How do I read if I have ADHD?

The ability to read and reading comprehension is critical to all areas of our lives.  However, reading can be especially difficult for children struggling with ADHD. These difficulties may stem from their inability to pay attention to low stimuli activities.  However, there are many other cognitive skills that are necessary to be a strong reader such as processing speed, impulse control, memory, etc.  These skills are also often weak for children with ADHD.reading struggle

In Verywell Mind, Keath Low states that even if your child with ADHD reads fluently and accurately aloud, they may continue to have trouble understanding and remembering what they just read. This is likely caused by difficulties with sustained attention. Low points out that with inattention comes boredom and fatigue.  This can certainly cause the reader’s attention to wander elsewhere.

Reading comprehension is related to working memory which is key to strong executive function. Many individuals with ADHD suffer from executive function disorder, meaning they have difficulty with attention, self-regulation, procrastination, just to name a few. In addition, to inattention and focus, individuals with working memory deficits can also have issues with processing speed and integration of the information read. 

ADDitude Magazine provided some reading strategies for parents to help their children with reading, which included:

  1. Read to your child
  2. Engage the imagination
  3. Show how books are organized
  4. Ask for predictions
  5. Show interest in what your child is reading
  6. Encourage notetaking
  7. Increase word power
  8. Translate figures of speech
  9. Teach your child to read between the lines
  10. Build on background knowledge
  11. Form a book group

These are great strategies to incorporate in your child's reading. However, it can still be difficult to gauge if they are truly attentive to the reading material or if they are getting distracted or daydreaming.  They may be looking at the printed page, but their mind may be on the baseball game they are going to play later.

Play Attention’s focus this summer is to help you enhance your summer reading program!  Play Attention’s NASA inspired BodyWave armband monitors brain activity indicative of attention.  Your child can wear the BodyWave armband while reading a book or listening to an audiobook and receive real-time feedback regarding their attention!  Now they can practice the skill of paying attention while engaged in the reading process.  Play Attention will alert your child when their mind is drifting so they are able to gradually learn how to sustain their attention to the reading process. 

Not only will your executive function coach teach you how to incorporate the reading process into your Play Attention sessions, but the Play Attention cognitive exercises are specifically designed to develop all of the skills necessary to be a strong reader!

Call now and chat with one of our executive function coaches to learn more about how we can help enhance your summer reading program!  800-788-6786