ADHD Students: Help During COVID


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — 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.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

REPORT #2800


BACKGROUND: ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood that is usually diagnosed in childhood. ADHD causes children to have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly active. They typically do not grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends. A child with ADHD might daydream; forget or lose things; squirm or fidget; talk too much; make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks; have a hard time resisting temptation; have trouble taking turns; and, have difficulty getting along with others.


ADHD AND COVID: Children with ADHD may face extra challenges dealing with the changes brought on by COVID. Students with ADHD need order to their day to be able to function their best. Whether at home or at school, different schedules and routines can increase a child’s symptoms. These behaviors are often signs the child is under stress. The repetition of this stress can affect how a child develops and learns, focuses on tasks like learning new things and remembering what was learned, and how the child behaves. It is important for parents to remember that your child is not purposefully being disorganized, easily distracted, or unable to wait their turn. There are strategies and resources available to help parents with these challenges. Focusing on their strengths, working together to establish a routine, setting clear and age-appropriate expectations and rules, seeking support from teachers, pediatricians, or counselors who know your child, and connecting with online behavior management resources for children with ADHD can help both parents and kids make the most of this COVID time.


MEDICAL DEVICE TREATS ADHD: The FDA has approved the first medical device to treat ADHD. Known as the Monarch External Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation (eTNS) System, it is prescription-only and for use by patients 7 to12 years old who are not currently taking prescription medication. “This new device offers a safe, non-drug option for treatment of ADHD in pediatric patients through the use of mild nerve stimulation, a first of its kind,” said Carlos Peña, PhD, director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. The eTNS is intended to be used in the home under the supervision of a caregiver. It’s a cell-phone sized device that generates a low-level electrical pulse and connects via a wire to a small patch that adheres to a patient’s forehead, just above the eyebrows. The system delivers a low-level electrical stimulation, which feels like a tingling sensation on the skin, to the branches of the trigeminal nerve. This nerve sends therapeutic signals to the parts of the brain thought to be involved with ADHD.


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