Families everywhere are navigating new terrain. You are not alone! Everyone is facing shifts in routine, structure, learning, etc. For parents/guardians of children with attention challenges, finding ways to support children with ADD during COVID-19 can bring about an additional set of obstacles, but at Banyan Tree, we believe in looking at solutions.
Here are ways to help your ADD child cope during the Coronavirus. If you have questions or would like to speak with a teacher or director about your unique child and family situation, we would be more than happy to help!
Please see our contact information at the bottom of this post.
1. Strengthen Communication
Right now, everyone has questions. It’s important to keep lines of communication open, especially between your family and your child’s school. Reach out to your child’s teachers and ask about distance learning, modifications, and student goals.
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice on how to support your child at home, or to adapt the learning to fit your child’s needs. Here are some questions to ask:
- “What has worked in the past for my child to focus?”
“How much or how little should I assist with homework?”
“Am I, or is my child responsible for getting work done?”
2. Carve Out Time for Learning
You can support children with ADD during COVID-19 by remembering that learning will look different right now (and that’s okay). Rather than trying to create an entire school day, focus on learning in sections.
Perhaps that looks like 9-11, followed by a lunch break, and then one hour of homework at night. Maybe that looks like 8-9, break, 10-11, and 2-3, break. Whatever works for your child and family is perfectly fine! Try to create a structure (with breaks!) to keep engagement and focus up as much as possible.
3. Add Alternate Activities
Some students won’t be able to sit down and focus on a computer for extended periods of time. This doesn’t mean that they are poor learners; it simply means they learn differently! If your ADD child is having a hard time sustaining attention for virtual learning, create alternate activities for him or her.
This can be as simple as providing a fidget (for example, kinetic sand) to touch while the lessons/lecture is happening. It can be as advanced as looking up engaging activities to supplement class time or contacting your child’s teacher to request additional resources for practice at home.
Another great strategy is to offer time during the day for physical activity — as both a class and a movement break. You can easily support children with ADD during COVID-19 by remembering that movement helps with focus. Add movement, even if it’s as simple as five jumping jacks between a class lesson, to help your child reset and feel more engaged.
4. Use Positive Attention to Reinforce Good Behavior
Many children with ADD thrive on positive behavior reinforcement. This is a simple way for parents to recognize good behavior and attempt to encourage it. Whenever you see your child focusing (especially when this happens independently!) try to praise or offer encouragement.
These moments can bring self-awareness hopefully encourage him or her to notice and strive for repeat actions in the future.
5. Be Patient
This is a process! Finding ways to support children with ADD during COVID-19 is often difficult, and no two children are the same. What works for your family may not work for someone else and vice versa. This is okay!
As you learn to navigate your own home learning experience, be sure to reach out to your child’s teachers and other support networks. At Banyan Tree, our goal is to help each and every student succeed in his or her own way. Regardless of whether you attend one of our campuses, we want to partner with you during this challenging time.