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Help for students with ADHD during the pandemic

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 10:16 AM EST
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The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted nearly every child’s life in some way. But for kids with ADHD, the virus poses extra challenges. Ivanhoe reports on some ways to help kids and teens with ADHD manage their symptoms during an uncertain time.

The COVID crisis turned Brian Owens’ school year upside down.

“Not having your teachers for one-on-one instruction definitely is a disadvantage,” stated Owens.

But the 19-year-old college freshman also has ADHD, a condition that makes focusing and paying attention more difficult. Many students, like Brian, are struggling to manage with their disorder during a pandemic. And about 70 percent of those with ADHD also deal with other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, or oppositional defiant disorder. If your child’s schooling is remote with no set schedule, try letting them choose the best time to log in. But create a consistent routine that they can follow. It may help if the student makes visual checklists to help them see what their day looks like. Alternate schoolwork your child finds less appealing with more enjoyable activities. Also including movement breaks such as bike riding or jumping rope as exercise may help with ADHD symptoms. For Brian, it’s all about setting a schedule he can stick to.

“I just set my reminder to begin schoolwork at 12 pm, and I just work until I get it done,” said Owens.

Experts say, if your child takes medicine, don’t have them stop during the pandemic. Also, try to limit the amount of negative news your child watches, reads, or listens to.

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