ADHD COVID-19 Precautions: How to take care of children with ADHD in the COVID-19 pandemic? Explains Dr Pradeep Mahajan
ADHD COVID-19 Precautions: The COVID-19 pandemic has left everyone in a fix—whether or not to travel, how to avoid acquiring the infection while commuting by public transport, and so on. Think about kids too, who after several months of being at home is going to be excited about being able to move out. The pandemic is not showing symptoms of going away anytime soon. Therefore, with schools reopening soon, it is essential to teach kids specifically on the ways to maintain self-hygiene social distancing and other safety aspects as mandated by the government to avoid acquiring COVID-19. While it is difficult to get kids to concentrate, it is even more challenging to ensure that children with neurodevelopmental conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome (ADHD) understand these instructions.
What is ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)?
Ok, so first we need to understand what ADHD is. ADHD is a condition associated with distractibility and inattention. The cause is a combination of genetic, environmental, and personal factors. Several neurophysiological deficits have been implicated in the disease. This could be related to the neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers responsible for transmitting information from one cell to another. Alternatively, there may be issues in the existing cell-cell network itself, leading to periodic attention lapses.
Dr Pradeep Mahajan (Regenerative Medicine Researcher, StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai) shares tips to train your children
Before teaching such children the unlock and hygiene-related guidelines, it is essential to know that they tend to have difficulty in processing information rapidly and can get confused when presented with multiple details.
- Try to be creative in the manner in which you convey the information. For example, you could make posters or placards with the instructions. Pictures are a fun way to teach children. Or considering the era we live in, show them animated videos or music-based instructions. These will help them retain the instructions more effectively. You could also put up posters or signs above the washbasin or even in rooms possibly, which depict your child’s favourite fictional characters telling or showing about hand-washing and sneezing.
- There is another aspect to consider that children with ADHD do not retain information well, in some instances. Therefore, you might have to convey the set of instructions on a routine basis repeatedly. Try to make it a fun game-like who can remember the maximum number of instructions. It is challenging for parents for being innovative each time; however, there are resources available over the internet or in books that will help you ensure that your child with ADHD learns and remembers the safety protocols to be followed.
Please note that it is imperative to continue with behavioural and other therapies that the child usually undergoes, even at home, so that the transition back to school is s smooth as possible. It is our duty, as adults, to ensure that kids with neurodevelopmental conditions do not face additional challenges while returning to school. While we cannot change the course of the pandemic, we can ensure that our kids remain safe!
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