WHAT IS ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood.
WHO DOES ADHD MOST COMMONLY AFFECT?
Children are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, especially male children. Statistics show more non-Hispanic white children being diagnosed which could be contributed to social factors such as availability for medical care to do assessments, stigma about mental health, and others.
WHAT ARE SOME SYMPTOMS OF ADHD TO LOOK FOR?
Hyperactivity, inattention, and impulse control issues are common symptoms. This can include talking too much, having trouble sitting still, being fidgety, or acting without thinking of the consequences.
Adults might suffer from depression, mood disorders, or substance abuse issues. They can also have difficulties with their day-to-day responsibilities including work as well as relationship struggles.
IF MY CHILD HAS ADHD WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP THEM?
Make sure to get a formal diagnosis from a psychologist/psychiatrist after an assessment. If the child is experiencing symptoms that are predominantly inattentive make sure their environment is stimulating enough for information to register. For example, using a yellow piece of paper helps words be more noticeable. If symptoms are predominantly hyperactive, allow for breaks for the child to “get their wiggles out” and reward behavior when they have “slowed down.” Treating things as games can help such as saying “let’s walk slowly together, and whoever gets there the slowest, wins.” It’s also important to inform your child’s school of their diagnosis and work with the administration to ensure they have necessary accommodations to be successful.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO TREAT AND MANAGE ADHD?
Psychotherapy for emotional regulation
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS A PARENT CAN HELP A CHILD WHO HAS ADHD FOCUS WITH VIRTUAL LEARNING?
- Structure is crucial. Help your child set up a plan for each day to help with staying on task. Set up a calendar in their “learning area” with assignment due dates, tests, and class schedules.
- Set alarms. Help them set alarms on their phones or computers to alert them to switch classes, take breaks, or turn in work.
- Allow time for breaks. Snack, take walks, play games (kids with ADHD are only able to focus for 45 minutes at a time).
- Avoid distractions. Set up a study area free of visual distractions like windows or posters. You can place cardboard on sides of computers to help.
- Don’t over manage. Children learn independence by managing their own schedule. Oversee the school day, but don’t hover or take over.
- Embrace their learning style. Some kids cannot sit in a chair. They might prefer a bean bag, sitting on the floor, walking around, or going outside to do work.
- Stay in touch with teachers. IEP (Individualized Education Program) are still in place. Talk to staff about how they can help meet your child’s needs.