How ADHD May Affect Reading

Published by: Psych Central
Written by: Morgan Mandriota

Many people enjoy cuddling up on the couch with a book as a way to wind down. But people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), especially children, might find reading much more frustrating than relaxing.

This is because those with ADHD tend to experience reading problems.

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts children and adults differently, but many people report reading difficulties with ADHD.

So how does ADHD affect reading comprehension? It can be challenging for many reasons, including difficulty with:

  • focusing
  • memory and retention
  • processing information
  • sitting still
  • managing time
  • managing distractions (e.g., distracting thoughts or stimuli in the environment)

“Given difficulties with sustained attention, reading can be particularly difficult as kids often report rereading passages over and over again given lack of focus and being easily distracted,” says Angelique Snyder, Psy.D., a pediatric psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.

“Their inability to focus and concentrate may make it harder for them to visually track information and retain what they just read, so both their reading speed and comprehension can suffer,” adds Dr. Judy Ho, board certified clinical neuropsychologist and a psychology professor at Pepperdine University.

A 2019 study suggests that reading disabilities and ADHD typically co-occur. Snyder notes that kids with ADHD also tend to have comorbid learning disorders, which can affect reading. Click here for the rest of the story.

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