There is no denying that we’re currently in unprecedented and uncertain times. While the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) increases, schools across the nation are transitioning into a time of remote learning with the help of virtual technology. For students with ADHD, this can present many challenges in their daily routine and result in an increase of stress and anxiety. Here are 5 ways to help maintain your child’s focus and navigate the unknowns of autonomous learning:

1. Maintain structure
Students with ADHD rely heavily on day-to-day routine and find security in
structure. While learning from home, be sure to create clear schedules, rules, and behavior expectations for your students in order for them to maintain a sense of predictability. Additionally, make sure the physical environment they’re learning in is different than where they spend their “leisure time” at home.

2. Use multi-sensory learning methods
Create a balance of audio, visual, and kinesthetic learning opportunities for
your child. It’s important that while still focusing on the task at hand, your student can move freely and continue traditional learning methods. This can be effectively managed through flexible seating options, fidget toys, hands-on materials to interact with, and digital devices.

3. Set screen-time limits
While we transition to remote learning through the use of technology, it’s
important to still facilitate an appropriate amount of screen-time. During your
student’s free time, encourage creative ways that your child can take a “brain break” from their device and indulge in real-time activities.

4. Facilitate ways for your child to socialize
Maintaining an environment that mimics a typical school day, while staying inside your home, means creating ways for students to continue socializing with classmates and friends. During the screen-time that your child does receive, consider using applications like Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype for fun virtual interactions.

5. Encourage positive communication about what’s happening
While the world is navigating through this new reality, your child is too. It’s important
to provide honest, accurate information on what is happening and be open to
answering their questions. While keeping them up-to-date on the current situation,
consider regulating how much media they are consuming in order to reduce stress
and anxiety. Additionally, teach them positive ways that they can do their part to help
contain the spread of the virus.

No matter what your “new normal” looks like, remember to be patient with yourself and continue to embrace the many ways in which you can positively contribute to how your child is coping with these changes.