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. Be sure to check out Step 1 and Step 2 before diving into the rest of the guide!
Step 3: Reduce workload when possible
Sometimes the solution for getting through an assignment and avoiding burnout is simple: shorten the assignment.
In fact, reducing the length of assignments is a common accommodation for ADHD in school, particularly when kids also have slower processing speed, or learning disabilities such as dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
For things like worksheets and math assignments, this can look like having your child do every OTHER problem. Or choosing selected questions to do instead of all of them.
For writing assignments, you can reduce the number of words, or paragraphs required.
You or your kiddo can talk to the teacher about which problems are most important to focus on. Usually kids can understand and practice new concepts without doing EVERY question on the page. And pushing them to their burnout point just results in more frustrations, anxiety, and negative self-image.
Most teachers agree that the goal of homework is not to have your child sit for 3 hours, struggling to finish an assignment. The goal is to practice and solidify the skills they are learning.
So keep an open dialogue with the teacher about how much time your child is spending on assignments, and work together to find ways that make sense to reduce the workload.
It is also important to remember that kids (especially ADHD kids) may be using up all the "focus power" they have during remote learning classes. This leaves even fewer reserves for working on assignments too!
Hopefully this technique for reducing workload will help your child to succeed in a remote learning environment. Stay tuned for more techniques and tools to support your family!
You've got this!
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