The Neurodivergent Lens of Quarantine

Samantha Roberts

Everyone’s quarantine has been a struggle. There have been adjustments in all aspects of people’s lives, and with all the circumstances of the time period though, there is a set of people that is quite often overlooked by the general population that has also been through a lot from these times. This is the neurodivergent population of the world. This includes those of us with mental disorders like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and other similar dysfunctions of the brain that make it difficult for the affected person in areas like learning, attention, sociability, and more. According to, “one in eight people are considered to be neurodiverse, but fewer than 50 percent know it,” so many people around you are dealing with these issues. Maybe you’re one of the people dealing with these problems. This is why learning about their struggles is so important for all members of the school community.

One struggle that many neurodiverse people have is paying attention in many situations. Even at school it can be a struggle, if a class isn’t stimulating enough or doesn’t have enough things to focus on. But online can be worse in many scenarios, since there isn’t someone close up to keep people on track. Instead, many can be distracted by the things in their houses, and the things on their screens in other places. No one really has a say in that, since devices can’t be taken away from such a long distance. Because of this, many people have the tendency to tune out, especially if a teacher isn’t quite so interesting.

Another has to do with the motivation of completing classwork. Since everything is set up online, people don’t feel the stress of having a physical paper to turn in and everything around them is private. This gives the student fewer reminders to think about what they need to turn in, and can be even worse on the mind of people who quickly forget that homework was assigned. This is a common problem in the neurodivergent community, even outside of quarantine times.

The best way to help someone out who struggles with these problems is to possibly be a helping hand to them. If you share a class with someone who is neurodivergent, you can remind them of homework that was assigned in order to get them on it. Though of course, try not to make that the only way you talk to them. Try to have a positive effect on their lives, and that can likely do wonders for them. You might not understand their struggles, but support is the best weapon you can use against those who face any problems here.