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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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5.1 Common Reading Problems in Children and Teens with ADHD

  • Roughly 25 to 50 percent of children with ADHD also have specific learning disabilities, and reading disorders are the most common.
  • According to Barkley (2013), up to 35 percent of school-age children with ADHD are likely to have a reading disorder.
  • Learning disabilities are neurobiologically based problems with processing information that affect one or more processes of input (taking in), integrating (organizing, sequencing, remembering), and output (expression) of the information.
  • The most common of the learning disabilities is dyslexia, which refers to a language-based learning disability in basic reading skills and spelling. The problems of children with dyslexia most commonly stem from difficulty in processing speech sounds within words (phonological awareness) and making the connection between sounds and the written symbols—letters and patterns of letter combinations (graphemes) that represent sounds in words.

Definition of Dyslexia

  • The International Dyslexia Association (2013) defines dyslexia as “a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences ...

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