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Remote Learning and Its Effects on Mental Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many of us who now work remotely. The pandemic has also led to remote learning for our school-aged children and young adults who attend college. Some areas around the country closed schools in March 2020 and have not opened since then. While following COVID-19 protocols is necessary, the absence of being in a school surrounded by peers is taking a toll on our children’s mental health.

The Social Impact of Remote Learning on Children

The shift from in-person to remote learning has been challenging for many children and young adults. Being in school and learning in a classroom setting is more practical for academic and social development. Attending virtual classes has made many kids feel isolated, alone, and even scared. For children who already have mental health complications, remote learning can increase depression and anxiety.

Many children rely on schools for mental and behavioral health services. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before COVID-19, an estimated one in five U.S. children experienced a mental, emotional, or behavioral disorder. These included anxiety, depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and disruptive behavioral disorders. However, only about 20% of children receive care from a specialized mental health provider. Without access to these services, mental health conditions and behavioral disorders can worsen.

Many children and adolescents cannot participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs, with school closures. Many kids will not attend events, including prom, school fairs, or school field trips. For many others, school meals may be the only meal they receive throughout the day. Some could be home alone during the day as parents leave for work.

The social impact of remote learning on children can be devastating. Teachers who were able to identify whether a child is abused or neglected at home might have a more difficult time reaching that observation in an online classroom. Mental health can rapidly decline, putting a child at risk of self-harm, depression, and anxiety.  

Mental Health Conditions

Depression is debilitating and can make you feel alone, tired, and unmotivated. When children suffer from depression, they can become withdrawn or show physical symptoms, such as aches and pains. Some of the symptoms of depression in children include:

  • Loss of interest
  • Problems concentrating
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Aggression or angry outbursts
  • Hopelessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Talking about death

Some symptoms of depression can mimic other psychiatric conditions, such as ADHD or anxiety disorders. Before 2020, there was already evidence that young people’s mental health problems were increasing. The 12-month prevalence of a major depressive disorder in U.S. adolescents increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014.

Staying energized and motivated in a distance-learning model can be very challenging. Younger children who need supervision can quickly get distracted and not perform well in an online environment. Teens and older children miss socializing with friends as they usually would before the pandemic. Remote learning can make kids feel disconnected and anxious about their future in an educational environment.

Anyone can develop a mental health disorder or behavioral problem. Teens and adolescents who struggle with mental health issues are at high risk of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. Drug and alcohol use can lead to a substance use disorder (SUD). Certain drugs and alcohol can worsen mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Using substances to cope can cause serious health risks, including heart attack, liver failure, overdose, or death.

Ways to Improve Mental Health

Remote learning can make kids less active than they usually would be if they were attending school in-person. Inactivity and sitting still for long periods throughout the day can be difficult, especially for kids who struggle with ADHD. Parents can encourage their children to use time n between classes to stand up, walk around, and go outside for some fresh air if weather permits.

Physical activity can significantly improve a child’s mental health. Young people who exercise regularly have lower levels of depression, stress, psychological distress, higher levels of a positive self-image, life satisfaction, and psychological well-being. Regular exercise and staying active can also improve behavior, including those with behavioral disorders, such as ADHD. 

Youth Mental Health Services

The COVID-19 pandemic impacts young children and teens, and remote learning makes them susceptible to feeling isolated, putting them at risk of developing mental health complications. If left untreated, these symptoms can worsen or last well into adulthood.

Youth mental health services are available at Achieve Concierge. They can include medication, psychotherapy, or both to help a child or teen who experiences depression, anxiety, and other mental health symptoms. Also, alternative therapies like music or art therapy, meditation, deep breathing, and other relaxation techniques may be used as part of a mood disorder treatment program for a child or teen.

If social isolation and remote learning affect your child or teen, do not hesitate to ask for help. At Achieve Concierge, we want to help your child or teen find ways to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team of dedicated professionals can help identify a treatment plan based on your child’s needs.

 

Remote learning for children and young adolescents has been necessary for some parts of the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Isolation and distance learning can significantly impact academic and social development, which can increase f anxiety and depression symptoms. We can help your child or teen find ways to cope, and our team of clinicians is dedicated to developing the best option for your child’s needs. Each child who struggles with mental health symptoms responds differently to treatment. At Achieve Concierge, we offer youth mental health services to help ease anxiety and depression. We offer same-day appointments in person, and appointments with all our providers can be made via telemedicine. We take a holistic approach to treatment and want to help by determining the best course of action to treat your child’s mental health symptoms. To find out more about our services and treatment plans, call Achieve Concierge at (858) 221-0344.

Understanding the Difference between Childhood ADHD and a Learning Disability

Parenting a child with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging. Understanding the difference between childhood ADHD and a learning disability can help you prepare and create ways for your child to succeed. ADHD can cause learning difficulties, but it is distinct from a learning disability.

