Here are some practical ideas for dealing with ADHD students who need writing and reading help: To help children with ADHD who are poor readers improve their reading comprehension skills, try the following instructional practices:
• Silent reading time. Establish a fixed time each day for silent reading (e.g., D.E.A.R.: Drop Everything and Read and Sustained Silent Reading [
• Follow-along reading. Ask the child to read a story silently while listening to other students or the teacher read the story aloud to the entire class.
• Partner reading activities. Pair the child with ADHD with another student partner who is a strong reader. The partners take turns reading orally and listening to each other.
• Storyboards. Ask the child to make storyboards that illustrate the sequence of main events in a story.
• Storytelling. Schedule storytelling sessions where the child can retell a story that he or she has read recently.
• Playacting. Schedule playacting sessions where the child can role-play different characters in a favorite story.
• Word bank. Keep a word bank or dictionary of new or “hard-to-read” sight-vocabulary words.
• Board games for reading comprehension. Play board games that provide practice with target reading-comprehension skills or sight-vocabulary words.
• Computer games for reading comprehension. Schedule computer time for the child to have drill-and-practice with sight vocabulary words.
• Recorded books. These materials, available from many libraries, can stimulate interest in traditional reading and can be used to reinforce and complement reading lessons.
• “Backup” materials for home use. Make available to students a second set of books and materials that they can use at home.
• Summary materials. Allow and encourage students to use published book summaries, synopses, and digests of major reading assignments to review (not replace) reading assignments.
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Cheryl Carter is a college professor who enjoys helping other write with clarity and power. She is the author of Essential Writing Skills for College Bound Students and several other books. Her books have been translated into several languages.