There are several underlying symptoms of ADHD that affect how kids function in their day-to-day life. The CDC estimates that 1 in 10 children in the US have ADHD. The prevalence of ADHD is rising as more people become familiar with the symptoms, and testing happens more frequently. Parents need to be aware of the symptoms to understand what their child struggles with and to help them access resources for support. One symptom that kids with ADHD experience is time blindness. But what is ADHD time blindness, and how can you help your child manage it? We’ve got a guide to the causes of ADHD time blindness and how to cope below.
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What Is ADHD Time Blindness?
Most neurotypical people can estimate how much time has elapsed. Time blindness is when someone cannot sense how much time has passed or remember when certain things happened. Anyone can experience time blindness, but it’s especially prevalent in people with neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD and autism.
Causes and Symptoms of ADHD Time Blindness
Time blindness is typically a result of difficulties with executive function skills, affecting someone’s ability to process sensory information. Sensory inputs like light levels and temperature changes that indicate the passage of time are difficult for people with autism and ADHD to process. Symptoms of time blindness can include:
- Poor time management
- Losing track of time
- Being distracted
- A poor internal clock
These symptoms can heavily disrupt your child’s day flow if left untreated. Some ways that your child can display this disruption include:
- Being unable to remain organized at school
- Getting distracted when moving from one task to another
- Missing essential deadlines like school projects
- Incorrectly judging how long tasks will take, such as homework
- Struggling to complete schoolwork
- Being accused of being lazy
- Feeling like a disappointment to parents and teachers
Read more: What Is ADHD Masking?
Did you know that if a parent has ADHD, their child has a 50% chance of also having ADHD? Take a brief quiz below to see if you have common symptoms of ADHD.
How to Help Your Child Cope With ADHD Time Blindness
There are a few things you or your child can do to help combat the effects. You and your child can work through time blindness by:
1. Identifying Areas of Impact
It’s important to observe the specific areas in your child’s life where they commonly experience time blindness, such as during school lessons or social activities. Once you’ve identified these areas, you can concentrate on finding effective strategies for each episode of time blindness.
Read more: Learning Videos for Kids
When your child becomes overwhelmed during activities, it’s helpful to assist them in processing their emotions to prevent sensory overload. Introducing buffer time during or between activities can be beneficial in reducing the feeling of being overstimulated. This buffer time provides your child with a much-needed break, allowing them to effectively manage their time without feeling overwhelmed.
2. Recognizing and Avoiding Time-Sucking Activities
Neurotypical people have no problem realizing when time is running away from them. It’s a natural, innate ability they have. Neurodivergent people with ADHD or autism may often get lost in whatever they’re doing and not notice that hours have passed.
Read more: Kids Time Blindness Test
Identifying these time-sucking activities is the first step to managing your time when partaking in any. For example, if listening to podcasts or music is a time-sucking activity, set your playlist to turn off in an hour on its own (often a feature for night mode).
3. Using Technology
Living in a world of technology allows us to employ tools like apps and alarms to help combat the effects of ADHD time blindness. If your child is battling to remember things, have them make setting alarms part of their daily routine. Set as many alarms as your child needs if one isn’t enough.
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4. Develop a Time Management System for ADHD Time Blindness
Developing and using time management systems can help your child cope better with any time blindness episodes. Teaching your child these early coping mechanisms can help them better manage this symptom throughout their life. Use tools like Bullet Journals, alarms, and other tools to help remind you to switch tasks.
There are no one-size fits all situations when it comes to managing time blindness. However, knowing how it affects your child is essential to help them develop coping skills to last throughout their life. If left unmanaged, it can jeopardize relationships, work, and more in later years.
Try Goally For Your Child With ADHD
Goally is an excellent option for many families that have a child with ADHD. Use game play as a points-based motivator for your kiddo with ADHD, help them learn emotional regulation skills, and watch them grow! It’s simple to set up and has an expert-informed design.
Start Managing ADHD Time Blindness Today
Understanding time blindness is essential if you have a neurodivergent child or a child with ADHD. Remember, it doesn’t help the child to blame them for being lazy when time blindness is a sensory issue they cannot fully control. Instead, helping your child to create good habits can teach them to be responsible with their time.
This post was originally published on 12/09/2022. It was updated on 11/22/2023.