Growing number of parents seeking ADHD diagnosis for children to manage remote learning

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 23:22:13-04

(WXYZ) — As the school year winds down and more kids prepare to head back into the classroom, some parents are seeking a diagnosis of ADHD and possibly medications for kids to manage remote learning.

Health experts say this pandemic has left some families teetering on the edge, and now they want answers because their child is struggling with this new age of learning through Zoom, and now with the return to normalcy – will they bounce back?

Parents with school-aged kids at home have been in a twisted tizzy trying to play loving mom or dad and home school teacher at the same time.

Carrie Krawiec feels this COVID pandemic has caused her son who loves the outdoors to almost hate school. Sitting on Zoom has been like torture.

"I don't want him to see it as a place that he dreads, which is a little bit the case right now," Krawiec said of her son.

Like for a lot of kids, once school shifted to online learning grades and assignments got lost in the shuffle. Krawiec assumed her son was completing his school work.

"After Christmas break, I started thumbing through it and it was all blank; the whole thing was empty," she said.

Since COVID hit last March there's been a rise in parents wanting to have their children evaluated.

Dr. Jessica Garrett is a licensed psychologist and the director of psychological assessment at the Birmingham Maple Clinic. She says the lack of consistency and structure has caused an uptick in anxiety, depression and ADHD.

The doctor says it's a bit hard now to notice the signs parents and teachers should look for in children.

"And Zoom is especially hard because you don't have them in-person, face-to-face so you don't see what their whole person looks like," she said.

She adds that it's vital that parents and teachers do a check-in with a child.

"Their mental health, their well-being is top priority, above their grades," Dr. Garrett said. "Above post-high school plans."

Krawiec is so concerned about her little boy, she's having him tested for ADHD.

"The school evaluated him, but they do not do give, at least to my knowledge, a formal diagnosis," Krawiec said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a formal assessment comes from a psychiatrist or psychologist, also teachers fill out questionnaires about behavior. Some are treated with just therapy, others with medication like Ritalin or Adderall.

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Symptoms can be severe and cause difficulty at school, at home or with friends.

A few signs and symptoms your child might have ADHD: they daydream a lot, forget or lose things, squirm or fidget or even talk too much. If you're concerned, the first step is to talk with a health care provider to find out if the symptoms fit the diagnosis.