Dyslexia and ADHD Comorbidly

In some cases, dyslexia and ADHD coexist. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), between 50 to 60 percent of people with ADHD also have a learning disability including dyslexia which is a language-based learning disability.

According to Learning Disability Online, Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people have difficulties in specific language skills. It affects 10% of children and there are challenges with writing and interpreting spoken language;

Signs and Symptoms:
  • delays in learning the alphabet, colors and objects
  • delayed vocabulary
  • delayed speech
  • difficulty comprehending instruction
  • disorganization
  • inability to recognize printed words and letters on printed page
  • difficulty remembering the sequence of things
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)is a neurological disorder characterized by a pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that disrupts functioning in both children and adults

Signs and Symptoms

The DSM-V defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of attention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning of development. Inattention symptoms include the following:

  1. often fails to give close attention to details
  2. often has difficulty sustaining attention in task or play activities
  3. often does not listen when spoken to directly
  4. Often does not follow through on instructions
  5. Often has difficulty organizing task and activities often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in task that requires sustained mental effort.

Hyperactive symptoms include:

  1. trouble paying attention
  2. restlessness
  3. excessive talking
  4. loud interaction with others
  5. frequent interventions
  6. may have a quick temper

Having both can be tricky to diagnose since they overlap in similarities. For example, a child may have a messy handwriting with spelling issues due to both disorders or when reading, may simply get tired of reading due to ADHD or may not understanding the reading material.

Intervention
  1. If the child shows signs of ADHD and dyslexia disorders, an assessment should be conducted for both disorders.
  2. The IEP should also include support and accommodations for both disorders,

ADHD and Dyslexia– International Dyslexia Association

Dyslexia and ADHD: Identifying, understanding and treating reading disorders in children– Impact ADHD

My child’s Dyslexia and ADHD: How they blended together-Understood

The Dyslexia and ADHD connection– Additude

The link between dyslexia and ADHD– Very Well Mind

Two conditions, one struggle: Teaching students with ADHD and dyslexia- CHADD

What is Inattentive ADHD?

When most people think of ADHD, hyperactivity is often what people think of. There are actually 3 subtypes of ADHD including hyperactivity, inattentiveness and a combination of both hyperactivity and inattentiveness.

There has been little research done on the inattentive type, however this is slowly changing. there are many reasons why the inattentive type is overlooked and why it is important to discuss it.  Studies show that females are more likely to have the inattentive type of ADHD. This type of ADHD is often ignored or overlooked due to its comorbidities. Females are more likely to have learning disorders such as dyscalculia (math learning difficulties) and dysgraphia (writing disorders), as well as anxiety, depression and speech and language issues.

Other challenges faced by children and adults with inattentive ADHD includes issues in executive functioning including difficulty in sequencing, staying on a task, prioritizing, and productivity.

According to DSM-V, a person must meet six of the nine symptoms listed below:

  1. fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  2. has difficulty sustaining attention in work or play
  3. does not listen when spoken to directly.
  4. fails to finish school work, chores or work duties
  5. has difficulties organizing activities
  6. avoids task requiring sustained mental effort
  7. loses things
  8. is easily distracted
  9. is forgetful.

Strategies in working with students with Inattentive ADHD:

  1. Allow enough time to complete work. students with Inattentive type take a longer in completing assignments and processing information
  2. Be specific and provide structure. Explain your expectations and ensure instructions are clear.
  3. Decrease distractions as much as you can
  4. Monitor for both depression and anxiety
  5. Help to build self-esteem
  6. Provide accommodations in areas of learning.
Resources

Medication response in children with predominantly inattentive type ADHD– Cincinnati Childrens’

Symptoms of Inattentive ADHD– Hill Learning Center

The other face of ADHD: Inattentive type- MDedge

What is ADD? Inattentive ADHD Explained– ADDitude

What to know about inattentive ADHD– Medical News Today

Understanding ADHD and Inattentive Type– Healthline

How Impulsive of Me

Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Kelly Babcock

One of the hallmarks of ADHD is a problem with impulse control. Impulsivity is so common that we are known for it.

And some of the subtle ways that it impacts our lives often go unrecognized because being impulsive is usually only seen in the more explosive and dramatic examples of its manifestation in our behavior.

It’s not unlike the discovery years later that a sibling has a milder form of ADHD that went undiagnosed because, in constant comparison to the more challenged member of the family, they appeared to not be one of us.

So too with impulse, the behaviors that did not result in something exploding are not recognized as impulsive in comparison to that time when I … well, let’s not dwell on the past shall we?

So sometimes behaviors that are at their root impulsive do not appear to be because they aren’t dramatic. Click here to read the rest of the story

What is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?

 

Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as a disorder that includes two core symptoms- obsessions and compulsions. According to the Census for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), obsessions are defined by:

  • Thoughts, impulses, or images that occur over and over again. These thoughts, impulses or images are unwanted. They cause a lot of anxiety and stress.
  • The person who has these thoughts, impulses or images tries to ignore them or tries to make them go away.

