View Full Version : Poll: Learning to read -- easy or hard with ADHD?

06-13-14, 10:16 AM
The stats I've seen say that 20% of kids are poor readers, and that 50% of kids with ADHD have dyslexia, but I haven't seen that reflected in the posts here.

I thought it would be interesting to post a poll and see how the number here compare.

06-13-14, 12:31 PM
This is my own experience when I was a child, since I don't have kids.

I dont know why, but I learned to read faster than the rest of my class in elementary school. I loved reading, up until it became a punishment for being too hyper in school or late to class...same goes with mathematics.

The school system always knows how to turn an eagerness to learn into not wanting to learn at all.

06-13-14, 01:02 PM
Same for me - I voted my own experience since I don't have kids.

I have inattentive ADHD, and learned to read early (ages 3-4), at home, with minimal trouble. (My parents are not teachers and didn't put a lot of emphasis or effort on this. They did, however, set an example by enjoying reading themselves, and did put up with endless "Mom, dad, what's this word?" questions. :) )

06-13-14, 01:16 PM
...I don't remember how old I was when I learned to read, and there's no one left to ask .....I do know that I got a huge box full of old Bobbsey Twin books for Christmas when I was in the first grade ...and had read them all by Easter I am guessing I learned either 1) very fast or 2) before I started first grade .....

....and I am betting that quite a lot of us here are big time readers least the people I know .....and lots of us are fast readers too.....I can and often do read 1 or 2 books a day has often helped me get through some very rough times .....I go and live in the world of the book rather than mine ......I guess that is called avoidance ...but when you feel you don't have any options or any way out of a situation ....avoidance is not neccesarily a bad thing ....

....sure wish I could spell as fast as I can read .....

06-13-14, 01:33 PM
I learnt to read only when it was taught to me in school at age 6 and then I learnt fairly quickly and like Twigs said, much quicker than the other kids in my class. I loved reading and gulped down one fat book after the other.

Now I can't read at all anymore, neither fiction nor factual. With novels I get bored after the first few paragraphs and I struggle to focus on factual texts. :(

06-13-14, 08:12 PM
Just thought I should clarify that the "dyslexia" option doesn't mean the child can't read at all.

06-13-14, 08:15 PM
I learned early and read most of my older brother's school books before school started - so within a couple of weeks.

My oldest granddaughter struggled with reading - or maybe just with enjoying it - until she was in 3rd grade.
She loved Captain Underpants books.

06-15-14, 12:00 AM
I personally learned to read very easily. I could read above my age level by first grade despite not having really been exposed to English before age 4.

I always did well on reading tests (hence reading "above age level") because those passages were short. What was and still is difficult is staying focused enough to read without getting bored or distracted. I often "read" several pages and then realize that I have no idea what I just read.

06-15-14, 04:15 AM
well this is interesting!
my mom read every day and and went to the library regularly, i learned how to read without even knowing it, from bedtime stories and then sesame street and especially, the electric company. i guess i was 4 or 5 and told my mom in the grocery store, that she needed to "present her coupons to the cashier" (there was a sign). everyone thought this was a big deal.

MADD As A Hatte
06-15-14, 05:20 AM
The stats I've seen ...

Could you possibly post a link to the numbers you've seen? I'd be very interested to read the article. Cheers

06-15-14, 10:30 AM
I didn't mean to claim to have research support for these specific numbers, just that these were the numbers I was seeing as I read books and watch videos about dyslexia and ADHD.

I'm pretty sure I got the 20% number from the stats in Sally Shaywitz's book, Overcoming Dyslexia. (She is the co-founder of the Yale Center for Dyslexia, and her husband does fMRI research on dyslexia. Both appear to be very well regarded in the research community.) The advocacy group Decoding Dyslexia is running an awareness campaign called 1 in 5. I'm actually being conservative by calling the 20% "poor readers" where they call all 20% dyslexic.

