock band 311 – will make any kid (even yours) a yoga fan.
Gifts for Men With ADHD
Stress management is a must for those with ADHD. We calm our crying kids by rocking them in our arms, but how do we calm big kids, like our significant others? Buy them a hammock, of course. You’ll find a range of laid-back designs, and the info you need to choose the right one. Pick one for the yard, or think outside the box and find one that will work in his man-cave.
Does getting ready to go for a run or bike ride take forever because he can’t find his keys or water bottle? Cut down on the gear with USB MP3 Sunglasses (KlearGear.com). This combo item will appeal to your guy’s inner geek, and cut down on those U-turns back to the house for another forgotten item.
Give It a Twirl
If fidgeting helps him focus at work, he’ll love taking it to the next level with the BaliYo Pen. Designed with two folding plastic arms, the pen can twirl at a variety of angles to create engaging visual patterns. The pen writes in any position, and underwater, in case you spill your glass of water over your report.
Forgive – When You Can’t Forget
Do his ADHD symptoms land him in the doghouse a lot — like when he forgot to pay the bills and your credit score took a tumble? Let him know you’ll give him a free pass once in a while with Get Out of Jail Free business cards from Zazzle. A little laughter might help you both put adult ADHD into perspective.
Gifts for Women With ADHD
Cocoon: The Sequel
Over-stimulation is a common concern for adults with ADHD. After a day of sensory overload, let the woman in your life have some quiet time with her Foam Filled Cocoon from Serenity Health. This beanbag-like “furniture” is comfortable and inviting when down on the floor, perfect for watching TV or dozing off. When turned on its side, it becomes an ergonomic lounge, cradling her body in calm.
Oooh, shiny! The woman in your life loves things that sparkle, but does she also tend to lose them? Buy her jewelry anyway, and keep track of it with distinctive catchall dishes in every room. If she can’t remember where she left her earrings, you will both at least know where to start the search. Consider the Bird Jewelry Dish, from Pottery Barn; Heart Jewelry Dish from Wrapables; or recycled glass-infused jewelry dishes from Paloma Pottery.
Women with ADHD tend to be creative. So give her a journal that recognizes the fact. The Proud Owner of a Vivid Imagination journal from CafePress will encourage her to express all sides of her personality: jotting down her feelings, raising her self-awareness, or scribbling a rant or just another item on her to-do list.
The ADHD App
If your partner can’t carry her day planner everywhere, and the calendar on her computer works only when she’s in front of it, this app for her smart phone will keep her on task and on time. The got-2pro Task and Schedule Management for BlackBerry combines the standard BlackBerry calendar and task list with additional functionality. There’s even a GPS function that will alert her if she passes a pharmacy on the way to getting a cup of coffee, so she can pick up the prescription she forgot about.