Not every child with ADHD and ADD experiences difficulties in reading. Studies estimate that around half struggle with literacy skills. Attention issues make it difficult for kids with ADHD to concentrate on text. As a parent, there are things you can do on how to overcome ADHD reading problems.
Kids with ADHD may have trouble following narratives, connecting text to their prior knowledge of a topic, and guessing at the meanings of unknown words .
Left unchecked or unsupported, it leads to frustration and avoidance of activities involving reading and writing over time. Also, your child may suffer low self-esteem
The good news is that there are strategies and resources you can use to help your child achieve in school and be a great reader even if they have ADHD.
About ADHD & ADD
Sometimes, ADHD is used as a catch-all term for kids who have both ADHD and ADD — the latter is the one without hyperactivity. Teachers and parents find it easier to recognize the former by the characteristic impulsivity and great levels of activity.
Kids with these special learning abilities can be fidgety or disruptive at school. There are times when they blurt out answers and tend to be messy with their handwritten work. Sometimes, they have trouble concentrating for long stretches of time.
How to Overcome ADHD Reading Problems
These kids learn better in short bursts with breaks that let them expend a bit of their extra energy. So here’s how to overcome ADHD reading problems with kids.
#1 Reading together
Impulsivity is what makes a child with ADHD take random guesses when reading vs. taking time to sound out a word. For this reason, it’s helpful for them to read along with adults or older children.
The child also sees the letters and ends up hearing the words at the same time, reinforcing the necessary skills. Dicker Reading programs include this type of learning for kids with ADHD.
#2 Include movement while learning
For kids with ADHD, include plenty of movement. Get plastic letters or magnets and stick them on the fridge. Let your children play with them, letting them configure words on their own. Substitute vowels and practice blending and rearranging sounds.
#3 Read regularly but in short bursts
If you require kids with ADHD to sit still and read for extended periods of time, it’s going to be hard. That’s asking for a lot. Instead, try to incorporate 15 minutes of quiet and focused reading time in their daily schedules, preferably after exercise or during times in the day when they’re most likely to be calm.
It’s also helpful to observe a child for a couple of days. Take notes on when they’re most focused and then schedule their reading time accordingly.
#4 Find reading material that interests them
You need to make sure that children understand that reading can be fun by choosing topics or a genre that gets them excited. Engage your children’s imagination before they start reading and ask them to make predictions about the book. Read, point out, and discuss text wherever you find it, even if it’s on the back of a cereal box.
#5 Praise and encourage in their efforts
Keep records of every book that you’ve read together, and take notes on pages that they’ve read on their own. Colorful charts, stickers, and calendars, etc. You can use these as tools to encourage intrinsic motivation when it comes to reading.