Which Gadgets, Fidgets, Practices, and Products Do you or your ADHD partner Find Indispensible?

I am always looking into things in addition to medication which help reduce symptoms in my son and me.  I am wondering if anyone has had any success with brain training software/subscriptions.  I just signed up for a trial period with Luminosity, but I don't know enough about the success rate, how it compares to other programs, etc... I am also looking for fidgets for my son and me.  I understand there are calming fidgets and alerting fidgets.  I already tried Silly Putty with my son on a recent trip and it was a disaster.  It melted in the heat of my car, and he wanted to hurl it and stick it to things. 

 

Since I am asking for help, I thought I'd also share things that have helped me. In no particular order, and because I suck at prioritizing anyway ;)...

  • Meditation
  • From ITunes:  Dr. Steven Worringham's Focus on ADHD:  Attention and Concentration for Study.  It's a 1 hour "song?" which apparently induces beta waves (concentration brain waves).  I just turned my IPod on again because this "form autosave" keeps flashing as I type and it was driving me crazy with distraction.   As soon as I turned it back on, I could tune it out much better and focus. 
  • Smartphone with calendar
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin D:  friend recommended it to me for moods, and it definitely helps take the edge off, though nothing is perfect
  • exercise
  • adequate sleep, which is easier to accomplish with a full dose of my medication at night (if this is perplexing, please see my post on ADHD and Sleep Issues
  • Understand Your Brain, Get More Done, by Ari Tuckman.  An easy to read guide/workbook to help with all executive functioning issues.  This guy understand ADHD like Melissa Orlov and Dr. Hallowell.  He KNOWS what he's talking about, and he knows what we ADHDers have to go through to accomplish certain things.  It is such a practical book.
  • For understanding ADHD, I LOVE the Driven to Distraction series, by Dr. Ned Hallowell.
  • For understanding the dynamic between ADHD partners, you really need to read Melissa's book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage.  If you are on this site, you care enough about your marriage to do something, so you may as well read it.  Also very easy to read.
  • Abilations Core Disk.  I just got a seat cushion for my son, which I am currently sitting on as I type.  It's to reduce fidgeting while seated.  I used it at dinner the other night, because he can't sit still when the meds are wearing off...  It worked like magic, both yesterday and today.  The only downside so far is that it is filled with PVC balls, which I understand present a health risk?  I need to research this more, as they are INSIDE the disk.  There are other companies which make similar products...

I will edit and add more in case I have forgotten something (Who, me???)

Pbartender's picture

I don't use all of these

I don't use all of these myself, but here's a few useful things I've run across...

  • MS Excel  Years ago, after I got tired of going overdrawn on our checking account, I built a simple budget spreadsheet in MS Excel.  By looking at past bills and paychecks, I can get a good estimate of our monthly income and expenses.  Using that, I plan out a budget for bills a year ahead at a time.  I then made it a routine to check and update the budget every Friday (I get paid weekly), and pay bills.  That let's me hyperfocus on planning a budget once a year, and having it written down lets me use the spreadsheet as a reminder to artificially plan for future expenses.
  • Smartphone  It's like having a computer the size of a deck of cards in my pocket that also works as a phone.  I use it to take notes.  I keep checklists on it.  I use its stopwatch/timer/alarm all the time.  The calendar, with its alarm for events, is invaluable.  And I've got several downloaded apps to help me along, as well.
  • Memory Trainer  A nifty little free app for Android phones (I'm not sure if they have it for iPhones)...  It's a bunch of short games designed to improve your spatial and working memory, focus, "chunking" and concentration skills.  Hard to say if it actually works but I like fiddling with it in waiting rooms, or when I just need a mental break from what I'm doing.  Find it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.urbian.android.games.m...
  • Simple Notepad  Another free Android app...  This one is a simple and easy way to make notes and checklists on your phone.  Find it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.mightyfrog.android.sim...
  • Cozi.com  My ADHD coach recommended this.  It's a whole set of online tools, desktop widgets and smart phone apps to assist coordinating and planning family schedules and such...  It has features for family (and individual) scheduling calendars, to-do lists, shopping lists, meal plans, and so on.  It's all in one spot online, and can be accessed by any family member from any computer or smartphone.  Pretty awesome, if you can get the whole family using it.  Not everyone here was enthused about it, so I haven't really gotten a chance to use it.
  • Lose It!  For those of us who self-medicate with food and want to get back into shape, or those of us who regularly use exercise to help focus...  Lose It! is a combination website and smartphone app.  Lose It! is all about straight forward losing weight by calorie counting...  It has a database of foods and exercises, and helps calculate a daily "calorie budget" for you based on age, weight, and how fast you want to drop the pounds.  Then, you can use it to keep a journal of your meals and exercise to track your net calories for the day, and also to track your weight.
  • JEFIT The second half of my effort to get back into shape, JEFIT is like having a personal trainer in your pocket.  It also has a website and a smartphone app.  And like Lose It!, you can use it to track weight, BMI, % fat, body measurements (waist, chest, biceps, etc...), and so on.  It also has a database of exercises, which you can use to create exercise routines.  Once you have a routine built, you can set your phone to run through the routine...  It'll record your reps, sets and weights, and has a rest timer with an alarm to keep you on track between sets.  These two made it a lot easier for me to be consistent about getting back into shape.

So many ADHDers seem to get caught up in technology...  smartphones and the internet and computer in general, especially.  Me just as much as anyone else.  I figure I might as well harness that predilection into helping my ADHD, instead of hindering it.

 

Pb.

fidgets

You mean physical stuff you can play with to keep your hands occupied, right?  In that case...

Rings - 

  • a ring with a big stone/etc in the middle that you can twist around and around your finger, or
  • a "Russian wedding ring" (3 interlocked rings) that you can easily push up and down your finger, OR
  • a spinning ring, the kind with one overlay piece that can spin around and around while the rest of the ring stays still.  

As a kid I would twist rings around my fingers ALL.THE.TIME.  (I also fidgeted with my feet, hair, mechanical pencils, and more but that's another story.)  I also have some funny equipment-free fidgets I think I developed to cope... like biting the tip of my tongue, and running one fingernail (usually the ring finger) up and down over the ridges of my thumb fingerprint.

OK, not many others of mine that are too useful... when I clean I like to sing or listen to very familiar songs, as I described it to my man: "If I have music going, I know I will be distracted by the music and not by something else."  but that isn't a fidget and isn't practical at the dinner table or the classroom!

 

Also can you explain the difference between alerting and calming fidgets?  I can't quite figure it out, even with the help of the internet...