A Virtual Silver Lining

young girl remote learning

Fear of Falling Behind

Many parents of children with ADHD worry that their kids will fall behind in a remote learning environment. The potential challenges for ADHD children include:

  • Being more easily distracted in the home environment
  • Harder to stay focused on the learning tasks
  • Less structure and order compared to their day compared what they had attending school in-person
  • The potential for increased anxiety and depression brought on by the isolation of the pandemic
  • Less opportunity to develop social skills through direct interaction with other students

Educators use the term “learning loss” to label the cumulative damage that these challenges can inflict on students who are unable to keep up with their grade level while in a remote learning environment. The concern is that students who have significant learning loss due to the restrictions brought on by the pandemic might never catch up.

Remote Learning – the Silver Lining

But for some ADHD kids,remote learning actually has had a silver lining. They find that remote learning plays to their strengths. For example,

  • Using a computer may make it easier for these kids to keep their lessons and materials organized  and accessible
  • Kids can be more comfortable learning in their room at home and this can help with focus
  • They have greater flexibility to take breaks and move around when they need to
  • There can be greater access to learning materials that play  to their different learning styles – e.g., audio, visual or kinesthetic
  • There is less pressure on social communication / interaction  which can sometimes be difficult

All of these factors have the potential to help ADHD kids thrive in a remote learning environment.

What Parents Can Do to Make it Work

While the pandemic landscape seems to be gradually improving with the increasing availability of vaccines, there is still uncertainty about when and to what extent schools will reopen and return to normal operation.

In the meantime, there are things parents can do to help an ADHD child get the most out of remote learning while diminishing its negative effects, including:

  1. Be flexible about your
  2. Create and stick to a routine.
  3. Take ADHD Medication
  4. Keep distractions to a minimum during the learning day
  5. Be thee for support, but give your child some independence in the learning
  6. Embrace your child’s learning style
  7. Build in movement and exercise breaks
  8. Create some safe social time for kids with friends, family and their peers

References

https://www.additudemag.com/benefits-of-remote-learning-underachievement-adhd/

https://www.npr.org/2021/03/08/971457441/as-many-parents-fret-over-remote-learning-some-find-their-kids-are-thriving

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/ADHD-and-Learning-During-COVID-19.aspx

https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/tips-online-learning

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