ADHD Blossoms Into Opportunity With iGotThis App
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“I was a poster child for ADHD,” Rich Schramm testifies after I ask him about his motivations to create an app that addresses the needs of children and adults with ADHD. “There had to be a better way to do things in life,” he says, adding, “I didn’t want my kids to go through the same things I did.”
Rich’s three children, all diagnosed as having ADHD, along with his own experience led him to put his software development skills toward a very personal effort. He hopes a Kickstarter campaign (available until April 5, 2017) will offset some of the enormous costs involved in creating a smartphone app that will help families, like his, prosper and grow with ADHD.
iGotThis is an app that focuses on focusing—a major issue for anyone dealing with the day-to-day of being blessed with ADHD. The app is best described as a task management system, but the big difference is the implementation. Everything has been tweaked and refined to help children (and adults) keep on task and measure their progress as they work toward daily and lifelong goals.
Seeing ADHD as “a by-product of being an extraordinary person”, Rich has determined to have the app not work as a reminder of a disability but instead as a personal coach that paces and motivates you to move forward. “That’s the key message we’re sending through the app, by making sure these kids experience a steady stream of successes and meeting expectations, which is very much the opposite of what it usually is in their lives.”
Once installed, iGotThis uses parents’ smartphones (multiple phones can connect to a child’s account) to assign tasks and remind when each should be started. The reminders come before and at the start time. If the child doesn’t confirm she has begun the assignment, the reminders continue at an interval set by the parent and continue until she confirms having started. Afterward the great feeling of pushing the task completed button takes place and the effort is displayed on the parents’ phones. Finally, appropriate consequences, including rewards, can be offered between the parent and child.
Rich says the gentle reminders help to avoid “didyaitus” in families. “Did you do this? Did you do that? That can wear away at someone’s self-esteem,” advises the app’s creator who feels the software instead helps parents see what their children have done or missed. At the end of the day, the rewards and/or negative consequences can be dealt with directly between parent and child.
So, what if your child’s greatest distraction is the smartphone in their pocket? Rich feels it’s important to help all children learn to use technology appropriately. However, he assures parents that iGotThis will work in conjunction with many other methods of blocking web browsers, games or other online use. In fact, the software can operate in “off line mode”, meaning continuous data is not necessary.
Summing up his hopes for iGotThis, Rick says, “Our solution is more than just an app. It’s a community and a mission.”
Offered without advertising at a very nominal monthly fee of a few dollars, Rick’s desire to help the ADHD community is evident in this effort. However, the app’s availability rests on the successful conclusion of the Kickstarter Campaign. Certain donations toward the campaign offer lifetime memberships and use of the application along with other recognition. You can also visit iGotThis.com for more details about the app.