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Question about ADHD

this summer im taking a special education course, and one of my last assignments is an IEP. i was given a case study and have to diagnose, make goals, and basically do everything for the IEP. the boy in my case study definitely has ADHD, but im not sure if he also has some learning disabilities.

my question is, if your child has ADHD does it cause them difficulties with reading, writing, and/or math? or do they simply have difficulty paying attention and dealing with distractions?

my textbook is crap and only mentions that its common for kids w/ ADHD to also have learning disabilities, but it doesnt mention any actual characteristics of both together. thanks!

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Asked by okmanders at 5:36 PM on Jul. 24, 2013 in Special Needs

Level 42 (152,217 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Some kids with ADHD also have other learning disabilities, but from my understanding, many of the learning problems associated with the disorder happen because of the inability to focus and deal with distractions. It doesn't take long for kids with those issues to get behind in school, and to get overlooked by some teachers who don't want to deal with the accompanying behavior problems. Once the kids are labeled as slow, or as troublemakers, it's really hard for them to catch up and turn it all around. I hope that's helpful; I'm no expert and I'm sure there's a lot more to it.

    Answer by Ballad at 5:40 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • I'm not sure how common it is. I can tell you that I have two boys, ages 12 and 9, and they both have ADHD. They both struggled a bit with learning to read, and even now, if reading out loud, they struggle with finding that smooth cadence that you have when you tell a story - it sounds stilted, as if they have trouble reading, but they don't.

    My 12 yr old does struggle a lot with math, but my 9 yr old does not. I don't have ADHD and struggled with math. Because my 9 yr old has never struggled with math, I can't say that it's due to the ADHD for my 12 yr old.

    They both have very sloppy handwriting, but no real "trouble" with it - and considering that my dad and most of the men in my family have sloppy handwriting, maybe it's hereditary. lol

    Paying attention and handling distractions are the biggest issues. The H(hyperactivity) in ADHD also can lead to great difficulty with sitting still, so lots of fidgeting and wiggling.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:42 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • My dd has ADHD, but also had other learning difficulties. I also have ADHD and although I read at a very high level at home, I was in lower reading groups at school because my grades and test scores did not reflect my actual reading ability. It could have been due to the ADHD (which wasn't diagnosed until after I graduated from college), but it has been suggested that I might actually have dyslexia.

    So I guess to answer your question, it's difficult to tell unless tests rule out all other learning disabilities.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 5:51 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • My middle son has ADHD (never outgrew it, despite his unwillingness to deal with it as an adult) He had behavioral issues, esp. with impulse control. His teachers & I had to work out a daily behavioral chart on the top 3 "issues". Mainly being able to stay in his seat long enough to complete an assignment. Not calling out is another big one. He is brilliant when it comes to academics- always was. (he graduated 3rd in his class) It's nearly impossible to do an IEP for a child without knowing more than the ADHD diagnosis. I guess you will need to do it based on the info you have. GL

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 6:18 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • My son (almost 10) has Asperger's and ADHD. As far as I know there are no learning disabilities, other than appropriate social interactions. I do know that up until last year (3rd grade) it was a FIGHT to get him to do any kind of writing at home or in class.

    But, last year he learned cursive writing, and it is no longer a fight. He actually enjoys cursive, and his writing is beautiful. Here's an example, I took it at the Spring parent/teacher conference:


    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:12 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • Because of the attentional problems, there may be a lag in development as compared to a child's peers. Goals would be written say, for child to be able to read at a certain level by the next IEP, complete math problems involving (fill in the blank).

    Answer by tasches at 7:54 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • treat/test for two separate issues
    1) the ADD/ADHD
    2) any and all learning disabilities

    and keeping separate is tricky as when child is not paying attention- could look like does not understand task

    Answer by fiatpax at 7:58 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • ps

    thank you for going into this field

    mine has autism, and delays in learning and the special ed teachers and therapists all have a very special place in my heart

    thank you ok

    Answer by fiatpax at 7:59 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

  • thank you so much! y'all have been a tremendous help! ive decided to go with both ADHD and learning disabilities. after reading y'alls comments it makes a lot more sense.

    fiat, im not going into the field. im just going into regular education (history). i just figured having an idea about the different aspects of special education and getting a little insight into the trials the students with these disabilities face would help me be a better teacher. this class has really opened my eyes.

    Comment by okmanders (original poster) at 11:22 PM on Jul. 24, 2013

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