Is there a connection?
Teachers, parents, and ADHD exeprts almost expect to have a compounding issue along with an ADHD diagnosis. Reading disabilities, behavioral difficulties, dyslexia, etc. are very common among ADHD children.
A study in the September, 2011 issue of Pediatrics confirms this; ADHD children have a much higher risk of developing a written language disorder and especially a reading disability. Reading disabilites account for nearly 80% of all learning disabilities associated with an ADHD diagnosis.
To be specific, a written language disorder is an impaired ability to express oneself through the written word. Difficulties in organizing one’s thoughts, memory, distraction, and even poor motor skills contribute to written language disorders.
The study was performed by the Mayo Clinic’s department of health sciences research in Rochester, Minnesota. Co-author, Dr. Slavica K. Katusic, associate professor of epidemiology and pediatrics says,”So…the uniqueness of this study, [is] because this is population-based.And what we found is that, regardless of gender, there is a dramatic difference in the risk of written-language disorder. ADHD kids are at a five times greater risk for having writing problems compared to all others who do not have ADHD.”
To form their conclusions, the researchers performed meta-analysis of 5,718 children born between 1976 and 1982 in Rochester, Minnesota. The majority of the children were middle-class whites. All were tracked from birth until roughly the age of 19.
If the child had a reading diability, the risk of devloping a writing disorder vastly increased.
“When someone suspects that a child has ADHD, people are so impressed with concerns over dyslexia that they sometimes kind of forget about problems with writing. So, this should bring some needed attention to the need for equal testing and equal help for kids who also have writing problems,” warned Katusic.
Katusic’s research echoes previous research. ADHD is actually an impairment of a variety of skills. These skills are often fundamental to reading and writing. Remember that Play Attention teaches motor skills, auditory processing, memory and more.