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Hello there! Brief history: ADD has been mentioned to me a few times in the past, but I never took it seriously and had some other mental health issues I felt needed to be addressed (OCD, depression). I've recently started up with a new doctor and she said my ADD should be addressed and as I've come to learn, may have contributed to my depression and OCD anxiety, along with issues I've had my whole life.

My main question is this... school has always been difficult for me and I know that's super common with ADD. Does anyone else feel like they have trouble reading? I feel like sometimes the words are overwhelming and I need to follow along with the words with my finger in order to focus on the sentence. It takes me forever to get through a book. It doesn't feel like dyslexia because I don't think I mix words up or anything, but I seem to have trouble comprehending what I'm reading if I don't really strain myself to focus. Just wondering if anyone else had this experience and if it is ADD related.

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People with dyslexia generally read on a much lower level than their peers. Like adults reading on a fourth grade level. You don't have to exhibit every sign associated with a Learning Disability (LD). You just need to match some of the criteria for a LD to be diagnosed as having a LD. Some testing will suss out what LD you have. Generally this is something a Psychologist offers, sometimes a Psychiatrist will offer this kind of testing. There are no meds for LD's so most psychiatrists are not interested in them.

A high percentage of people with a LD also have ADHD (or a high percentage of people with ADHD have a LD). There is some overlap in LD's, many don't fit neatly into their diagnosis but have traits of other LD's. I show signs of having Dysgraphia and Dyspraxia but my handwriting is not that bad (a core sign of dysgraphia) and I match more of the criteria for Dyspraxia. Some traits are common to all LD's. Memory problems are one of these. I think a high percentage of people with seizures have a LD. Depression is common to most LD's.

This really sounds like 2 seperate issues, possible ADHD and a LD. Generally ADHD folk do not have trouble with comprehension in reading. As I said you need testing and a Psychologist generally offers this as a separate package from counseling. Your general doc or psychiatrist can point you toward who does this kind of testing in your area.

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Thanks for the response. I definitely have ADHD and show many other symptoms classic to it but just didn't know if trouble reading was something anyone else experienced with the disorder. I think the reason I have trouble comprehending is because I get too distracted while reading and have to read things over, but I'm not sure. Once I get going with a good rhythm I can be ok, but it takes a little while to get there. I will definitely ask about learning disabilities though. Thanks so much for the information.

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I thought this was a really good explanation about ADD and reading

 

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The odds favor the latter. ( difficulty with reading making it hard for my child to focus?)  Most likely it’s a reading problem. Learning to decode is challenging. And so difficulty learning to read and ADD (or ADHD-PI) are often found together. Similarly, the demands of reading comprehension starting in 3rd grade are challenging. And so weak reading comprehension and ADD are often found together.

 

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On 8/16/2017 at 5:04 AM, mcjimjam said:

I trouble absorbing the information even though my English skills are very good. I re read over and over and forget it again. I do have some letter jumbling so I may have dyslexia to some extent idk. 

don't forget that plain old depression can reduce cognitive abilities markedly too.  Lucky us...

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  • 1 month later...

I actually also like to have noise around me. It seems to calm me down. I like having music or a tv show on in the background while I do schoolwork.

I also found that my reading troubles improved with medication. It wasn't that I couldn't comprehend things, it's that I can't focus long enough to actually fully read things.

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I so empathize with you. So far, medication has seemed to improve some of this for me so hopefully treatment can help you with it as well! I do think some of it is also that I avoided reading my whole life because it couldn't hold my attention for very long which made me a less effective reader today. Working on changing that now. Good luck!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me, when my ADHD isn't strong enough to interfere with reading.. I fall into the book. I'm emersed in that world and outside noise and elements fall away.

But, when my ADHD rises in severity - reading is like pulling teeth.  I can read textbooks, websites, and studies well enough.. but they're broken down into very structured categories.  You can have your mind wonder off, refocus on the text and lose nothing.  With real books, however, when my mind skips out of the story, I lose the bigger context.  I can read and understand the individual sentences just fine... but how it relates to the overall story -the meaning - is lost.

As a result, I will find myself using my finger to follow along and mentally focus on each word.  In my case, it has nothing to do with reading ability.  It's a physical redirect for my wandering attention.  Sometimes that's the only way I can get it to sink in.

Reading like that takes the joy out of it thou, so I stopped reading for fun altogether.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have trouble NOT reading. However, when it comes to a conversation, especially if it's in a  meeting and it's about something that doesn't concern  me directly, I have real problems. It seems to me there might be similar issues. It feels like I'm thinking too loud, so I can't hear what's being said outside. Does that sound like what you experience when reading? In my case, medication helps a lot. 

 

BW, I once fell asleep in a meeting right after lunch on my FIRST DAY on a job. 

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  • 9 months later...

I can read but not write or spell too well. This has gotten a lot better with time. I still can't do handwriting. I was diagnosed with dyslexia as a kid.

On 8/16/2017 at 10:04 AM, mcjimjam said:

do have some letter jumbling so I may have dyslexia to some extent idk. 

apparently that isn't a symptom of dyslexia, I don't know if this is true. The front of my eye covery thingy is flat, which causes letters to connect to each other and look like other letters sometimes.. an optician can sort that out if it's that. Maybe I'm wrong and it can be part of dyslexia.

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