Can Short Video Lessons Help Your ADHD Child Study Better?


General study techniques that work well for many students aren't always as effective for students who have ADHD. Have you considered using video lessons to help your child with ADHD with their studying? The article will help you find out if it really can improve your child's ability to study.

Video Lessons as a Study Solution

Have you seen your child's grades and been frustrated that they weren't doing better? It's no secret that your child's ADHD can impact their learning and how well they do in school. But you don't have to just accept that it is what is. Video lessons could be the thing to try to start seeing some improvements in how your child is doing in school.

Supplement Incomplete Notes

According to the Harmony Science Academy of North Austin (HSANA), students with ADHD often end up with notes that are difficult to read. This is because ADHD impacts fine more skills, resulting in handwriting that isn't always legible. Obviously notes like that aren't going to be great for studying.

What happens when your child is studying and realizes there are holes in their notes? Worst case scenario is that they skip over parts, but that could hurt them come test day. This is where short video lessons can come in handy. Your child can watch a video on the subject that isn't clear in their notes to make sure they understand the topics they will be tested on.

The ADHD Institute also notes that some younger students tend to be unorganized and can misplace things. One of the things they might lose is their notes. It's pretty hard to study from notes if you can't even find them.

All hope is not lost if you realize your child has lost all their notes. An easy alternative is online video lessons. Students can review any material they covered in class, giving them a better shot at doing well on their assignments and exams.

Reinforce Classroom Material

A blog by said that, while video lessons can be good for all students, they can be particularly beneficial for students with ADHD. Students who have ADHD often need to hear information more than once and in different ways. After listening to lectures all day, video lessons can provide a welcome change in learning format. Further, they give students an extra chance to go over the material, which can help with their retention.

Repetition of information is important for students with ADHD. In fact, Ben Glenn, The Simple ADHD Expert, says 'for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD), repetition can be one of the simplest and most effective tools for learning.' There's a limit to how much repetition teachers can provide doing the school day. Videos can help provide that additional repetition.

Kids studying together

Videos Can Better Fit Attention Spans

It's no secret that students with ADHD have shorter attention spans, which can be frustrating for your child. An ADDitude Magazine article explained that these students can 'feel trapped by any task that takes longer than the time they're able to maintain focus.'

Trying to focus on studying a notebook for hours can be challenging for your child. Short video lessons can help prevent their frustration. But 'short' is the key here. Finding multiple short videos to watch in place of of staring at a notebook for hours will be a welcome alternative for students with ADHD. Long videos, such as a full lecture, will only cause your child to lose focus, which defeats the whole purpose.

According to, students with ADHD have a hard time remaining seated. Have you tried to have dinner with your ADHD child and gotten frustrated with how fidgety they are? Maybe at dinner it's merely annoying, but when it comes to learning it can cause bigger issues. If your child is supposed to be studying their notes and keeps getting up, they may quickly lose track of where they were and have a hard time staying on track. recommends taking brain breaks for students that struggle with focusing. Short video lessons can make it easier to take a brain break without completely losing your place. For example, you could set goals for how many videos your child should watch. For example, tell them that once they watch three videos they get a snack. This can create a more productive study session than forcing ADHD kids to stay focused on studying for hours on end.

Video Lessons Can Be More Stimulating

Student feeling frustrated

A list of symptoms compiled by Dr. Edward Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey notes that people with ADD or ADHD may have 'a sense of underachievement, of not meeting one's goals.' This can surely manifest itself in school and studying. Imagine feeling like you never got the studying done that you wanted to, no matter how much time you spent going over all of your class materials. It would be very discouraging.

Video lessons could be a way for students who have ADHD to more easily see that they are reaching their goals. If the goal is to watch three videos before taking a break for a snack, it will be clear that the goal was met as they munch on their reward. By the end of a study session, they might be able to say 'I watched 15 video lessons,' which is a concrete way of understanding how much studying they accomplished.

Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey's list of symptoms also includes 'an ongoing search for high stimulation.' Typical study methods aren't always very stimulating. Who wouldn't get bored staring at written notes, printed handouts, or dry textbook writing?

Videos can provide far more stimulation to students with ADHD as they study, assuming it's the right video. Videos that combine speaking with relevant animations and examples can keep your child engaged in what they are studying, which will enhance their ability to retain the material.

Replace Uncomfortable Study Groups

As you're already aware, students with ADHD can have difficulty interacting with their peers. Writing for Understood, parent advocate Amanda Morin outlines some of these problems, including making and keeping friends, difficulties with conversations, and overreacting to some social situations. These factors can make it difficult to be part of a study group.

While you want your child with ADHD to get more comfortable interacting with others, studying may not be the ideal time to push them. If they feel uncomfortable in a study group, they may not be able to study because they are so anxious about interacting with their classmates. Your child can instead use the video lessons to study, and you can work on improving their social skills separately so that someday they will feel comfortable participating in a study group.

Finding the Right Videos for Your Child

Student studying on laptop

The above reasons make a strong case for at least trying out short video lessons as a study tool for your child with ADHD. Like most things in life, this might not work for everyone, but you can at least try it and always change tactics later on if need be.

But how do you find the right video lessons for your child? Below are some criteria to keep in mind.

Length: The Child Development Institute suggests breaking larger activities and lessons into smaller chunks for students with ADHD to help combat their difficulties paying attention. A video that is as long as a traditional lecture won't be of much help. Videos that are about 15 minutes max would be ideal, because it's enough time to get information without being so long it'd be painful to sit through.

Style: There are a lot of video formats out there. It's best to avoid ones that are basically a recorded lecture, because they just won't be able to engage the child the way you want to. Try to find videos that have more engaging elements, like fun graphics.

Delivery Formats: Since ADHD students tend to need things told to them multiple times, you may want to find videos that mix things up. Combining images, on-screen information and audio provides a variety of ways for your child to take in the information. The more ways the information is being presented, the more likely they are to absorb it.

Credibility: Search for just about any topic online and you're sure to get many results, but not all search results are equal. Before setting your child loose on the videos, verify that they're coming from a credible source. The last thing you want is to give your child a study tool that is actually providing them with incorrect information. You may want to ask their teacher for potential recommendations of good sources for educational videos.

With the above criteria in mind, we recommend you audit the videos first, and then have your child try them out. Vetting will help you set your ADHD child up for the best experience possible when they get started. You may also want to identify a few good sources to have them try out. That way you can test out a few to see which one is the best fit.

By Meghan Cooney
January 2020
k-12 learning with adhd

Never miss an update