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What Are Similarities and Dissimilarities between Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

dyslexia and adhd

Dyslexia and ADHD are two neurological characteristics that can impede learning. The signs of ADHD and dyslexia can be difficult to distinguish at times, as both can cause difficulties with reading and writing. However, while the symptoms may look similar, the underlying causes are very different.

Dyslexia is a type of learning problem that is caused by the brain. It impairs a person’s linguistic ability, making it challenging to read, punctuate, decode, and understand words. As a result, compared to other children of the same age who do not possess dyslexia; their reading, vocabulary, comprehension, and general knowledge are minimized. Remember that dyslexia do not constitute a sign of intelligence. The majority of dyslexics have normal and adequate intelligence.

ADHD is a disorder that impairs your executive functioning skills, such as working memory, flexibility, and self-control. This may make managing your everyday activities difficult. ADHD can also impair your ability to concentrate in class or at work. ADHD could also impact managing emotions and make it challenging. ADHD patients might be hyperactive or aggressive.

ADHD and dyslexia are identified to co-occur frequently. Moreover, individuals with ADHD are more likely to have a learning disability than those who do not have ADHD. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, dyslexia is the most common learning disability.

Similarities of dyslexia and ADHD:

Dyslexia and ADHD share several characteristics, including:

  • Both conditions may be inherited. The majority of the people accrue ADHD as compared to dyslexia.
  • Both disorders can make learning, reading, or organizing your thoughts more challenging,
  • ADHD and dyslexia could really make it difficult to pay attention.
  • They can exacerbate difficulties in communicating with others.
  • Both of these enable you to become more innovative in your thinking and artistic capabilities.

Adhd Specialist

Differences between dyslexia and ADHD:

Since both ADHD and dyslexia are neurobehavioral disorders, it can be difficult to distinguish which difficulties are related to which. ADHD is concerned with attention and dyslexia is concerned with reading, the characteristics may appear similar. Here are a few examples to illustrate further.

  • Distraction:

People with ADHD and dyslexia could both appear distracted; however, the cause of the distraction differs. A person with ADHD may show up distracted because it is challenging for them to focus, whereas a person with dyslexia may appear disturbed because reading requires a lot of effort and their energy has run out.

  • Fluency:

Proficient readers are capable of comprehending with accuracy, relative speed, and expression when reading aloud. A person must be able to read fluently in order to understand what they have read. An individual with ADHD may struggle to read but since they get lost or skip between the lines due to the fact that their fast brain has moved on to the next section. Dyslexic people may not be fluent readers because they spend too much time trying to sound out every word or trying to read terms correctly.

  • Writing:

Writing skills can also be difficult. Someone with ADHD may struggle with organization and editing, and proofreading whereas a dyslexic individual struggles with grammar, spelling, pronunciation, organizing concepts, proofreading, and writing. A good way to distinguish between the two cases is to recall that dyslexia problems typically manifest themselves during writing and reading activities, whereas ADHD symptoms manifest themselves in a variety of settings and are more behavioral in nature.

Diagnosis of ADHD and dyslexia:

ADHD and dyslexia are diagnosed differently and commonly by different specialists. ADHD is classified as a mental disorder and can be diagnosed by a psychologist, therapist, neurologist, or some family physicians. Dyslexia is a condition that is frequently identified by educators, who also may refer the person to a physician or psychologist for further evaluation and diagnosis. A clinical psychologist, school counselor, educationist, or neuropsychologist typically diagnoses dyslexia. Dyslexia ranges in severity from light to severe, and people with ADHD are no exception. This means that two individuals will not have the same symptoms.

Improving outlook with ADHD and dyslexia:

One of the most challenging things for individuals with ADHD and dyslexia is feeling good about themselves. Their self-esteem and confidence are frequently low as they find it difficult with activities that their peers find those simple. Here are three ways you can help.

Identify: It helps people when they know they have such a disorder with a name, such as ADHD or dyslexia. They acknowledge why they behave the way they are, and this prevents them from looking for answers for themselves, which are frequently terms like “I am stupid” or “I am dumb.”

Effort, not outcomes: Instead of outcomes, give your acquaintance reviews on the efforts they put into a task. A person with dyslexia and ADHD must work even harder than other students, but their efforts are not always rewarded in the form of a standard outcome. Knowing that their efforts are appreciated by you makes a significant difference in their self-esteem.

See Also: Dyslexia and Adhd

Seeking help:

When learning about dyslexia and ADHD, one of the most common messages is that ‘early intervention is critical.’ Of course, timely screening of any disorder is beneficial. However, if you discover you have dyslexia or ADHD, do not feel guilty. Never is it too late to get checked and receive the necessary treatment.

ADHD and dyslexia may co-occur. Though in the case of children, it may appear challenging when your child receives their early assessment, with the right tools and support, your child can learn to lead a fruitful life. You can help your child by ensuring that they receive scientifically proven interventions and learning how to assist them at home. They are more likely to succeed when learning is made enjoyable. A person with ADHD has a poor capacity for things that are not fascinating to them or that they do not feel are valuable. You want to protect them from being irritated because they would shut down if they become frustrated.

Family Medicine Austin

Written by Jeannette

I am Jeannette, the medical writing specialist here at Family Medicine Austin. I have over five years of experience working with a range of medical and healthcare across the U.S.