Dyslexia And ADHD

Dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two neurodevelopmental conditions that often coexist and share similar symptoms. Individuals with both dyslexia and ADHD may face unique challenges in academic settings and daily life.

A child is reading from a book.
Photo by Michal Parzuchowski on Unsplash

In this article, we will explore the relationship between dyslexia and ADHD, the common symptoms they share, and their impact on children and adults.

Dyslexia And ADHD: the Overlapping Symptoms


Both dyslexia and ADHD can manifest difficulties in sustaining attention and focus. Children with dyslexia may have trouble concentrating during reading or writing tasks, while those with ADHD may struggle to focus on various activities.

Poor Working Memory

Children with dyslexia and ADHD may exhibit poor working memory, making it challenging to process and retain information efficiently.


Impulsivity is a core symptom of ADHD. Some children with dyslexia may also demonstrate impulsive behaviors, such as yelling out answers or acting without thinking.

Executive Functioning Challenges

Executive functioning skills, such as managing, organizing, and planning time, may be affected in both dyslexia and ADHD. These challenges can impact academic performance and daily routines.

Difficulties in Reading And Writing

Difficulties in reading, spelling, and writing primarily characterize dyslexia. However, children with ADHD may also struggle with these skills due to inattention and executive function deficits.

Dyslexia And ADHD in Children

The coexistence of dyslexia and ADHD is not uncommon in children. Identifying and addressing both conditions is crucial for providing appropriate support and interventions. In the classroom, children with dyslexia and ADHD face challenges in reading comprehension, completing assignments, and following instructions. They may require accommodations, such as extra exam time or preferential seating, to support their learning needs.

Dyslexia And ADHD in Adults

Dyslexia and ADHD can persist into adulthood, and individuals may face challenges in academic and work settings. Adults with dyslexia and ADHD may struggle with time management, organization, and written communication. They may experience difficulties in specific professional environments despite their intelligence and capabilities. However, adults can succeed in their chosen fields with the right support and accommodations.

Is There a Connection Between Dyslexia And ADHD?

The relationship between dyslexia and ADHD is complex and not fully understood. Research suggests that shared genetic and neurological factors might contribute to the co-occurrence of these conditions. However, it is important to recognize that dyslexia and ADHD are separate and distinct disorders.

Diagnosing Dyslexia And ADHD

Accurate diagnosis is essential for providing targeted interventions. Dyslexia is typically diagnosed through reading assessments and evaluations of reading-related skills. ADHD is diagnosed based on a comprehensive evaluation of symptoms and behavioral patterns. It is essential to consider the possibility of coexisting dyslexia and ADHD to ensure comprehensive support for the individual.

Support And Interventions

Children and adults with dyslexia and ADHD can benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to support their needs. Educational interventions, such as specialized reading programs and accommodations in the classroom, can aid in academic success. Behavioral therapies and executive function training can help individuals develop coping strategies for managing ADHD symptoms. Additionally, counseling and support groups can provide emotional support and encouragement.


Dyslexia and ADHD are neurodevelopmental conditions that may coexist in children and adults. While they share some overlapping symptoms, they are distinct disorders with different diagnostic criteria. Identifying and addressing dyslexia and ADHD is essential for providing appropriate support and interventions to help individuals thrive academically and in their daily lives. With the right strategies and support, individuals with dyslexia and ADHD can develop their strengths and achieve their full potential.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is ADHD Common With Dyslexia?

Yes, ADHD is commonly associated with dyslexia, and the coexistence of these conditions is not uncommon.

How Does ADHD Affect Dyslexia?

ADHD can exacerbate dyslexia symptoms, making it harder to focus on reading and writing tasks, leading to difficulties in academic performance.

Can ADHD Get Confused With Dyslexia?

Sometimes, ADHD and dyslexia can share similar symptoms, leading to confusion in diagnosis. Accurate evaluation is essential for proper identification.

Can You Overcome ADHD And Dyslexia?

While there is no cure for ADHD and dyslexia, early intervention, targeted support, and appropriate strategies can help individuals manage their challenges and succeed in various aspects of life.