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ADHD Symptoms and Dyslexia Symptoms

May 19th, 2015

ADHD and Dyslexia…Which Is It or Is It Both?

ADHD and Dyslexia share some characteristics so ADHD is sometimes misdiagnosed. Additionally, those with ADHD often also have dyslexia or learning problems. When you look at the list of ADHD symptoms, you will notice that short attention span and distractibility are on the list. Then look at the list of Dyslexia Symptoms. You will notice symptoms like “Does your child take too long to do their assigned work and poor listening comprehension.” Think about it, if you have a short attention span, it will take you longer to do your work and if you are distractible you will have poor listening comprehension. So we do need to dig a bit further to discern what is really going on.

what is ADHD, ADHD symptoms

ADHD Symptoms

According to Dr. Daniel Amen, these are the hallmark symptoms of ADHD:

  •  Short attention span
  • Distractibility
  • Disorganization
  • Procrastination
  • Poor internal supervision

That being said, most parents and teachers focus on the inability to stay focused.

Attention Deficit Disorder sounds like you don’t pay attention to anything. The reality is that you pay attention to many things. That is why your attention span is short. Your mind switches to another topic and another topic and another topic instead of sticking with the first topic.

Misdiagnosed ADHD

Sometimes a child is misdiagnosed with ADHD. This does happen! In order to be sure it doesn’t happen to your child there are a few questions to ask yourself.

ADHD Symptoms: Questions to Consider


  • Is the problem you are seeing situational?
  • Do you see the ADHD behaviors throughout the day , both at home, school, & other places (sports, church, youth groups)?
  • Does only one parent see it as a problem?
  • When they are with dad they don’t seem to have the problems, or when they are withmom they don’t seem to have the problems?
  • Does the school see these problems too? If only one parent is having problems with the child, it may be a problem with parenting skills (e.g. Yelling at the child such as “You don’t act like you want to be part of the family.” or “Get up right now or else” and then not follow through with a consequence.). If your child’s teacher is the only one having a problem it may be a problem with the way the teacher is dealing

To learn more about ADHD as a parent or as a teacher…check out the ADHD Classroom and Teaching Strategies Course.

dyslexia symptoms, ADHD symptoms

Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia Symptoms

  •  Difficulties with accurate and/or fluent reading
  •  Poor spelling and decoding (sounding out words)
  •  Poor reading comprehension
  •  Poor listening comprehension

Trouble with memorizing their:


  • address
  • phone number
  • the alphabet -sequence
  • names of the letters and sounds they make
  • days of the week
  • months of the year
  • multiplication tables


Does your child/student:

  • Take too long to do their assigned work?
  • Skip, repeat, or omit words when reading aloud?
  • Have difficulty sounding out words?
  • Have poor reading comprehension?
  • Have difficulty following instructions?
  • Have difficulty taking notes?
  • Have sloppy handwriting?
  • Have trouble finding specific words or items on a page?
  • Reverse letters and/or words such as “b’s and d’s” or “was and saw”?
  • Have difficulty with fill-in-the-blank answers such as completing words or sentences?
  • Have difficulty identifying and verbalizing concepts?
  • Have trouble producing grammatically correct language?

Research going as far back as the 30’s from Orton-Gillingham suggest specific intervention is needed to address dyslexia. That intervention must include:

  • Multi-sensory approach
  • Systematic teaching
  • Step-by-sep approach
  • From most common to least common
  • Explicit instruction
  • Intense practice
  • Lots of review built in

Blog Topics

dyslexia symptoms, ADHD symptoms

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