Student Support Spotlight, by Alissa Plaisance – October 17

Did you know ADHD and Dyslexia often go hand-in-hand? Because they frequently overlap, it can cause some confusion about the nature of these two conditions. ADHD is one of the most common developmental problems seen in students. It is characterized by inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It is estimated that 30% of those with Dyslexia have coexisting ADHD. However, they do not cause each other. Both ADHD and dyslexia have several symptoms in common, such as information-processing speed challenges, working memory deficits, naming speed, and motor skills deficits. It is easy for a parent or a professional to mistake dyslexic symptoms for ADHD. However, ADHD symptoms are usually apparent from the first days of school, in contrast,  Dyslexia is often not fully recognized until later, when the shift is made from learning to read to reading to learn. “With ADHD there are more behavioral kinds of problems,” says special education expert Nancy Mather, PhD, associate professor in the department of special education, rehabilitation, and school psychology at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Dyslexia is limited to reading and writing.” Another similarity is that children with these disorders often have normal to high intelligence and high creativity, but are frustrated academically. There are solutions and strategies to both Dyslexia and ADHD. Families can begin with getting a comprehensive evaluation and then meet with myself and the teacher. Together we can set a plan for success with the meaningful supports and accommodations that will help the student build confidence and create a positive school experience!

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