How Does ADHD Affect a Child’s Reading Ability?

For a child with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder reading can be a struggle and at times may seem impossible. Lack of ability to maintain focus and attention is a symptom associated with ADHD.  Successful readers need to be able to attend to a task and focus.  Children with ADHD often think of reading as an unbearable and overwhelming task that takes up too much mental energy. Among other reading problems, a child with ADHD may struggle with comprehension and reading fluency. 

1. ADHD and Reading Comprehension

For a child with ADHD, reading comprehension can be a struggle. When a child with ADHD is able to regulate themselves to read a book, they might read one page and realize that they did not understand anything they just read. This can become frustrating when a child with ADHD is asked to relay information from text. Many children with ADHD just give up altogether when it comes to reading. Becoming a good reader takes practice and repetition but when reading seems impossible, a child with ADHD may quit trying. 

2. ADHD and Reading Problems

Along with reading comprehension, a child with ADHD may struggle with reading fluency and phonemic awareness. Reading fluency measures the rate and accuracy a child can read in one minute, also known as Words Per Minute (WPM). Struggles with reading fluency may come from the inability to decode words, lack of phonemic awareness, or the ability to sound out combinations of letters. Due to their high distractibility, a child with ADHD may have struggled to learn how letter combinations sound which inhibit their ability to decode or break down different sounds within unknown words. Even if a child has the ability to decode at grade level, they may read at a slower pace as they try to decongest their brain to then comprehend the text.  

3. ADHD and Reading Books

The good news is, there are tools and strategies that can allow a child to block out other distractions and focus solely on their reading. The LightSail Personalized Reader allows parents and children to choose settings that work best for the child. The Personalized Reader’s display can be set to eliminate distractions on the screen and allow words to display line by line. Using this tool will help the child focus on the text alone and begin to comprehend the amazing stories that LightSail has to offer.  

Posted on 9.Sep.21 in Struggling Readers

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