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Learning Disabilities Forum
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Avatar universal

help with ADHD and non-verbal learning disability

Hi, we have a 10 year old daughter who has ADHD, and has been diagnosed with non-verbal learning disability (NVLD). I have been tutoring her in Math at home, so she does not fall behind at school. However my problem is reading, she is now going to 5th grade, but is stuck on 2-3rd grade level books. She refuses to read her grade level books, how do I improve her reading ability?
She only likes books with pictures and larger words. She tends to read very fast (impatience) and has some trouble  with reading comprehension, how do we go ahead? we have tried stimulants and other meds for adhd without benefit.
worriedmom.
3 Responses
521840 tn?1348840771
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello,
The rushing reading and impatience with having to struggle to read are common among kids with ADHD. Many kids with NVLD are good at reading words, but struggle to comprehend, particularly when they need to make inferences about what they are reading. If she is reading regularly, that is very good, and you can keep her reading what she likes. If you come down too hard on her about the books she enjoys, or show your displeasure to her for picking little kid books, she may stop wanting to read at all, and that would be the worst outcome.

Kids who need help reading need an adult to read with them every day for at least 15 minutes. Part of this time should be reading with you, and part should be you reading to her. When you read aloud to her at night, you can continue to read books with challenging vocabulary and plot. Draw her attention to new words in the text, and after reading, discuss complex parts of the story such as character motivations and have her practice making predictions about what will happen next. This is a way to teach her to comprehend what she reads.

I would divide daily reading time into 'free choice' time vs 'reading practice' time. For free choice, let her read whatever she wants. Be enthusiastic about whatever she chooses. For 'reading practice' time, have her follow the 'five finger rule.' As she reads, have her hold up 5 fingers. Each time she hits a word she does not know, she should put down a finger. If on a page, she puts down all 5, than the book is too hard. If she puts down just one or no fingers, too easy. Her 'reading practice' book/magazine should be at the just right level, where she can read about 19 out of every 20 words easily. You can read with her for these books, helping her sound out tougher words or maybe reading every other page.

There are a lot of wonderful reading ideas on the website Reading Rockets, and Learning Disabilities Online (LDonline). Look for things related to boosting comprehension, particularly comprehension strategies. Even prompting her before she reads to think about setting, characters, and the central problem of this part of the story can help her become more metacognitive (self-aware) as she reads. The book Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz has great information about how to help struggling readers.

If she has a tutor or reading specialist, the RAVE-O technique is a good one for boosting fluency and comprehension. Individually, she may also prefer to work with reading apps instead of books, as these are more stimulating. Sites like LDonline and Reading Rockets will have reviewed apps to determine if they have educational value. I would talk with the school special ed teacher or reading specialist to see if she qualifies for some extra support. I also recommend the book, Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention by Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, which is designed to be read with the child.

Best Wishes
Rebecca

Please note that this post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for face to face care from a mental health professional.
Avatar universal
Thank you so very much I will try all your suggestions!
How do I know if she has dyslexia? she can read well, but comprehension is not great, she tends to rush, not stop at periods etc., but I thought that was all due to ADHD. How do I get dyslexia diagnosed?
521840 tn?1348840771
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Dyslexia can be diagnosed by a psychologist, school psychologist or doctor of education. Testing should include measures to assess IQ, attention, language, memory, letter recognition, phonological processing, site word, decoding, and comprehension. I have articles posted if you click my medhelp profile on how to 'shop' for a quality evaluation. Most of the time, school eligibility testing does not do a great job of diagnosing dyslexia until the child has fallen well below grade level, so if you can get a private eval or testing done at a local hospital, its worth the investment.
Rebecca
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