ADHD Communities Rise To The COVID Challenge
Having worked for a couple of decades in support for people with child, adolescent and adult ADHD, it’s pretty clearly that it’s not an ideal condition to have when locked down. Fortunately, those who understand the condition best, the patient groups have stepped in with guidance on coping during the pandemic.
CHADD – Navigating advice
I’ve been visiting the US website of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) for more years than I care to remember. Over those decades, it’s created a very wide range of advice resources. So, the group’s approach to COVID-19 has been to help people to find the right resources quickly.
It offers clearly-defined links to internal and external resources based around key action areas including how to:
- Create structure and routine
- Attend school from home
- Protect your family (keeping yourself and your family healthy)
- Stay active and healthy
- Create calm
- Talk with your child (about COVID-19)
- Find support and resources.
As well as existing ADHD guides, the group has managed to add new guides and podcasts to address specific issues relating to the pandemic.
Giving support in first language
Now is the last time to be looking for support in a second language. So, it’s been good to see that patient group sites offering advice are not neglecting the other language communities they support.
One example is the US not for profit charity the Child Mind Institute which offers extensive materials in Spanish as well as in English. There’s a large Spanish section on helping children to cope with COVID-19, including Spanish videos, and guides in Spanish aimed at parents looking after children with TDAH – the Spanish name for ADHD.
Adults – keep the routine
Although establishing and keeping routine has been crucial advice for everyone, as ADHD Ireland points out in their guide for adults, it’s particularly important for the adult ADHD community. As well as keeping to normal working hours, the group offers this advice for the work day:
“If you’re working from home now, set up a dedicated space for your work station – whether it’s at the kitchen table or in your bedroom – whatever works for you. This will help you to focus and not get distracted by other things when you are in “work mode”. You may find yourself floundering with a lack of structure and colleagues. Try scheduling a regular call with your supervisor or someone working with you on a project daily to help keep your work focus intact.” – ADHD Ireland
The group also raises the often challenging issue of sticking to medication routines. Some people with ADHD take opportunities for time off their treatments – `drug holidays’, or skip meds at the weekend to feel `more themselves’, and re-establish routines for work or school days. In a lockdown, this can feel even more challenging, as the group acknowledges:
“Even though you are not going out to work every day now, you should still take your medication every day because ADHD medication works best when taken consistently.” – ADHD Ireland
Visit CHADD for their `one stop shop’ list of COVID-19 resources at…
See examples of Spanish support from the Child Mind Institute at…
Visit ADHD Ireland to review the range of guidance for adults, adolescents and children at…
Visit our sister blog, and twitter #PAGC19, which brings together examples of how patient groups are supporting their patients during the pandemic at…