Online school with ADD/ADHD

Let’s talk about online school for those with ADD/ADHD.

People with ADHD tend to struggle more with focusing

People with ADHD tend to struggle more with focusing

Jackson Briggs, Copy Editor

Online learning, for most students, has been a tough experience. COVID-19 has flipped the table and made schools operate in an entirely new way. It’s a lot easier for a student to get distracted at home 24/7; they are surrounded by technology that they can access more easily. So what has online learning been like for people with ADHD and ADD? 

ADHD and ADD are both mental disorders that affect a person’s attention span. ADD is a type of ADHD that doesn’t involve as much fidgeting and movement. They both can also cause hyperactivity and strong impulsivity. 

Isabella Cullum is a freshman this year and has ADD. She describes online learning compared to being physically at school as a lot more aggravating. One of the main reasons for this is that she tends to lose focus and interest in her classes more easily, especially when they aren’t doing anything interactive.

“I usually listen to videos we are watching in class at a faster speed than what is set because my brain is moving at a faster pace than the select speed, so when I speed it up I can retain the information better. If not I’ll end up getting bored and distract myself through other means,” Cullum remarked.

Another main challenge for Cullum is being on time with daily activities. She can get into moods where she’s focusing on one particular task, which can cause her to forget about others she might need to do.

“Sometimes I’ll forget to take my meds, and I’ll end up daydreaming in class or doing something else, like folding paper cranes, when I should be focusing on what’s going on in front of me,” Cullum added.

Avery Williams is also a freshman this year, but she has ADHD. Since ADHD has a side effect of being hyperactive, Williams had a similar yet different experience this year. When she was taking classes at school, she said that she either had days where she would be hyper focused and could understand what was going on, or days where she could barely even read. 

“I used school as a way to release a lot of the energy I would build up in classes, whether it was during break, walking around campus or talking to my friends at lunch. There were always so many opportunities for me to deal with my energy that I never thought about what would happen if I couldn’t be at school,” Williams said.

COVID-19 hit Williams pretty hard. She didn’t expect lockdown to last that long, and since eight grade was practically over the teachers weren’t as strict when it came to required zoom meeting or assignment dates. When high school came, and she was required to join zoom calls for all of her classes, she had a hard time. As school went on, she found out new ways of dealing with her ADHD.

“I’ve been trying new medications and hanging out with friends whenever I can. Medication wise, I’m raking around three to four at a time, so sometimes I can be really out of it during classes,” Williams concluded.

This year has been rough for both Williams and Cullum, but they are making their way through it with strong hearts and great friends to support them.