While it is possible to have ADHD alone or a learning disability without ADHD, they can co-occur. According to the Learning Disabilities Association of America, 30-50% of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability, and both conditions can intertwine to make learning very challenging.

What Causes ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes it hard for a child to focus, pay attention, sit still, and control impulsive behavior. Most children are diagnosed with ADHD at an early age, and symptoms can last through adulthood. ADHD affects approximately three to five percent of children in the U.S. When children have ADHD, they can fall behind academically due to inadequate attention skills and inability to focus. ADHD can affect school or work performance and interfere with socialization among friends.

The cause and risk factors for developing ADHD are currently unknown but can be linked to genetics. Many children who have ADHD also struggle with other disorders, such as anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorder, or Tourette’s syndrome.  

What Are the Differences Between ADHD and a Learning Disability?

Children who have ADHD or a learning disability can struggle with confidence, self-esteem, self-image, and rejection from peers. ADHD can lead to aggressive behavior, angry outbursts, and interrupting others, leading to rejection by peer groups and friends. There are three symptoms commonly linked to ADHD: inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity or acting without thinking.

According to the Kennedy Krieger Institute, researchers believe that some people with ADHD do not have enough neurotransmitters, which are chemicals in the brain that help control a person’s behavior. Some parts of the brain that control behavior were smaller in kids with ADHD than in children without ADHD. A diagnosis for ADHD is based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Symptoms need to significantly impair a child’s performance at school and at home to meet the criteria.

Learning disabilities can occur in children with exceptional intelligence and interfere with one or more learning areas. A child who struggles with a learning disorder can have difficulty with a specific set of skills, despite trying hard to achieve them, making a child frustrated and affecting self-esteem, confidence, and school performance.

Learning disabilities continue into adolescence and adulthood, and although there is no cure for learning disabilities, they can be managed successfully. Children with learning disabilities can get extra help or even qualify for special education in school. Some examples of learning disabilities include:

  • Dyslexia: Reversing letters or numbers
  • Dyscalculia: Difficulty with math
  • Dysgraphia: Problems with handwriting motor skills
  • Non-verbal learning disabilities: Poor coordination and inability to understand facial expressions
  • Reading comprehension deficit: Problems understanding what they read

Learning disabilities can also affect executive functioning, such as organization, strategizing, decision-making, and time management. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a part of U.S. legislation that ensures all children with disabilities receive free appropriate public education to meet their specific needs and prepares them for advanced education, employment, and independent living. 

Tips For Parents of Children With ADHD

Parenting a child with ADHD or a learning disability is challenging and can make parents feel helpless, hopeless, and guilty for their child’s behavior. Often parents feel increased stress, anxiety, and frustration as they come to grips with their child’s condition. Parents sometimes blame themselves for their child’s behavior and wonder if they could have prevented it. Here are some helpful tips for parents of children who struggle with ADHD symptoms:

  • Learn about ADHD. Understanding ADHD and your child’s symptoms can help you discover ways to help your child.
  • Communicate with teachers and educational professionals. Discuss your child’s success and struggles in school and at home.
  • Keep your child on the recommended dose of medication. Do not stop giving your child their medication without consulting the prescribing medical professional.
  • Praise your child’s efforts, no matter how small they seem; this can help boost your child’s confidence.
  • Set clear and concise expectations. When your child knows what is expected of them, they can better understand acceptable behavior.
  • Talk to your child’s therapist about the best ways to discipline your child. Each child’s situation is unique, and what works for one child might not work for everyone.
  • Acknowledge positive behaviors. Compliment your child on their acceptable behavior.
  • Set aside time to spend together on fun activities. Quality time spent with your child can reduce stress for you and your child.

There is no cure for ADHD, but it is treatable with medication, psychotherapy, and behavioral therapy. Natural treatment for ADHD is also available and can be tailored to each person’s own unique needs.

Getting Help For Your Child

Medication is sometimes used to increase the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. Stimulant medications that are commonly used in ADHD treatment include amphetamines and methylphenidates. Behavioral therapy is also used in treating children with ADHD and can be used in conjunction with medication or without it. Behavioral therapy can improve a child’s self-control, self-esteem, and behavior.

At Achieve Concierge, our team of clinicians can perform in-depth assessments and develop a treatment plan for your child’s unique needs. Each child responds differently to treatment. If you are a parent of a child who struggles with ADHD, do not hesitate to get help. While there is no cure, treatment is available.  

