Attention Deficit Disorders and Online Learning: The Perfect Storm

Havana Garrett, Editor in Chief

Online Learning and Attention Deficit Disorders


This year with online school and virtual learning it’s become more apparent than ever that everyone learns differently and at different paces. Students with attention deficit disorders such as ADD or ADHD are disproportionately affected by the problems that online learning brings. 

ADD and ADHD can cause major problems focussing which is especially difficult in an online environment. With so many assignments and things to keep track of combined with attempting to learn in a new way in an environment that may not have been previously used for schoolwork, it’s a recipe for distraction. 

ADD and ADHD are more than not being able to focus, the symptoms range from forgetfulness, disorganization, being easily distracted or making careless mistakes, to being impulsive or inability staying on task (web MD). 

ADD and ADHD also present differently in women, which leads to a significant difference in diagnosis While 12.9% of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, only 4.9% of women will be diagnosed with ADHD ( With so many women struggling with ADHD left undiagnosed, they will lack the tools needed to properly deal with their symptoms which can lead to being frustrated for not being able to thrive in this new environment. 

The online environment is difficult for everyone, and as we collectively adjust to this new way of learning and transition back to in person learning its important to keep in mind that students with ADD and ADHD may have a harder time adjusting. While some students with ADD and ADHD may have an easier time acclimating to this than others, some may still be learning what helps them and their symptoms and it’s important to remember that and give them all the time they need to fully adjust to this new way of learning.