At, the following stats are quoted. I don't know where they got them from:

Of people with poor reading skills, 70-80% are likely dyslexic.
One in five students, or 15-20% of the population, has a language based learning disability. Dyslexia is probably the most common of the language based learning disabilities.
About 5% of the population will have enduring, severe reading disabilities that are very difficult to treat given our current knowledge.

If you watch the Susan Barton videos at (she is in the International Dyslexia Association's Hall of Honor for developing a dyslexia treatment program) she mentions the statistic that 50% of dyslexics have ADHD, and vice versa. My son's developmental pediatrician told me that the stats run anywhere from 5% to 70%, depending on the study, and that 50% is the number of people with ADHD having some sort of learning disability (which could be something other than dyslexia.)

MADD As A Hatte
06-16-14, 08:25 AM
Thanks. After my exams I'll look up your links. And do some further validation as well. In eight years of being on the ADD "path", I've not heard, read or seen anything like the quoted numbers (from either the dyslexia camp, or the ADHD camp). The figures look wildly overblown but I shall reserve judgement until I have a chance to cross reference. Cheers

06-16-14, 11:37 AM
Not sure where my dd fits into the poll categories. She was behind in reading until she was officially diagnosed with inattentive ADD this year in 1st grade. One of the things we discussed was how she was behind in reading and it was really effecting her self esteem. The psych said we would see improvements once we had the right meds on board. She is now reading at a 2nd grade level! Within a month of taking Focalin she was able to concentrate and things just started clicking for her.

06-17-14, 10:48 AM
MommyBears, I would call that "Child is in K-2nd grade, but seems to be on track". I should've had an option for k-2nd and struggling. ;)

I guess I'm interested in how many kids still struggle with reading even after getting to a good place with medication.

With DS8, the thought progression went like this:
1. Struggling pre-K -- must not be ready yet
2. Struggling in K -- reading will come together when we get the meds right
3. Struggling in 1st (fall) -- too stressed out to learn in this school environment
4. Struggling in 1st (spring) -- still adjusting to new school
5. Struggling in 1st (summer) -- maybe the teacher isn't using a good method? I'll work with him myself.
6. Struggling in 2nd (fall) -- wait, he just sounded out t-i-me, then said "mile". This might be dyslexia...let's get testing.
7. Progressing in 2nd (spring) -- Good progress at school using Orton-Gillingham curriculum, for 3 months, then the teacher slacked off and is only teaching decoding twice a week. Grrrr....
8. Progressing in 2nd (summer) -- Got the O-G program at home and will see how much I can teach him myself...

06-17-14, 01:40 PM
My DD was an early, very advanced reader.

She is still a very avid reader now at age 11.

In grades 2-4 she went through a phase where she would read the first few chapters of a book, then move on to another book.

She got past that (cognition catching up to speed maybe?). She now reads full books and is also at the age where books are a lot more interesting (completely addicted to the Warrior series, if anyone is familiar).

However, summarizing the main idea of a book rather than reciting all the details has always been and continues to be a challenge and I believe that is related to having ADHD.

06-19-14, 12:17 PM
My DD is 8 was an early reader and now reads above grade level but her problem now is also not being able to finish a book before starting a new one. She loves to read but she has trouble recalling details of what she read and had trouble passing her AR tests this year.

10-02-14, 09:27 PM
My DD's problem is not decoding -- she can read fluently above grade level. But she cannot organize her thoughts to retell the story well or discuss it, so she is considering below grade level. Despite medication and tutoring, as well as constant practice at home, she hasn't made much progression. I'm at my wits' end with it actually. Same problem with writing.

10-09-14, 06:05 AM
I'm a bachelor so I don't have any kids, but I think learning to read was pretty easy for me and I have ADHD. If you suspect dyslexia, you should get her tested by a psychiatrist or whatever the proper medical specialty would be. You may get the school to do this for you -- most school systems have at least one psychiatrist on staff.