Dr. Carrie McMillin is a naturopathic physician that specializes in treating adults and children with ADHD and anxiety.
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The abrupt transition to online school last year was less than ideal and has left families dreading virtual classes in the fall. So in order to support a successful year, I have created a Remote Learning Survival Guide, with some simple steps for parents of ADHD kids. Over the next few days I will be posting details on how to make these 7 steps work for you.
Step 1. Be Flexible
I truly hope this is an easy transition for your family. But more likely than not, there will be some frustrations and rough patches.
Remote learning is still new for most students and teachers, and not ideal for many. But you will learn what doesn't work, you will find things that DO work, and you will adapt. It's sort of like when you start a new job--you expect that first few months will be less than ideal. This is no different.
When you do run into problems, try to pinpoint the specific hurdle and then consider some solutions.
For example, maybe your child is incredibly distracted during online math lessons. Let's say these presentations are 30 minute videos or video calls with the teacher and you notice that after 15 minutes your child is just can't pay attention any more. The problem may be that it is just too long of a period of time for your child to stay engaged. Solution: Break math time into shorter segments of 10-15 minutes, with short breaks in between. If it is a video call, ask the teacher if it can be recorded so you can do this.
Here's another example. Perhaps the class is assigned to read a specific book together, with one chapter of at-home reading per day. Your kiddo may technically read the chapter but is so distracted they don't remember anything they just read. Solution: Try getting the book on audio book--information that is heard is processed differently in the brain than information that is read. Still distracted? Have them listen to the audio book in the bathtub. Add some epsom salts to the tub to help relax the body, and you may find they can follow the story better.
Ask your child if they have any ideas on how to overcome a specific problem they are running into. ADHD brains are innovative brains, and they may come up with a creative solution too! You've got this!
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