 

ADHD and learning disabilities share common traits but are treated differently. ADHD can cause disruptions in school performance, interruptions with relationships, and negatively affect life at home. Most children benefit from medication and behavioral therapy. Our expert medical clinicians at Achieve Concierge are dedicated to patient care and support and can provide the best strategy for treating your child. We offer individualized support to help your child cope with symptoms of ADHD so they can be successful in school, develop and maintain friendships, and control impulsive and disruptive behaviors at home. We offer same-day appointments in person, as well as telemedicine appointments. We want to help you and your child by determining the best course of action to treat their ADHD symptoms. To find out more information about our services, call Achieve Concierge today at (858) 221-0344.

adhd

Treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder commonly found in children that often lasts through adulthood. Neurodevelopmental disorders are disabilities associated primarily with the functioning of the neurological system and brain. Children with ADHD can have trouble paying attention, staying focused, controlling impulsive behaviors, or be overly active. At Achieve Concierge, we work with patients of all ages to determine the best treatment plan for their ADHD symptoms. 

Childhood ADHD

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines neurodevelopmental disorders as “behavioral and cognitive disorders that arise during the developmental period that involve significant difficulties in the acquisition and execution of specific intellectual, motor, or social functions.” ADHD can affect a child’s school performance and lead to lower grades. A child with ADHD may also have more trouble in social interactions, being accepted by peers, and learning in school. 

It is typical for most healthy children to be inattentive, distracted, and hyperactive at appropriate age levels. A child who is suffering from ADHD has more trouble concentrating and paying attention than a healthy child does at the same age. ADHD symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe. According to the Mayo Clinic, children who struggle with ADHD are at increased risk of alcohol and drug abuse and other delinquent behavior and tend to have low self-esteem.

Children who have ADHD can be hard to parent as their constant activity and inattentiveness can be challenging for adults to manage. Common parenting strategies can be ineffective for a child with ADHD. Positive reinforcement, rewarding good behavior and showing support can help improve a child’s self-esteem with ADHD. A daily structured routine at home and school also helps the child to know and understand expectations. Identifying strengths and building on them can boost a child’s confidence and sense of accomplishment.

Teens and Young Adults with ADHD

Social problems among peers in childhood can continue into teen years and adolescence. A lack of positive peer relationships in childhood can limit opportunities to practice and refine social skills, worsening existing deficits. Difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships can become increasingly disruptive for a teen with ADHD. 

Teens with ADHD have more difficulty complying with rules and need more frequent reminders and supervision. This need for supervision can be frustrating for the parent and teen and may lead to a cycle of escalating negative interaction. Showing love and support, reinforcing positive behavior, and finding opportunities where the teen can be successful, will help boost confidence and get the most out of their natural talents. 

Many teens with ADHD continue to experience significant symptoms in adulthood. An adult who struggles with ADHD may have difficulty organizing things, recalling details, and listening to instructions. ADHD can also make a person forget things, get easily distracted, and seem disorganized. This can make it hard for the person to get along with people at work, home, or school. 

Medications for ADHD

ADHD can be treated with stimulant medications, such as Adderall or Ritalin. Since these medications are stimulants, they can be addictive when not used as prescribed by a medical professional. Adderall and Ritalin raise levels of dopamine in the brain, which improves attention and focus. Stimulant use should be continually monitored by a healthcare professional to avoid the risk of prescription misuse. The misuse of stimulants is linked to psychosis, heart attack, cardiovascular problems, or even death.

Co-Occurring Mood Disorders

According to Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), “In adults, approximately 38% of ADHD patients have a co-occurring mood disorder. Mood disorders are characterized by extreme changes in mood.” It also states, “Up to 30%t of children and up to 53% of adults with ADHD may also have an anxiety disorder.”

A mood disorder is a condition that affects a person’s emotional state. It can make a person sad, irritable, or depressed. It can also result in extreme happiness or mania. When a person is diagnosed with ADHD and a co-occurring mood disorder, both conditions must be treated simultaneously as a dual diagnosis for the best outcome. With the right treatment, symptoms of ADHD can become more manageable, and a person who lives with a mood disorder can feel more emotionally stable.

Treatment for ADHD

Many people who struggle with ADHD live happy and successful lives. There are many challenges for a person with ADHD may face. However, treatment is available for people of all ages who struggle with ADHD. Achieve Concierge provides medications, psychotherapy, and other ADHD treatments for children and adults. We understand the challenges associated with ADHD and determine the best treatment plan for each individual’s needs. We can design a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

 

ADHD poses significant challenges in children, teens, and adults and can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Developing social skills and maintaining relationships can be difficult for a child or teen living with ADHD. An adult with ADHD can have organizational problems and the inability to stay focused, making it hard to complete tasks at work or home. Often, those who have ADHD can also have an underlying co-occurring mood disorder. At Achieve Concierge, we offer treatment for all ages of people living with ADHD. We provide medications, psychotherapy, and other ADHD treatments and natural remedies tailored to a patient’s individual needs. Our patients experience a continuum of care that addresses not only healing for the mind but the body and spirit as well. While there is no cure for ADHD, treatment is available. We offer same-day appointments as well as telemedicine appointments. If you are struggling with ADHD, there is help available. To get more information about our services, call (858) 221-0344.