The pandemic is leading to more parents looking for help with what they believe are signs of ADHD in their kids.
Calls to the help line for the Children and Adults with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) have increased 62% since the start of the pandemic. More than half of those calls are from parents looking for a doctor who specializes in ADHD.
The nonprofit tells us the rest are from parents who have noticed issues while their child learned remotely.
“So, the classroom provides more structure, but when you're learning at home, you may not have that structure, no matter how hard that parent tries, so they're seeing issues with paying attention and time management,” said April Gower-Getz, Chief Operating Officer at CHADD.
Dr. Gene Arnold is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. He says there are 18 symptoms of ADHD. Kids have to have at least six of them to be diagnosed.
You should talk with a professional about behaviors of inattentiveness, hyperactivity or impulsiveness you're seeing in your child. But there are things you can do at home to help as well.
“The important thing is structure. The person with ADHD has trouble organizing things and following a schedule on their own, so the parent would need to make sure they get up on time, that they tune in for the virtual learning on time, the same way they would get them off to school,” said Dr. Arnold.
The ADHD help line has also seen some adults calling saying they're having time management and focus issues themselves. Gower-Getz believes they may be noticing this more as they work from home. That number to call if you'd like to talk with someone about yourself or your child is 1-866-200-8098.