Reading Frustrations

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    • #121026

      Hello! I have a 10 year old daughter dx with ADHD-Combined Type. One of her biggest struggles is that she hates to read – HATES it! It’s a big battle at school and at home. She does have some fluency and comprehension delays, which I know causes some of her frustrations. Any ideas, tools, tricks and/or ideas I can try to help encourage her to read and to help make reading more enjoyable for her?

      Thank you!

    • #121119

      When I was her age I hated reading too. I was slow and I bet it wasn’t engaging enough when you’re just rereading the same bit over and over. In elementary school my best friend would read to me. We were required to take out a library book every week, and I took out the same one book for almost two years, until the librarian banned me from taking out that book.

      I turned out fine, a good writer and reader. I know reading is important for development so as a mom you may worry. But I don’t think there’s anything my parents could have done.

      Ooh one thing I do recommend- always keeping closed captioning on when watching TV.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by hjordisaa.
      • #121150

        Thank you for the insight! That was very helpful! She does say how boring reading is to her. Maybe reading with a friend or the friend reading to her will also pique some interest. She’s a social butterfly, so maybe that’s something to look into! Thanks again 🙂

    • #121191
      Penny Williams

      This article offers some advice on making reading more engaging:

      Make Reading Riveting

      My son has never been interested in reading. He’s a good reader, but loses his place constantly on the page (tracking struggles) and comprehension has often been a struggle. He’s going into 11th grade this fall and I can’t remember the last time he read a chapter book. But he isn’t really “behind” in reading. In fact, he’s probably advanced in fluency. I think the comprehension issues are really distractibility and his mind wandering. He’s been in inclusion English classes the last couple years and they read the required chapter books aloud together as a class. He has been enjoying that and many of the stories. He doesn’t enjoy with they pick apart even detail and try to determine symbolisms and hidden meanings — he’s very literal and he just doesn’t have any interest in thinking stories half to death (I never did either, and I’m a writer!).

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #122237

      There could be something going on with her vision. NOT her eyesight, but vision. People can have 20/20 eyesight, but have vision problems that include eye tracking, etc, and they tend to coincide with ADHD. There is visual therapy that can help.
      Here is a place to start:

    • #122413

      Put the child through the SRA Reading Program. It will help her connect concepts and answer questions about what she read. It worked for me as a child when they didn’t have the ADHD diagnosis.

    • #122416

      As a children’s library associate, I’ve seen many parents struggle to get their child to read. While I can’t give any expertise on the ADHD side (I’m an adult ADHD individual who LOVES to read but have yet to have children so not a parent of an ADHD child), I do have experience with children who just dont like to read. I recommend to parents to get them started in graphic novels. While many parents don’t qualify this as reading, it is a good gateway to get them interested since it DOES still have words but visuals as well (and some ADHD individuals just need those visuals). My library has graphic novels for ALL age levels (juvenile, tween, YA, and adult–all are obviously seperate). Also I’ve been told trying books that are at a younger reading level may help. While that might be less challenging, the child may find they can focus more on enjoying the story than trying to overcome challenges which may ultimately motivate them to read those more challenging books. I really hope you can get your child to read as it has been such a gift to me!

    • #122420

      We tried everything, eventually what worked was when I gave in to comic books, and then once those were accepted we moved to graphic novels.I held off on the comics because they were not “real” books, BUT they ended up being the first step to reading.

      The comics were not at grade level, and certainly not teacher approved (lots of references to things like burping, and passing gas and other gross things kids find funny). The below grade level reading made it something he could do without too much difficulty (which was and is rare), once he realized reading could be fun and funny, I bought some comic books then the graphic novels.
      I bought them so no one would freak out when we lost them or forgot to return them, or if they ended up being colorfully decorated with stickers…which is STILL a thing…he’s 18 now.
      Last thing…may sound weird to typical people, but we kept books in the bathroom. It was where there were no distractions. There wasn’t ANYTHING more interesting in that room for him to do while he “sat there”. Perhaps it was out of pure boredom that he picked those books up, but eventually they became so interesting he would hyper focus and we would have to make him “get up”
      ….It’s always something, but at least he became a “reader”, at least in the bathroom. Good luck

    • #122422

      Both my daughters have ADHD, combined type. Although my older daughter loves to read, my 11 year old hates to read. It helps to find things of high interest- joke books and science facts. Until she decided she was too old this summer, we would read to her at night. If it was a mystery hook or something magical, then she would want to see how it ended and start reading herself.

      We also have a subscription for her to Cobblestone magazine as she likes history. You could look into something like cricket magazine or see if the library has it or a kids Science magazine.

      Books on tape are also a wonderful way to improve vocabulary and comprehension for a child who struggles with reading, or just avoids it. Not to take the place of reading, but supplement it so child gets exposed to same content and vocabulary as peers.

      Good luck.


    • #122430

      Hello these are great replies yes it’s good to find your own way to enjoy reading. It might be reading car magazines like my brother… Or non fiction like my mother… I loved the Laura Ingalls books 🙂 my favourite for reading and to escape from the world sometimes.. How about you tube Jane austen audiobook librevox to hear the stories and different voices… Also a poor visual but good to see pride and prejudice bbc Colin firth series with English captions :).. Even just to hear spoken English helps reading 🙂 x Sarah

    • #122433

      As an adult with severe ADHD, I primarily listen to audiobooks. It helps me because I can listen to them when doing something else because its hard to just sit still and read a book for more than a few minutes.
      My younger sister had ADHD and I inspired her to read first by reading TO HER, and reading books that I had found really interesting at her age, but refusing to finish the book (so she had to read it herself to find out what happened). I remember reading Trumpet of the Swan and The Westing Game.

