Helping kids with ADHD manage symptoms during COVID-19 uncertainty

Ways to help students with ADHD during pandemic
Ways to help students with ADHD during pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted nearly every child’s life in some way. But for kids with ADHD, the virus poses extra challenges.

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

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

But the 19-year-old college freshman also has ADHD, a condition that makes focusing and paying attention more difficult.

Many students like Owens are struggling to manage their disorder during a pandemic. And about 70% of those with ADHD also deal with other conditions, such as depression, anxiety, learning difficulties, or oppositional defiant disorder.

But there are some ways to help kids and teens with ADHD manage their symptoms during an uncertain time.

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 Owens, it’s all about setting a schedule he can stick to.

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

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.