Parents say ADHD symptoms worsening in children amid pandemic


ST. LOUIS – It’s another negative impact of the pandemic. Parents have been telling doctors that their children’s ADHD symptoms have been worsening during homeschooling.

Some pediatricians say they would not be surprised if the pandemic exposes the disorder in some kids.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be a challenge for children and their families. The COVID-19 ordeal appears to be making it even worse for some youngsters.

“We have certainly seen—a lot my peers have seen—an increase in the worsening of behavior that might have not been already present before the pandemic,” Dr. DePorres Cormier, an SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital developmental behavior pediatrician, said.

He says virtual learning from home has been tough on some of his patients. Before the pandemic, kids may have been fine with no medication, now they need it. Parents are seeing kids who have trouble focusing on school matters, as well as tantrums and even depression.

“We are seeing some of our patients worsening of mood symptoms,” Cormier said.

He says home schooling requires some changes for the family. Have structure, schedule classroom time, and a special place in the home. Children should be physically active during their free time. Parents should also allow kids to talk about their feelings.

Provide social interaction with other youngsters while following COVID-19 guidelines.
Parents may wonder if the pandemic will expose ADHD in kids that have never been diagnosed.

“I would not be surprised if some of our general pediatric colleague might be seeing more questions of ADHD or request for referrals for ADHD evaluation,” Cormier said.

If parents are unsure how to handle matters, Cormier advises them to call their pediatrician.

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