View Full Version : Reading Tips


thepatient
04-17-14, 01:55 PM
Hi all. Well, I've been around the forums before, but I forgot the email account attached to my username. Surprise.

Anyway, I'm looking for some help with reading tips that people have. When I read, my eyeballs just want to skip along the top of the words without fulling absorbing them. It's not as much an issue of daydreaming in the middle of the paragraph. My eyes just want to bounce ahead. They want to fast-forward without actually reading the words. It's so incredibly frustrating. The funny part is that I'm a grad student, and I have to do a lot of reading. So, I'm trying to come up with strategies to increase my reading focus. I've found that two things help: medication and meditation. I'm slowly increasing my meditation time to twenty five minutes, and it's really helping.

So, I'm wondering if other people can relate to what I'm experiencing and if anyone can offer some advice on how to try to overcome this challenge. What has helped people increase focus and assist with reading? Thank you all in advance.

FroGpants
04-17-14, 05:17 PM
I'm really bad about wanting to skip ahead when I can see the last paragraph, when it's on the same page or opposite page. The only thing that helps when it gets bad is to use an index card on each line as I read so I can't skip ahead.

When I'm really super stuck, because it's BORING, I read out loud. And take frequent breaks but always have a goal of finishing the chapter or whatever.

thepatient
04-18-14, 09:27 AM
Thanks for the reply FroGpants. It helps to know that I'm not the only one out there with this problem. I'll have to give the index card a try. I think I've tried it before and it was actually distracting to have to keep moving it:)

Tisha
04-18-14, 12:31 PM
I read an article in a magazine several months ago written by a woman in her 30's that has ADHD. She said all growing up she never read one book for pleasure, as she hated reading and had a difficult time. I don't rememer exactly what her problems were. Anyway...she started to read on a Kindle and that was the trick. She says she reads constantly now, is able to read it.

I had my 17 yr. old son read one of his English books on my kindle and he said it was much easier to read and remember/understand. He has reading comprehension problems. He did the best on that test than he had in several books past.

I think it may be worth a try for you. I think sometimes if you have ADHD, there are just too many words on the page. With the kindle, you can change the font to any size you want.

dvdnvwls
04-18-14, 01:21 PM
Different people report different things to help, depending on their characteristics. For some people, white noise helps keep distractions to a minimum. Some listen to music to help them read. Others can't stand that. Things like having the light just right and a comfortable place to read in are important too. Does having a focused light on your book, and dim lights in the rest of the room, help? (For me, focused lights usually cause more shadows and unevenness than I can take, so I like to turn up the room lights and turn off the reading light.) Experiment with posture: Sitting down? Standing? Changing position frequently? If you might prefer to read standing up, then it could really help to have some type of stand, shelf, or tall table to put the book on. (If your books aren't usually that heavy or big, one possibility is a solid metal adjustable music stand (not the flimsy wire ones), which would be available at just about any music store for a reasonable price. Easy to use and not very expensive - but might topple under the weight of a big encyclopedia or dictionary.

Format (electronic vs paper etc)... different formats are really up to you - whatever works. I think I would basically need to try each one to find out - not very efficient or cost-effective - so I tend to stick with paper.

Learning your own best break-taking interval, and probably setting an alarm to make you come back after a very short break. (Unless hyperfocus is a factor - then my ideal break interval is "Never!!!" :) ) I remember what might have been one of my first major experiences of hyperfocus, when I was about 11, reading The Lord of the Rings pretty much non-stop. :)

Frequent tiny tiny sips of a drink without caffeine but with real sugar, just enough of it to keep your blood sugar up and steady.

thepatient
04-19-14, 04:47 PM
Thanks for the replies folks. I generally prefer to have hard copies of the things that I have to read. I feel like being able to hold and manipulate a book helps with attention. In terms of white noise, I generally need absolute silence. I wear ear plugs and over-ear ear protection when I'm in a noisy place. I've never tried focused lighting. Maybe that's worth a shot.

I just got done trying a couple of new things. I read somewhere about increasing attention by trying to draw shapes with both hands at the same time. So, you try to draw a triangle with your left hand while you try to draw a circle with your right. I successfully developed a headache from this. I also tried reading an article backwards, word-for-word, and this did not make me feel to well either.

I know there's got to be an exercise out there that can develop the kind of attention that I'm looking to get. I just have to figure out what it is.

mrs. dobbs
04-19-14, 06:06 PM
I'm really bad about wanting to skip ahead when I can see the last paragraph, when it's on the same page or opposite page. The only thing that helps when it gets bad is to use an index card on each line as I read so I can't skip ahead.

When I'm really super stuck, because it's BORING, I read out loud. And take frequent breaks but always have a goal of finishing the chapter or whatever.

I do this and for things like instructions I need to use something to stay on one line at a time. When it is boring I also read out loud in an accent and that helps.

If that fails I use a highlighter to mark important things and that keeps me busy.

But even these things fail me most of the time. Hard time reading. Skip things, restless, hyperactive.

dvdnvwls
04-20-14, 12:17 AM
Thanks for the replies folks. I generally prefer to have hard copies of the things that I have to read. I feel like being able to hold and manipulate a book helps with attention. In terms of white noise, I generally need absolute silence. I wear ear plugs and over-ear ear protection when I'm in a noisy place. I've never tried focused lighting. Maybe that's worth a shot.

I just got done trying a couple of new things. I read somewhere about increasing attention by trying to draw shapes with both hands at the same time. So, you try to draw a triangle with your left hand while you try to draw a circle with your right. I successfully developed a headache from this. I also tried reading an article backwards, word-for-word, and this did not make me feel to well either.

I know there's got to be an exercise out there that can develop the kind of attention that I'm looking to get. I just have to figure out what it is.
It's really possible that no such exercise exists; it's really possible that you can't because you can't, rather than because you haven't found the secret yet. (And it isn't being "defeatist" or any other bad words, to make that clear.)

It'sPeter
04-20-14, 09:57 AM
I have a hard time reading large texts from screen (even with big posts on fora like this). So I also like to print things I need to read.

Something that fits with that is that it really helps me to mark things in books. Especially when reading for school it's an enormous help.

By marking things, reading changes from just absorbing to a more engaging activity. I think many ADD'ers learn more by doing or discussing, than by reading.

It's probably unrelated, but for about three weeks I have glasses (for the first time in my life). It seems reading has become easier to me. Before, letters often looked like a bunch of ants crawling on a white sheet.

I also read that a yellow background is easier on the eyes and it makes letter clearer (that's why road signs are often black on yellow).

BellaVita
04-21-14, 03:38 AM
I highly suggest learning to juggle, it improves reading comprehension.

It really helped me.

mrs. dobbs
04-21-14, 03:51 AM
Forreal?

moco89
04-21-14, 12:26 PM
I use Kurzweil 3000 (http://www.kurzweiledu.com/products/k3000-standalone.html), which reads and highlights the word as it is spoken aloud, at around 300 words per minute, but it can go up to 500 words per minute.

A cheaper alternative (also more popular in the UK) is Read and Write Gold (http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/our-products/readwrite/features-pc), by TextHelp (http://www.texthelp.com/North-America).