ADHD Ireland Surveys Pandemic Impact on Families
Patient groups are adept at using surveys to raise awareness of their cause. Recently we looked at how ADHD patient groups were helping their communities during the pandemic, including ADHD Ireland. Now this group has gained publicity for the community, by surveying the impact of the lockdown on Irish families and adults with ADHD.
Confirming challenges and needs
At the launch of the results of its survey with 435 people, Ken Kilbride, Chief Executive of ADHD Ireland laid out the aim:
“Our mission is to make life better for people with ADHD, and this survey has helped us to identify areas in which we can be a greater support to those that need us. We are working closely with the HSE [Ireland’s Health Service Executive] to bring as much information and support that we can to help those that need it, during this difficult time.” – Ken Kilbride, Chief Executive, ADHD Ireland
Top challenges for ADHD parents
The survey highlighted the aspects of lockdown that ADHD parents found `more challenging’ or `most challenging’:
- Home schooling (85%)
- Managing their child’s screen time (80%)
Commenting on these findings, Ken Kilbride said:
“For children with ADHD, excessive screen-time can be counterproductive because it can cause pent-up anxiety and irritation which then has a knock-on effect on the rest of the day and for the rest of the family…We would recommend setting clear boundaries and monitoring that as much as possible.” – Ken Kilbride, Chief Executive, ADHD Ireland
In the survey, parents confirmed that they had significant concerns including that:
- the `catch-up’ after the crisis might be very difficult for their children
- their children are very much missing the wider family and in particular grandparents.
When asked what the `surprising benefits’ of the pandemic have been on their lives, those surveyed responded overwhelmingly that these were:
- less stressful mornings and evenings (67%)
- quality time with their children (62%).
Adults with ADHD coping
About one quarter (23%) of respondents were adults with ADHD and their greatest challenge was scheduling their day, with almost half saying that was their greatest challenge at this time, followed closely by worry/anxiety about their wider family.
On a positive note, some adults surveyed noted that they found working from home suited them much better because it was much less distracting without co-workers.
ADHD Ireland say they have stepped up its online support for both parents of ADHD children and adults with ADHD by responding to the crisis with an active series of online support groups and webinars.