      I also introduced her to audio books and she often would listen to books over and over again (she was 8 or 9 before she would read on her own). For some some people physical books aren’t the thing, but I still consider audiobooks reading and there are both free apps online as well as public libraries with online catalogs of audiobooks you can check out.

    • #122439

      I will second graphic novels and magazines. My daughter started 2nd grade with a love of books (if she was read to) and a low 1st grade reading level. A teacher sparked the love of books into a love a reading and set her up with graphic novels and non-fiction books (like weird, but true), and she took off. She completed 3rd grade at a 5th grade reading level.
      If you need some ideas: Some of my 9yo’s recent favorite graphic novels are Roller Girl and the Raina Telgemeier books (Smile, Sisters), and Real Friends. Non fiction books with pictures like animal/nature encyclopedias, National Geographic books, and STEM project books (Like Smithsonian Maker Lab or STEM lab) are also winners.

      We didn’t pressure, but kept reinforcing reading as a priority in our home. She hated to read to herself, but I was reading chapter books to her every night. We also did a lot of audio books. Listening in the car was a great way for us to “read” together in the spare moments and share discussion over the story.

      Getting text to speech included as an accommodation on her IEP was also huge for upping her test taking confidence.

      Hang in there…Keep supporting her and it will come! …now if you have an advice on helping a kid struggling to write… 😉

    • #122463

      I have a Elementary age daughter who may have ADHD (the tests weren’t conclusive) and also hated reading! I have an aunt who is very knowledgeable about dyslexia and we came to find out she more than likely has dyslexia too! It’s really common with ADHD and it’s not nearly as known about as it should be! Something to remember when a child hates reading and they struggle greatly! Dyslexia isn’t straight forward and there is a severity spectrum also!

    • #122466

      I ‘escaped’ into every book I found as a child and wouldn’t hear or see anything around me (hyperfocus I guess), but had a cousin who hated reading. What helped was comic books, graphic novels and non-fiction science/history books with easy ‘experiments’ you could try yourself as a kid. I remember us reading all about different kinds of scripts (hieroglyphs, cuneiform, medieval) and creating our own clay tablets and ink, going out to determine plants, trees and mushrooms etc. Really engaging with the written word seemed to help her a lot and made reading something that, while difficult, was interesting and rewarding.

    • #122485

      Love, love, love graphic novels and magazines. It has gotten my 8 year old into reading.

      We also read the book and then see the movie. We than had something to talk about after the book is read, (what did you like, didn’t like, who was your favorite character) and than the same for after the movie, adding comparisons. We are starting with his little sister (5 years old)but I put sight words on a paper and ask her to circle the ones she here’s in the story.

      Another strategy, I read a page then he reads a page. When he starts to get tired, I just picked up reading. I would also ask him and now his little sister to draw a favorite scene from the book.

    • #122514

      Some parents have had success with multi-sensory play: using see, hear, feel, smell, taste, movement. The reading methods taught in school are only one way of reading. It is worth having your child’s eye movements checked if the y have problems. Some children don’t move their eyes correctly – they lock on a letter or word instead of sweeping continually.

    • #122523

      Lots of pictures and less words, maybe? When I was a kid, I liked books with big pictures and little words. I read something about a spider that is still around now many decades later! And The Ugly Duckling and Three Little Pigs. I was a highly visual child as well as adult. If my brain would create the pictures, I may read the book. I wish they had children books for adults! 🙂

    • #122440

      If you haven’t had your child tested by a professional who is truly qualified to determine whether dyslexia (or another issue) could be the cause – that’s the place to start. Start right…don’t find out years later: your child will be the big loser. For some of us, reading text never will be our modality. I hated reading…for good reason. I had to choose my major in college around this fact…in spite of having reading tutors through 7th grade. I’ve come to realize that sites, papers and books that are text-dense cause overwhelm. Add primary colors, white space and photos…and I can handle things a lot better.

      We need to kick tech industry into gear to make multisensory learning the norm. This wasn’t possible when I was growing up…but it is now. Many of us find Audio-books a blessing – allowing us to finally become the human sponges we were meant to be!

      CHECK THIS OUT for your child – I am eager to for myself, too! EXCITING!!
      VOICE DREAM READER & Winston Chen Podcast at Go Dyslexia –
      Do all you can to help your child ENJOY learning as a child…With this Voice Dream Reader I could have chosen the major I had wanted. I could have started learning when I was a little child. I wish your child all the very best!

    • #122563

      Talk to your school about either an IEP or 504C that reduces the required reading. For my daughter we had to read equally complex stories but not as much. No reason to stress over a grade when you can legitimately reduce the burden on everyone.

    • #122809

      Visual therapy and supplemental phonics training at home fixed my daughter’s reading problems. More amazingly, visual therapy fixed her classroom attention problems. Her last evaluation said that she loves learning and is actively guarding against disruptions to it! We were absolutely floored, and very grateful.

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