5 Tips for Children with ADHD and Distance Learning

Children with ADHD may have a hard time paying attention, sitting still, organizing their tasks and materials, managing time and prioritizing work, and managing their emotions. Distance learning may be exacerbating these difficulties. Here are 5 tips for helping your child with ADHD participate in distance learning. 

1. Set up Flexible Seating Options

Allow flexibility in their learning environment at home. Provide different seating options such as a move ‘n’ sit cushion, standing desk, t-stool/wobble chair, theraband on chair legs, or let your child lay prone on elbows (on their tummy) to improve attention. Allow them to chew gum or use fidget tools.  

2. Help with Organization

  • Start with a daily visual schedule with each class or task they have to do. They can check each item off as they complete it.
  • Have materials bins  and put a visual labels on each–Pencils, Paper, Scissors, Glue, etc. 7 Expert Ways to Use Printable Labels to Organize Your Classroom | Avery.com
  • Have “TO DO” and “DONE” folders or bins. Have your TO DO assignments in one side of a folder or bin and when your child completes a worksheet or assignment, move it to the DONE side of the folder. Homework Strategies & Accommodations for Students with ADHD | Study.com


  • Color code assignments by subject. Use a red math journal, put math worksheets in a red folder, and use a red book cover for the math book. 
  • Use graphic organizers for writing assignments and note taking. Understood.org has great tips here

3. Get Ready, Do, Done for Executive Functioning

Get Ready, Do, Done (from Sarah Ward) is a wonderful tools to support  executive functioning including planning, task initiation, and task completion. Plan backwards to move forward. Start with DONE-what will it look like when the task is complete? Then, move to DO-list the steps in a task in order and finally move to GET READY– what materials do I need? Once a child plans out the task, THEN they can move forward-gathering items, completing the steps, and turning their “Done” work in. 

executive functioning in 2020 | Teaching executive functioning, Executive functioning skills, Executive functioning activities

4. Behavior Management

Use positive reinforcement such as a token economy or star chart to reward expected behaviors. Find motivating reinforcers (e.g. outside play, 10 minutes screen time, board game, favorite snack, favorite toy, etc.) that your child will work for. 

Token Economy {For Behavior Intervention}: Positive Reinforcement Visuals | Token economy, Behavior system, Classroom behavior management

5. Provide instructions in a Variety of Ways

Repeat verbal directions, keep instructions clear and simple, break down multi-step tasks into smaller parts, and provide visual checklists. 

Don’t forget to take a look at DeveloPLAY monthly subscription boxes filled with sensory tools to aid with regulation and attention! 

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