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ADHD at School

Has anyone tried headphones

I am considering trying headphones for my son to listen to soft music while he is working on his handwriting since he refuses to do and when he does do it it is so sloppy most people can not read it.

Has anyone had any success with this idea?


So-so.  I am trying music therapy, where he listens to a program of music administered by his OT twice a day. Studies show long-term benefits in terms of focus and executive functioning abilities.  I don’t think it has done any harm, but I don’t know for sure that it’s actually done anything at all.  His performance at school IS improving, but I tend to think it’s more a function of the steps being taken by the teachers and by me at home to get him on track and doing more work at school.  Who knows.  Maybe it IS helping.  As I said, it’s certainly worth a shot.

I tried to get my son to do this at home while doing schoolwork, like you are suggesting, and he just wouldn’t do it.

He sometimes uses noise-cancelling headphones at school to reduce noise/distractions.

I think anything is worth a try if it stands a chance at helping our kids have a better time with their schoolwork.  Listening to music certainly isn’t going to do him any harm, and it just may help, so I would try it. smile

I bought

Posted by JAMurphy on Feb 28, 2014 at 12:34am

Hi twinflana!

You don’t say how old your child is, but I would have him evaluated for a learning disability in writing. My son has both Dysgraphia and Written Expression Disorder. He has done a lot of OT specifically for handwriting with no improvement. His handwriting will just always be “sloppy” and hard to read. It was apparent to his teacher and I when he was in first grade, but the school wouldn’t recognize it and offer services until 3rd grade. My son is now 11, and types a lot of his homework.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 28, 2014 at 6:44pm

My son is 6 1/2 and in 1st grade we do not believe it is a learning disability and yes he was screened last year by the school when they formed his 504 plan. (he didnt qualify for a IEP)

He can write the letters when I am able to get him to slow down and take his time.  It really is a case of just his mind flying faster than his hand and not interested in doing it I believe.  He did OT therapy until he started kindergarten and the OT therapist said he was ready to be released from therapy.

Posted by twinflana on Feb 28, 2014 at 8:19pm

My 12 year old daughter does have Dysgraphia, but I don’t think it has anything to do with her desire to use music/headphones. She just started to use headphones (no music) to keep out the outside noise. But, she also uses music on occasion on her iPod touch to help her focus. I think it is more of an ADHD issue. The music helps her drown out other outside noises and focuses her on the homework or task at hand. The therapist recommended it, and it seems to work!

Posted by lmneely on Feb 28, 2014 at 10:15pm

Rather than music, I have found white noise of sorts to be the most helpful! I got one of these years ago:

And I use it for the static noise, the rainforest is a favorite, and when drastic measures are called upon, I turn up the rain sound.

I also use a white noise app:

Posted by Merganize on Mar 03, 2014 at 8:24am

Hi twinflana,

My son can form the letters too when he slows down enough. That’s part of his ADHD but also part of the Dysgraphia—his brain can’t handle everything in the environment and forming letters and using proper writing mechanics all at one time. The speed he’d have to maintain to write well is so slow that he couldn’t even finish one tenth of his daily work at that speed. It’s just not practical, and that’s what contributes to the LD diagnosis.

My son appears to not “want” to write well, but it’s not the case. He’d love for his 5th grade handwritten work to not look like it belongs in the kindergarten hall! Schools will not usually diagnose learning disabilities, and rarely do it at a young age. Watch your child’s progress with writing and just keep the possibility of Dysgraphia in mind—if he doesn’t make progress, it could very well be a learning disability.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 03, 2014 at 6:30pm

A friend f mine recently told me about a web site: The site allows you to pick what you are trying to overcome (distractions, organization, etc) and then shows a list of apps for them. These apps are explained very well and rated by actual users, not the manufacturers! There are a ton of free ones as well. The site is created by an ADHD drug manufacturer so it is geared toward ADHD needs. I am not one to spend $ on apps unless they are super special, so this site really helped me pick a few to try for my daughter. Good Luck

Posted by Lpatterson on Mar 15, 2014 at 7:14pm

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