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Best ADHD tools and apps for students in 2024

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Students with ADHD can use numerous tools and apps to excel in school. Read on to learn more about them.

Best ADHD tools and apps for students in 2023

In today's digital age, where distractions are just a click away, students with ADHD often face additional challenges in maintaining focus and organization. Yet, the same technology that presents distractions can also offer innovative solutions tailored to address these unique challenges.

An array of tools and apps have emerged to assist ADHD students in maximizing their academic potential, streamlining their tasks, and enhancing concentration. This article delves deep into the best ADHD tools and apps available in 2023, providing insights on how they can transform the educational journey for students in need.

What is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder often diagnosed in childhood but can persist into adulthood. It's characterized by a consistent pattern of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ADHD affects numerous children and frequently continues into adolescence and adulthood.

Symptoms of ADHD

It's important to understand that an ADHD diagnosis isn't based on the presence of just one symptom; rather, a persistent pattern of symptoms over time is necessary for a diagnosis.

The core symptoms of ADHD include:

  1. Inattention: This involves difficulties in staying focused, making careless mistakes in schoolwork, and easily getting sidetracked.
  2. Hyperactivity: The child fidgets, squirms, or is continuously in motion.
  3. Impulsivity: This is characterized by impulsive behavior, such as blurting out answers or having difficulty waiting their turn.

These symptoms can manifest as the following, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Lack of attention to detail: Individuals with ADHD frequently make careless errors in tasks, such as schoolwork, often overlooking details or submitting work that appears sloppy.
  • Difficulty sustaining attention: People with this disorder struggle to maintain focus on tasks or activities, which can manifest as losing concentration during lectures, discussions, or extensive readings.
  • Not seeming to listen: Even when spoken to directly, those with ADHD might appear as if they are not listening or paying attention.
  • Not following through: Commonly, they initiate tasks like school assignments or chores but get sidetracked easily, leaving tasks unfinished.
  • Difficulty organizing tasks: Organizing tasks or maintaining order can be a challenge for them, often struggling with sequencing tasks, keeping their possessions organized, or managing their time efficiently.
  • Avoidance of tasks requiring mental effort: They frequently avoid or hesitate to partake in tasks demanding prolonged mental concentration, such as homework or intensive reading.
  • Losing things: Items essential for activities, like school supplies, keys, or mobile phones, are often misplaced or lost by those with ADHD.
  • Getting easily distracted: Individuals with ADHD are commonly distracted by irrelevant stimuli.
  • Being forgetful: Forgetfulness is a recurrent trait in their daily routines, often missing out on chores, appointments, or errands.
  • Fidgeting: Those with ADHD often fidget with or tap their hands or feet or squirm in their seat.
  • Unable to stay seated: Students with ADHD often have a hard time staying in their seat and often stand or leave their seats.
  • Running or climbing inappropriately: Children with ADHD often run about or climb in situations where it is inappropriate (in adults this can manifest as restlessness).
  • Unable to play quietly: Young children who struggle with ADHD usually have difficulty playing or engaging in activities quietly.
  • Talking excessively: Those with ADHD often talk more than necessary and dominates conversations.
  • Difficulty waiting turn: Waiting their turn is particularly difficult for those with ADHD and they often interrupt or intrude on others, whether cutting into conversations, games, or activities or blurting answers before questions have been completed.

How ADHD affects students

Students with Attention Deficit Disorder often struggle with executive function, which involves executive function skills like time management, organizing tasks, and paying attention. These challenges can lead to difficulties with schoolwork, a drop in self-esteem, and sometimes, social skill or student behavior problems. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that children with ADHD are more likely to experience learning disabilities like dyslexia, further affecting their academic performance.

Why students should use tools and apps to help with their ADHD

ADHD students, due to their unique challenges, can benefit significantly from tailored tools and apps. These digital aids provide structure, positive reinforcement, and hands-on techniques that can help in improving attention span, reducing impulsivity, and managing time effectively.

The best apps for students with ADHD

Students with ADHD often benefit from tools and apps designed to address their unique needs. Here are some of the best apps that can assist students with ADHD:


Speechify is an auditory learning tool that can significantly benefit ADHD students by transforming written content into audio, allowing them to engage with material through listening rather than reading. This auditory approach can help enhance comprehension and retention for those who may find it challenging to maintain focus on traditional written texts.

Forest: Stay Focused

This app encourages ADHD students to stay away from their phones and focus on tasks. By planting a virtual tree, which grows during periods of focus and dies if the user leaves the app, it provides visual feedback and motivation to stay on task.


Todoist is a task management app that helps ADHD students keep track of assignments, tasks, and deadlines. Its user-friendly interface enables categorization, prioritization, and reminders.

Microsoft OneNote

This digital notebook allows students to jot down notes, create checklists, and even draw. Its organization system is especially helpful for ADHD students, letting them have separate "notebooks" for different subjects.

