9 Things That Can Help Neurodivergent Parents Optimize Their Lives

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neurodivergent parents

As parents, we all know how precious time is. But if you are a neurodivergent parent—like my husband and I are—time management can be a skill we often struggle with. This is because people with ADHD, depression, or learning disabilities often have trouble with executive function, a skill that helps us pay attention and stay on task. This means staying on top of things like meal planning, budgeting, and managing household chores can be a struggle. And while every individual is unique, executive function is a skill set some of us could use a little extra help with.

Over the past few years, through research and advice from my therapist, my husband and I have found a set of items, apps, and habits that help us stay on track in our day-to-day life. Here are nine things that have helped us, as neurodivergent parents, optimize our lives.

tiimo app
Tiimo

Tiimo App

While I personally love physical planners (and color coding activities/tasks), they unfortunately don’t send reminders.

This is a visual planner made to help those with executive function challenges that is available on Apple and Android app stores for a small fee each month. You can create a visual schedule, get schedule reminders as well as reminders of when an activity is starting and ending, and you can choose how and when you are notified. 

mint app
Mint

Mint App

Mint is a free spending tracker app. It calculates your average spending so you can create a budget based on what you actually spend month-to-month. I am very good at budgeting, but my husband with ADHD has trouble keeping up with household expenses. By connecting our finances to Mint, he is able to see our family spending by category without me going over everything a dozen times.

Tile

Tile

For those of us prone to losing our keys, phone, purse, etc. more than the average neurotypical person, the Tile can be a great solution. While I love using my Apple Watch and phone to ping my husband, he prefers nifty gadgets like Tile that can be placed on nearly everything that seems to go missing. Tile also helps when you have toddlers who keep stealing your remote or wallet.

Amazon

Digital Alarm with Charging Docks

Waking up can be a challenge in the best of circumstances, but this clock can help you get back on track by putting your phone and your alarm as far away from your bed as possible so you are forced to physically get up and turn it off.

Amazon

Defrosting Tray

All parents know the struggle of coming home to make dinner and realizing that we never took the meat out of the freezer to defrost. This defrosting tray works quickly and makes you less likely to order out.

meal planning
Etsy | XO Home Collections

Magnetic Meal Planner

I often forget when food is about to expire, but a few weeks ago, I’ve started incorporating dates with my meal planning so I don’t have to dig through the fridge every night to find out what we need to eat first.

This meal planner is magnetic so it sticks right onto the fridge.

Walmart

Cleaning Caddy

Whenever I am cleaning a room, I find myself running around to grab a certain cleaning product on a different floor or garbage bags from the kitchen, and the problem is that when I leave a room, I inevitably find something else along the way that needs to be cleaned as well. Cleaning caddies are great because they allow me to stay in one room with nearly everything I need in one place. This fast-tracks a chore that I would otherwise spend at least five times longer to complete because I added a dozen steps between what actually needed to get done.

Amazon

Hanger Organizer

This hanger organizer helps declutter a part of putting away laundry that I have been struggling with for years. Even though I’ve stopped folding staples like underwear and leggings, there are dresses and my husband’s work scrubs that we prefer to hang, and this takes out the distraction of looking for hangers that aren’t broken.

Kohl's

Flex Motion Jeans

Sensory sensitivities can sometimes make it difficult to get out of comfortable house clothes and dress for the day, but these pants have a hidden elastic waistband that make them perfect for looking put-together and feeling comfortable.

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