When the coronavirus pandemic struck, schools closed and only reopened in an online mode. Children across the world were confined to their homes as the schools and colleges closed down abruptly. This was the time when online education saw an unprecedented upswing. Parents were naturally concerned about their children’s education and whether online schooling would be a good substitute for in-class teaching.
Parents of children with special learning needs were justifiably even more concerned about how these changes would affect their kids. However, there have been some surprising results in the online learning performance of kids with ADHD. Here is how kids with ADHD perform better in an online education environment.
ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) makes learning in a mainstream environment challenging for children. They struggle to maintain focus on lessons, cannot remember everything the teacher says, and are often disruptive in class. In short, school can be a nightmare for kids with ADHD.
While ADHD and remote learning might seem like strange partners, it has emerged that they make a good team. Several parents of children with ADHD have reported that their kids are far happier learning online and that their grades have shown improvement. While schools had to implement ADHD-specific measures for online learning, many kids have found their own ways of making this education format work for them.
The breaks during online learning
Something that kids with ADHD have found helpful about online learning is that they can take a break whenever they experience a sensory overload or loss of concentration. In a regular classroom situation, they are expected to remain in class and keep listening when this is almost impossible for them. With online lessons, learning can be broken down into smaller chunks with more frequent pauses.
Some kids with ADHD function better at specific times of the day. Many find concentration in the morning challenging, which makes conventional schooling difficult. With lessons created as on-demand videos, children with ADHD can learn at their peak focus times, which could be in the afternoon or at night.
The benefit of ‘safe space’
Some kids with ADHD learn better when they can move around during a lesson, and ADHD remote learning accommodations recognize this. These learners like practical, hands-on activities and are referred to as kinesthetic learners. Kinesthetic learners find a classroom confining, feeling that it stifles their learning style. ADHD tips for online learning include making lessons interactive and practical as they will retain the child’s attention.
Taking children with ADHD out of a conventional classroom and putting them in a space where they feel safe has helped many kids and is a fundamental link between ADHD and distance learning success. Kids with ADHD typically spend a lot of time being disciplined by their teachers for being disruptive.
Socialization is better
A classroom’s social structure can be confusing for kids with ADHD. As mentioned before, they often do not understand that they do things differently from classmates. This can be frustrating for these kids, and they sometimes struggle to make friends.
Kids with ADHD tend to learn better when not distracted by other children around them. However, they should continue socializing with children their own age through sports and other extracurricular activities.
Online learning takes discipline, which is not something most people would associate with kids with ADHD. However, their ability to focus on something that interests them is remarkable.
Among the ADHD distance learning tips that parents swear by is identifying a child’s interests and focusing learning on it. This could include extra research assignments about a topic the child loves, integrating their area of interest into lessons, and rewarding them with more time to spend on their passion if they keep up to date with other lessons.
Conclusion - Deciding the best mode of education for kids with ADHD
As seen here, for children with ADHD, online education can do wonders. In online learning, there is greater scope for personalized schedules, frequent breaks, interactive content, and visual aids. These things when combined can enhance greater engagement. Implementing clear instructions, using educational apps, and maintaining open communication between parents and teachers is also known to create a supportive environment. This synergy creates better focus and academic performance in the virtual learning setting.
If you believe a physical classroom is better suited for your child, choose a school carefully. You should consider your child's learning capabilities to reach a decision that benefits both them and you.