Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), marked by inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity, is very common in the United States, with nearly one in ten children given the diagnosis.1 At Mightier, we do not collect diagnosis information about children and families using our product, although families do sometimes share symptom information. Through this data, we can see that many children with ADHD-related challenges use and find success with Mightier.
Does Mightier help kids with ADHD?
Yes. We have heard from parents that Mightier is helping children manage their ADHD symptoms. Three-quarters of Mightier parents whose children experience ADHD symptoms report that their children experience global improvements in emotional regulation. Parents whose children have ADHD tell us that Mightier has helped their children become more aware of their feelings and more able to notice when they are experiencing racing heart rate or other physical symptoms of hyperactivity or stimulation, and then to apply tools or skills to support their self-regulation. Parents have reported that since starting with Mightier their children with ADHD are more focused and socially aware and that they’re getting into less trouble in school.
Do kids with ADHD use Mightier?
Yes. We know many kids with ADHD who have used Mightier. In 2019, ADHD was a topic of conversation in nearly one in five Mightier coaching calls. Parents who brought up ADHD in calls with their Mightier coach were often discussing a child’s diagnosis, though occasionally they were expressing their concern that a child might have ADHD or tell us that they are planning to bring a child for neuropsychological testing.
Two common symptoms experienced by children with ADHD are impulsive behaviors and difficulties with frustration tolerance. Of approximately 12,000 players who joined Mightier between mid-2018 and December 2019, nearly 8 out of every 10 had parents who reported that they struggled with frustration tolerance and more than 6 out of 10 had parents who noted that they had impulsive behavior challenges. Based on reports from their parents, boys who started using Mightier from mid-2018 through the end of 2019 were more likely than girls who started using Mightier during that time frame to experience difficulties relating to impulsive behaviors and frustration tolerance.
Will my child with ADHD be willing to play Mightier?
Parents frequently worry that their child’s ADHD symptoms may get in the way of enjoyment of Mightier. Mightier contains controlled moments of frustration, which makes some parents worry that their children with ADHD may have difficulty engaging with Mightier because of their struggles with impulsivity and frustration tolerance. We have not seen this to be a problem for Mightier players. More than 8 out of 10 Mightier players with ADHD symptoms who started in 2019 have played for at least one hour. This is very similar to the proportion of players with more than an hour of playtime in the overall Mightier player population.
How do I help my child with ADHD get the most out of Mightier?
We have found that talking about Mightier and making connections between Mightier and real-world situations are two ways that parents can help their kids get the most out of Mightier. For parents of kids who experience ADHD-related challenges, this would include conversations about how our heart rate increases when we are feeling frustrated, and how Mightier helps us lower our heart rate using deep breathing and other calming skills, which gives us space to recover from our frustrations and think through our impulses.
Parents of Mightier players who struggle with ADHD have found it helpful to find a shared language with their children that allows them to identify and talk about moments of frustration. When families have this shared language, they often find they are able also identify strategies and tools that children can use in moments of frustration, including collaborative calming strategies that parents and children use together.
Ghandour RM, Sherman LJ, Vladutiu CJ, Ali MM, Lynch SE, Bitsko RH, Blumberg SJ. Prevalence and treatment of depression, anxiety, and conduct problems in U.S. children. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2018. Published online before print October 12, 2018 [Read summaryExternal], retrieved from CDC site: https://www.cdc.gov/childrensmentalhealth/data.html