At-home schooling for children with ADHD: Creating a successful learning environment

Standford University researchers found that ADHD symptoms might affect children's school...
Standford University researchers found that ADHD symptoms might affect children's school readiness. (MGN)(KWQC)
Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 5:13 PM CDT
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The coronavirus pandemic has turned many parents across the country into homeschool teachers. For parents of children with ADHD, the switch from parent to teacher may be particularly challenging.

ADHD is a complex disorder that can present as predominantly inattentive behavior, like difficulty keeping on task and following through and predominantly hyperactive-impulsive behavior, like fidgeting or has difficulty remaining seated. They can also present a combination of the behaviors.

Dr. Greg Mattingly is the founding partner of St. Charles Psychiatric Associates in St. Louis, Missouri. He also serves on the board of directors for APSARD-The American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders and is a certified evaluator for the NFL regarding ADHD and head concussions. He joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 on Friday to provide some simple, easy-to-implement strategies parents can use to help create a better learning environment for their ADHD children at home.

“Obviously this has been a time of increased stress for all of us,” he said. “But especially for children with ADHD, especially for children with developmental disabilities, their normal environment is no longer there.”

He said additional behaviors parents want to be on the lookout for in their children with ADHD are anxiety, depression, being isolated or withdrawn and insomnia.

Some of the strategies for successful at home learning is to have structure.

“That structure has a purpose,” Dr. Mattingly said. “Get up at a consistent time, have breakfast and then start the day at a consistent time.”

He recommended starting with a favorite class or subject so your child looks forward to it, and they have an affirmation of doing something well, and then gradually work in chunks.

“Put the most difficult subject around 10:30 in the morning, because that’s when children with ADHD, their concentration tends to be at its best performance.”

Another thing that parents need to remember, is that children mimic our behavior, so model the behavior you want your children to have.

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