Compulsions are defined as:

  • Repeated behaviors or thoughts over and over again or according to certain rules that must be followed exactly in order to make an obsession go away.
  • The person feels that the purpose of the behaviors or thoughts is to prevent or reduce distress or prevent some feared event or situation.

Down Syndrome and Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is considered one of the conditions affecting 2% to 4% of adults with Down syndrome and as they get older, the prevalence increases to 37% of men and 50% of women.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

It is a common disorder due to repetitive episodes of different breathing while sleeping due to upper airway collapse. The obstruction occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fails to keep the airway open.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs of obstructive sleep apnea in individuals with Down syndrome include:

  • Snoring
  • Gasping
  • Excessive daytime sleeping
  • Daytime mouth breathing

According the Down Syndrome Association, the following techniques will help with sleeping during the night:

  • a nightly routine at bedtime
  • a bedroom that is free of distractions (e.g. cut out any unwanted light or noise)
  • regular sleeping hours
  • regular exercise and activities
  • avoidance of caffeine and other stimulants in the evening
  • avoidance of exercise in the evening.
Resources

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Down Syndrome– NDSS

Obstructive sleep apnea in children with Down syndrome– Children’s Hospital Boston

Obstructive sleep apnea in children with Down syndrome– Massachusetts General Hospital

Obstruction sleep apnea in patients with Down syndrome: Current perspectives- NCBI

Sleep apnea confirmed common in children with Down syndrome– Cincinnati Children’s

Sleep problems in people with Down syndrome- Down’s Syndrome Association

How to Deal with Obsessive and Repetitive Behaviour

Published by: Durham Region Autism

For many people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), obsessions, repetitive behaviours, and routines that might appear overly rigid or unhealthy to neurotypical individuals are actually a source of comfort and self regulation. Like all things, however, when used too much, these behaviours may detract from other things or cause distress to the person with ASD, so understanding these needs and knowing where to draw a line is important. To help a person with ASD learn how to manage these issues, it’s vital to understand the behaviours’ function and how to respond to them.

Why People with ASD Develop Obsessions and Repetitive Behaviour

People with an ASD may have any number of obsessions (some of them as common as certain TV shows), but often they center around a “technical”, academic, or mechanical skill-set, such as computers, trains, historical dates or events, or science. Obsessions can become quite odd and particular, however, involving specifics about numbers or certain shapes (things like car registration numbers, for example, or bus or train timetables, and the shapes of body parts or stones). People with ASD can feel quite strongly about these things, no matter how mundane they may seem to others.

Children with ASD develop obsessions as they help to give them a sense of structure, order, and predictability, which counterbalances the chaos they may feel is inherent in the world around them. They also give a solid, sure base on which to begin conversations and break the ice with others. For these reasons, it’s vital to not label these obsessions as unhealthy by default, but rather to allow the child with ASD to explore them. One should try to understand the function of the behaviour and remain observant for signs of things going too far. Such signs include the seeming distressed while partaking in their chosen hobby, signs they wish to resist engaging in it but cannot (it’s become a compulsion), or signs it is making the child withdraw socially more than he or she normally would. Similarly, it may need to be managed if it becomes seriously disruptive to others. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Accommodations for Students with Dyscalculia

What is Dyscalculia?

Dyscalculia is defined as a learning disability specifically in math and numbers including the inability to understand the concept of numbers and applying math principles to solve problems. The following are signs and symptoms of dyscalculia:

  • Difficulty in counting backwards
  • Difficulty in recalling facts
  • Slow in performing calculations
  • Difficulty with subtractions
  • Difficulty using finger counting
  • Difficulty with the multiplication table
  • Poor mental math skills
  • Difficulty with understanding the concept of time
  • May show signs of anxiety when conducting math activities
  • May have a poor sense of direction (i.e. north, south, east, west)
Early signs of dyscalculia include:
  • Delays in learning how to count
  • Delays in recalling facts
  • Difficulty with time
  • Displays a poor memory
  • May lose track when counting
  • Difficulty sorting items by groups include color, shape, texture and size.

A guide to the classroom and at-home accommodations for dyscalculia

Students with diagnosed with ADHD qualify for accommodations in the classroom. Here are a few resources:

Accommodations for students with dyscalculia– Adventures in Inclusion

Classroom accommodations for dyscalculia– Understood

How to help kids with dyscalculia- Child Mind Institute

How to treat the symptoms of dyscalculia– ADDitude

Disability Employment Resources

According to the Department of Labor, in 2019, 19.3 percent of people with disabilities were employed. Across all groups, the employment population ratios were much lower for persons with a disability than those without a disability young adults with autism are more likely to be unemployed and isolated.

The following articles provide information to employers looking to employ individuals with disabilities.

4 ways to hire more people with disabilities– SHRM

12 organizations that supported job seekers with disabilities – Getting Hired

A complete guide to hiring employees with disabilities- Inc.

Benefits of hiring people with disabilities– Career Cast Disability Network

College guide for students with physical disability

Employing people with disabilities

Finding candidates with disabilities– EARN

Hiring people with disabilities – U.S. Department of Labor

Hiring people with disabilities is good for business– Business.com

Hiring someone with a disability: the dos and don’ts- CPL