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Marianne M. Glanzman, MD: A Challenging Time for ADHD Patients

Students with ADHD have struggled with virtual schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been a challenging time for all students, particularly for students with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Patients with ADHD can still thrive in a school setting, but a routine is important in achieving this.

But routine has been impossible to implement since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, making it particularly difficult for patients with ADHD.

Recently, during the 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) virtual conference, Marianne M. Glanzman, MD, Attending Physician, Department of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), presented a session about executive function in patients with ADHD.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Glanzman explained why it has been so challenging for these patients.

“I think what is really critical for students with ADHD and students with other diagnoses that might come to our clinics, the important things they need for their education is structure, explicit instruction, review, and reinforcement,” Glanzman said. “That was hard to provide virtually.”

Patients with ADHD often suffer from difficulties with working memory in regard to instructions on a given task. Glanzman also said an issue during the pandemic is that many children felt vulnerable in the virtual setting, allowing the entire class to see into their home lives.

And in these scenarios the teacher has far less power to provide the structure needed in the classroom setting.

However, there are ways to help these students, even in the virtual setting. For example, explicit skill training can be offered to students with ADHD, as well as helping the child be more engaged and comfortable, which could help other students as well.