Reading Comprehension Tools for Students with ADHD
Does your child or student struggle to understand what he or she is reading? These three apps will help.
Reviewed on April 22, 2019
Many students with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) struggle with reading comprehension. Even if they don’t have a full-fledged reading disorder, attention issues and executive function weaknesses make it hard for them to pay attention to the text and to carry out the skills necessary to decode and understand complicated reading. These apps, all of which are free, or have free versions, make it easier for children with ADHD to comprehend more of what they’re reading while improving their skills.
Rewordify is a web-based application that changes the way reluctant readers approach difficult texts.
You and your students (or child) can cut and paste difficult passages into the yellow box on rewordify.com. Instantly, the passage is made easier to read by simplifying the word choices, thereby alleviating students’ frustration and helping them read articles they find interesting.
The site also allows readers to identify the words they don’t know in a selection, and to learn them in a separate session. Readers select the way they would like texts to appear. They can have the reworded text and click on it to see the original, they can see the original and click on words for definitions, or they can have the definitions of difficult words in brackets after the original words. They can also opt to see the original alongside the reworded text in a two-column format.
It’s difficult for teachers or parents to assign reading and monitor how students approach it. An app called Actively Learn provides a platform you can use to assign reading (or use their library) and insert remarks, polls, clarifications, and questions that help your students (or child) engage with the text. You can also monitor how actively they are reading by their asking questions, underlining key points, and summarizing what they read.
Actively Learn is a customizable application that enables you to help your students read for meaning. No longer will their eyes glaze over as they “read” a page. Instead, Actively Learn, which has free and paid versions, allows you to monitor how students are approaching a text by asking them questions in multiple-choice and short-answer formats, and allows classmates to converse with each other. You can use the platform’s vast library of reading selections in different disciplines, such as literature, primary sources, history, news, and areas of high interest to students—or you can upload your own article.
EasyReader helps children who need to hear the words they are reading. By listening to a text while reading it, students can improve their comprehension and increase their fluency and reading speed over time.
Compatible with Windows, iOS, or Android, the app connects you with accessible libraries, including Bookshare, an online library with over 660,000 titles for people with dyslexia, vision impairments, physical disabilities, or other issues that get in the way of their reading. You can copy and paste passages, and the app will read them aloud in an easily comprehensible voice. Readers can highlight texts and change the color and size of words, making this a good tool for students who have vision impairments or low vision.
Blythe Grossberg, Psy.D., is the publisher of Learning Specialist Bulletin and the author of Autism and Your Teen: Tips and Strategies for the Journey to Adulthood.