For many households, learning virtually will be the norm this fall. Virtual learning is difficult and stressful for all students, but it can seem even more challenging for students with ADHD who struggle with focusing their attention. Here are 5 strategies that can help support your child with ADHD during virtual learning.
1.Post a schedule
Schedules are an important way for your child to understand the structure of the day. Create a visual schedule each day and post it where your child does their learning. This will help keep your child on track throughout their school day.
2. Watch recorded lessons in chunks
Many schools are asking students to watch and learn from recorded lessons. Your child might find it difficult to focus on the entire lesson in one sitting. Try watching the recorded lesson in chunks and offer your child quick breaks during the lesson.
3. Divide large assignments into smaller steps
Large assignments can feel daunting to a child with ADHD. To help with these larger assignments, try breaking them up into small and manageable steps. It can be helpful to create a to-do list with each step so your child can check off the step once it’s finished.
4. Schedule plenty of breaks
During a long day of virtual learning, breaks are essential for your child. Add breaks to your child’s schedule so they know when they’re coming up and how long they have. It can be helpful to set a timer for each break.
You might also consider setting up a “break board” where your child can have options of what they can do during a break. ie. During shorter breaks they can get a snack or some water, while on longer breaks they can play outside or play with their lego sets.
5. Have sensory items available
One of the advantages to virtual learning, is that your child can have access to sensory items that they may not have at school. If your child prefers to fidget while they’re learning you might allow them to have a stress ball or chew gum while learning. If your child often needs a quiet break, you might set up a break corner where they can lounge on a pillow and listen to calming music for a few minutes.
Although virtual learning can seem very challenging for children with ADHD, with the right steps in place any child can be successful. Remember that this type of learning is temporary, so be patient with your child and with yourself.