When experiencing loss, it’s common for children to become preoccupied with feelings related to grief: apprehension, inability to focus, overstimulation.
But for children who are diagnosed with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the manifestations of grief can exacerbate ongoing struggles to focus and manage stress.
“Their minds are occupied with adapting to all the changes that loss creates,” said Helen Harris EdD, MSW, faculty member at Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.
While traditional bereavement groups can provide stability, Harris said they are often designed for families grieving a death. But children with ADHD experience many other forms of loss and sometimes need interventions tailored to their specific needs.