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How to Cope With ADHD

Written by on . Posted in Advice, Sensory Solutions
How to Cope With ADHD

Coping with adult ADHD or ADHD in children can sometimes feel challenging, but fear not; we’re here to share our favourite coping ADHD tips with the help of different techniques and sensory tools for ADHD. This informative guide covers what ADHD is, ADHD symptoms in both children and adults and how to cope with ADHD using sensory tools and alternative techniques.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a group of symptoms that typically are presented as impulsiveness, hyperactivity and a lack of attentiveness. These symptoms tend to be picked up at a young age and are often highlighted when a child has a change of circumstances, such as when they begin school.

ADHD Coping Tips

ADHD is one of the most common behavioural issues in children in the UK, with around 3-5% estimated to have the condition. There is no known specific cause for ADHD, nor is there a single test for it. ADHD can be diagnosed around a standard set of guidelines by doctors with the help of information gathered from parents, carers and their school.  

ADHD Symptoms and Traits in Children

The main symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children are:
1. Inattentiveness
2. Hyperactivity
3. Impulsiveness
These three ADHD symptoms have a key set of traits. To help you recognise ADHD in your loved ones, let’s discuss what these traits are. 

The key traits for inattentiveness include: 

Being easily distracted with a short attention span
Being forgetful and possibly losing things
Careless mistakes in tasks -school work is often the best example of this
Struggling to complete tasks that are not interesting or take a lot of time and effort
Struggling to listen or to carry out instructions

The key traits for hyperactivity and impulsiveness include: 
Struggling to sit still – notably in a calm or quiet environment
Constantly fidgeting
An inability to be able to concentrate and focus on tasks
Excessive talking and physical movement
Struggling to wait their turn
Interrupting conversations
Acting without thinking which can lead to ending up in dangerous situations

Alongside these main traits and symptoms, there are some other conditions which can be related to ADHD, such as:
Anxiety – which can be shown through physical behaviour and nervousness
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) – displaying disruptive behaviour against authority figures
Poor conduct and anti-social behaviour
Learning difficulties such as dyslexia

Adults ADHD Symptoms and Traits in Adults

Lack of attention to detail
Poor organisation
Lack of focus 
Inability to prioritise tasks
Starting new tasks before finishing old ones
Mood swings and irritability
A lack of ability to deal with stress

Due to a lack of research, it’s usually harder to define ADHD in adults as symptoms and traits are considered more subtle in adults.

Some of the key symptoms of ADHD in adults include:

It’s thought that as ADHD is developmental, then it must appear in childhood for it to be present in adulthood. ADHD presents differently in adults to how it presents in children and teenagers. Hyperactivity tends to be less prevalent in adults, whereas issues with inattentiveness tend to get worse due to the pressures of adult life. It’s known that those who have the disorder in childhood can show signs in adulthood; however, a low percentage of adults show full symptoms.

Coping with Adult ADHD

For the most part, therapy and medication are used to alleviate the condition and allow those with it to function in day to day life better. Medication isn’t a permanent cure for ADHD but can definitely make people concentrate better and be calmer, as well as opening the door for improved learning. Professionals can implement various therapies to help get to the underlying problems and help sufferers handle their situation better. Alongside therapy and medication, sensory tools can support both children and adults with ADHD in their day to day lives. 


Sensory Tools for ADHD

Not only do the visual effects of bubble tubes help to create a calming and soothing atmosphere, but they also can help direct the attention of those with ADHD towards the moving bubbles and colours to help them relax. Bubble tubes help to stimulate the senses as when the individual concentrates on the constantly moving bubbles, this assists in visual sensory development. 

Fibre optics are one of our favourite sensory tools for ADHD as they’re brilliant for tactile and visual stimulation. Similar to bubble tubes, fibre optics assist in creating a calming environment, and the fibre optics are safe to be touched, which makes them great fun to be played with. 

Sound walls are excellent sensory tools for ADHD as the sensory wall panels help those with ADHD to concentrate and draw their attention to creating different sounds and music. 

Sensory rooms have a positive effect on those with ADHD as the vibrations, focused lighting, aromatherapy, and sound control can dramatically assist with attention skills. These tools act as filters for children with ADHD as sensory rooms can be a safe space for the individual to engage calmly and succeed. A multi-sensory room helps to filter out extraneous sensory information which helps the individual to organise and modulate their thinking better, as well as their speech and orientation.

Alternative Techniques for Coping With Childhood and Adult ADHD

  • Daily exercise - whether that’s a walk, jog or run, is useful to release some energy.
  • One of the easiest ADHD tips is to focus on what they eat as certain foods or drinks can affect people with ADHD differently, like caffeinated drinks.
  • Use to-do lists to keep to a routine, or to plan out the day head to stay focused and organised.
  • A nighttime routine which includes putting down any electronics such as their mobile, TV and computer game an hour before bedtime will reduce the risk of overstimulation before going to sleep. 
  • Find a way to relax, whether that’s listening to music or a podcast. Some people also find colouring therapeutic and a way to de-stress. 
  • Fidget spinners are a portable product and are great for directing someone with ADHD’s attention on one of them, which eases the feeling of restlessness. 
Experia have a wealth of experience when it comes to sensory tools for ADHD. We can help to create an environment that will help those in your care; whether that is portable equipment that can help create sensory experiences anywhere or a purpose-built and designed sensory room. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to see how we can help you get the best sensory experience for people living with ADHD, or for more advice, take a read of our blog

To reduce spells of impulsiveness and hyperactivity and to help increase attentiveness, we recommend the following four sensory tools for those with ADHD. 

1. Bubble tubes

2. Fibre optics

3. Sound walls 

4. Sensory rooms

A calming sensory room can help with areas where those with ADHD struggle, which can lead to improving skills needed throughout education and daily skills. A sensory room at home or school can help to improve the quality of life for individuals as the calming lights, bubble tubes, aromas and sounds can help the user to relax and then engage and focus on their surroundings.

We hope you’ve found these ADHD tips for coping with adult and childhood ADHD useful. For more information on how sensory products can assist with different abilities, read our informative blog post which describes what a sensory room is how it can help.