Newsletter #9: A study linking COVID with ADHD and a remote back-to-school tip

It’s back-to-school time, and what a weird back-to-school time it is. For many students, back-to-school will really mean back-to-screen this year as remote learning kicks into gear.

But in weird times, as in normal times, one thing that stays the same: we’re here to bring you 1 insightful study, 1 interesting news article, and 1 (hopefully) useful coping tip related to ADHD every month.

Study of the month: ADHDers have higher rates of COVID-19

When a team of researchers in Israel analyzed the prevalence of mental health conditions among 14,000 people tested for COVID-19, they found a surprising pattern: while mental health conditions like anxiety and depression were associated with lower risk of testing positive for COVID-19, people with ADHD tested positive for COVID-19 at significantly higher rates than people without ADHD.

Among people who tested negative for COVID-19, the prevalence of ADHD was 11.7 percent. But among those who tested positive, 16.2 percent had ADHD, leading the researchers to conclude that ADHD may be “a risk factor for infection with COVID-19.”

The researchers aren’t sure why that’s the case although they suggest that ADHDers’ tendency to take risks could play a part. In any case, it’s a good reminder to all of us with ADHD to do what we can to minimize our risk by following public health recommendations. Stay safe!

News article of the month: Seven-year-old with ADHD gets $40,000 settlement

Folks, here’s how not to deal with a seven-year-old child with ADHD who is testing your patience: put them in handcuffs.

You don’t do that because it’s totally unnecessary, it’s potentially traumatizing, and it does nothing to help them grow. Oh, also, you might end up having to pay out a $40,000 settlement.

That’s what happened with a seven-year-old ADHDer in Flint, Michigan, whose after-school program brought in the police after he “kicked a cart and ran onto the bleachers.” He was then restrained for over an hour because an officer decided to place him in handcuffs but apparently did not have the key.

The boy’s family has now received a $40,000 settlement, as detailed by the Daily Mail. This may not be the feel-good story we wanted, but at least it has the ending we needed.

Coping tip of the month: Make a movement schedule for online learning

For students with ADHD, remote learning conditions brought by the pandemic are especially challenging because learning on a computer involves even less physical activity than learning at school. And students with ADHD often need to have their bodies moving to be able to learn. ADHDers fidget in part because it helps us focus.

Solution: schedule in regular movement breaks when planning for remote learning. For example, separate Zoom classes or online study sessions with short time slots to go outside or do some indoor exercises. This tip can help students of all ages, from elementary school right on through college!

Best of luck to all ADHDers or parents of ADHDers who are entering a new school year, online or otherwise!

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