Be Focused - Focus Timer

Based on the Pomodoro Technique, this app breaks work into intervals (typically 25 minutes) followed by a short break. It's excellent for students with ADHD as it offers structured work periods with built-in breaks.


RescueTime tracks time spent on applications and websites, providing a clear picture of daily activities. It aids students with ADHD in understanding and managing their digital distractions.

This app provides music designed to improve focus. The auditory stimulation can sometimes help individuals with ADHD concentrate better on tasks.


Evernote is a note-taking and organization app. Students can capture information in various formats (text, images, voice memos) and organize them in a way that makes sense to them.


Flipd allows ADHD students to lock certain apps on their phones, such as social media apps, for a specified period, reducing distractions and helping them to stay focused on studying.

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

Designed for preschoolers, this app helps teach problem-solving, self-control, planning, and task persistence through fun activities featuring a lovable monster.

It's worth noting that while these apps can be beneficial, they aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. It's crucial for students, caregivers, and educators to test different tools and determine which combinations work best for each individual student's needs.

Other tools for students with ADHD

Apart from apps, there are various tangible tools and resources designed to assist students with ADHD in managing their symptoms and enhancing their learning experiences. Here are some beneficial tools for students with ADHD:

Webinars and workshops

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and other organizations offer webinars for teaching children and parents of children with ADHD to handle their symptoms better.

Positive reinforcement tools

Stickers, charts, or tokens can be used as a part of behavioral therapy to encourage good behavior or ADHD students to pay attention.

Fidget tools

These tools, including fidget spinners, stress balls, and sensory rings, allow students to keep their hands occupied, which can help increase concentration and reduce restlessness.

Visual timers

Traditional or digital visual timers show the passage of time with color changes or diminishing bars. This offers ADHD students a concrete sense of time, aiding in transitions or timed tasks.

Noise-canceling headphones

For ADHD students distracted by ambient noise, these headphones can provide a quieter environment, helping students focus on their work or studies.

Weighted lap pads or blankets

The gentle pressure from these tools can have a calming effect and improve body awareness, making it easier for students to remain seated and attentive.

Color-coded organizers/binders

By color-coding subjects or tasks, ADHD students can visually organize and access their materials more efficiently.

Dry erase boards and calendars

A visual representation of tasks, assignments, or events can help students plan and remember important dates.

Stability balls or wobble chairs

Replacing traditional chairs, these tools allow slight movement while working, which can help certain students with ADHD concentrate better.

Graphic organizers

Graphic organizers can help break down information visually, assisting in understanding and retaining complex topics.

Movement break tools

Tools like mini trampolines or jump ropes can be useful for short movement breaks, helping students with ADHD burn off excess energy and refocus.

Doodle pads or sketchbooks

For some ADHD students, the act of doodling or drawing can help with concentration during verbal lessons or discussions.

Voice recorders

Students can record lessons or instructions to replay later, ensuring they don’t miss out on any crucial information.

How schools can help students with ADHD

Aside from tools and apps, schools can help students with ADHD through:

  1. Special education: An Individualized Education Program (IEP) can be tailored to address the unique needs of a student with ADHD.
  2. Cooperation with parents: A child’s teacher can regularly communicate with parents to ensure consistent behavioral interventions at school and home.
  3. Extra time: ADHD students might require extra time for transitions, tests, or tasks. Schools can cater to this need to ensure they aren't left behind.
  4. Teaching strategies: Hands-on activities, breaking tasks into smaller steps, and regular feedback can aid ADHD students in grasping concepts more effectively.
  5. Assistive technology: Schools can support students with ADHD by implementing assistive technology, equipment and devices designed to enhance learning experiences and accommodate individual needs, such as Speechify.

Speechify – #1 ADHD app

Speechify has emerged as a beacon of support for individuals with ADHD, transforming the learning landscape by converting written material into spoken content. For many with ADHD, maintaining concentration on extended written passages can be a daunting task. By offering an auditory learning mode, Speechify ensures that these students can engage with educational content in a manner that resonates with their cognitive strengths. Not only does it help in breaking down the barriers of traditional reading, but it also allows for better comprehension, retention, and overall engagement. Through its innovative approach, Speechify empowers those with ADHD to harness their unique learning style and truly excel in their academic endeavors. If you struggle with ADHD, try Speechify for free today.


What is assistive technology for ADHD students?

Assistive technology for ADHD students is any device, gadget, tool, or software, that can help them improve their performance in school and in private life, such as Speechify.

How do students with ADHD learn best?

Students with ADHD learn best with regular breaks, a routine, limited distractions, and positive feedback.

What helps ADHD students focus?

Good seating arrangements, interesting lessons, a daily routine, and distraction blockers are only some factors that can help ADHD students focus.

How can quizzes help students with ADHD?

Quizzes provide ADHD students with immediate feedback and short bursts of focused activity, aiding in retention and engagement.

How can podcasts help students with ADHD?

Podcasts offer auditory learning experiences, allowing ADHD students to absorb information through listening, which can be more effective for some than traditional reading.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.