Reading Strategies for Students with ADHD
Reading can sometimes be a challenge for students with ADHD. They have different ways of learning and retaining information, and reading and listening aren’t always their first choices for that.
For that reason, these students need strategies that capitalize on their natural strengths when teaching them to read. For example, picture-letter charts or posters that visually connect the letter and the sound it makes can use your child’s visual learning strengths to his/her advantage.
Find out more about how ADHD affects reading skills.
How Does ADHD Affect Learning to Read?
Recent brain imaging research by the National Institute of Mental Health shows that certain areas of the brain of children with ADHD develop more slowly than their non-ADHD counterparts. This means that the traditional classroom timeline of expectations for reading progress may not apply to these learners.
Teaching ADHD students to read can be complicated by:
- An excess of visual or auditory stimulation in the learning environment
- Memory issues that affect phonics learning
- Diminished attentional capacity during lessons
- Comprehension difficulties, especially when reading longer texts
- Lack of internal motivation to gain skills related to reading
ADHD and Reading in the Homeschool
As with other subjects affected by ADHD, reading problems also can often be alleviated in the homeschool environment. When homeschooling, parents and students can work at their own unique pace, building reading skills incrementally, without regard to standards or timelines.
Another area often challenging for kids with ADHD, reading comprehension, is much more effectively taught in a 1-to-1 setting where parents can prompt children to predict what will happen next in a story based on what has already occurred.
Reading Strategies for ADHD Students
When addressing ADHD and reading problems, homeschooling parents have many tools and methods at their disposal that might not be options in a traditional classroom. Whether you are wondering how to teach a child with ADHD to read, or how to remediate some of the issues your reader is having, the following strategies may help.
- Understanding how your child best learns can go a long way toward choosing reading programs and tools that will meet his/her needs.
- Take advantage of multimedia and interactive tools to keep your student engaged during reading instruction.
- Make daily reading a regular part of your routine. Read aloud to your child, even while they are busy with activities such as building with construction toys or bouncing a ball.
- When teaching reading, simplify instructions as much as possible and be careful to avoid multi-step directives.
- Question students frequently to ensure their mastery of what they are learning.
- Notice whether your student responds better to oral or written directions, then remember to use their preferred method when giving future instructions.
- Instead of “required reading,” focus on books that align with your homeschooler’s specific interests to keep him/her motivated.
- Take frequent breaks during reading instruction and separate longer lessons into smaller segments.
- Teach students visualization techniques for reading; being able to picture what they are reading about can help them comprehend and retain information better.
How Time4Learning Reading Helps Students with ADHD
Every child has his or her own combination of gifts, skills, and difficulties with learning, so each deserves a customized learning program suited to his or her needs. While there are many entertaining “educational” websites and software reading programs, few qualify as real educational learning systems, much less as one robust enough to support the special educational requirements of children with ADHD.
Time4Learning’s computer reading program teaches kids how to become skilled readers through reading activities, educational games and guided reading activities. The Time4Learning system provides appropriately sequenced lessons and reinforced learning in an educationally valid, engaging scope and sequence.
As one parent shared with us, “The humorous characters and engaging dialogue are a welcome change from the sometimes mundane and uninspired online learning websites. The opportunity to work on skills a grade level above and below my son’s recently completed grade level was very helpful. It has allowed me to identify gaps in his learning and fill in with problems that helped to bring him up to speed.”
Explore what Time4Learning’s reading curriculum has to offer in your child’s grade level:
Choose your subject and grade level to experience demos of Time4Learning’s interactive curriculum.
Have other questions about homeschooling a child with ADHD? You may find the following pages helpful.