Schools have not been the same since the onset of the pandemic as most of the schools have resorted to distance or remote learning. Distance learning can be difficult for any child but with children having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), it can be very challenging. Parents of children with ADHD have described learning in such circumstances as full of tears and tantrums.
ADHD in children can impact learning as they find it difficult to start and complete tasks and are unable to manage their time properly. Kids with ADHD prefer order and routine in their day and are successful in such circumstances.
Is remote learning challenging for ADHD students?
Online or remote learning can be problematic for ADHD children as it is less structured and in an online setup, teachers expect children to be more self-motivated. Lack of structure can even result in an increase of ADHD symptoms in children.
Researchers have found out that 31 percent of parents of kids with ADHD have termed remote learning as “very challenging” and have found difficulty in supporting their children at home. It can also be difficult for teachers and students to support ADHAD kids in learning in a virtual setup.
In the physical classroom, teachers can at least keep a track of when students with ADHD get confused, fidgety, and require attention and support. However, in an online setup, it is not possible as many of these signals are lost in translation during Zoom instruction. Although learning from home is quite flexible and independent, it needs more focus and organization, two qualities that are often lacking in students with ADHD.
Although remote learning is not at all ideal for ADHD kids, teachers and parents are trying to support these children through various methods for effective learning. They are focusing on the fundamentals of smart online teaching: brain and body breaks, chunking lessons into shorter units, and connecting with and soliciting feedback from their students.
Tips and tricks to support ADHD kids while remote learning.
Set up an ideal virtual learning environment children with ADHD find it difficult to stay glued to a computer screen without any kind of interaction and thus it becomes hard to keep them on track. To make things easy, one can set a separate learning space devoid of toys, siblings, or pets.
- Stick to a schedule
A stable and consistent routine is very important for an ADHD child during remote learning. You can make a visual schedule that includes study time, meals, and other breaks. It keeps a child motivated when they are aware of the next lesson or especially if there is a break. Breaks such as jumping rope or scootering around the block can meet a basic need of children with ADHD — the need to move. Visual checklists are also useful to keep children with ADHD on track.
- Reinforce good behavior
You need to ask your child to repeat good behaviors that you wish to see through positive reinforcement. They can be rewarded based on their age and interests and it could be as simple as a star chart or a chance to play a video game.
- Fidgeting is fine
As many children with ADHD are hyperactive, they have an inbuilt desire to fidget and move. To control such behavior, one must try to keep their hands busy by providing them fidget spinners or squeeze balls. You a ball chair can also give them a ball chair so they can bounce a little while working.
- Adjust to their online learning style
Don’t step behind to make any kind of adjustments that will support your child in a virtual learning setup. Teachers can work to modify lessons so they are more suitable for ADHD students or use a format better to aid their style of learning, such as software that reads the material to the student.
These steps can be incorporated in a remote learning environment to support ADHD children learn more effectively. If you as a teacher want to adapt these skills to support ADHD students, you can train yourself through various ADHD awareness courses for teachers to learn the skills to handle them in any situation.
Written By : Angira Mitra