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Common Learning Disorders that Accompany ADHD

While ADHD isn’t a learning disorder, it is estimated that 20-60% of people with ADHD have a learning disorder, like dyslexia or dyscalculia which are the most common comorbidities with ADHD. It's important to note that having a learning disorder has nothing to do with high or low intelligence. 


What do these disorders look like?


First, dyslexia and dyscalculia are not something you outgrow. You can learn to cope with and accommodate as you grow and approach learning. 


Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a condition that makes it hard to work with language. 


Dyslexia can look like

  • Challenges with reading fluency and comprehension

  • Poor spelling and writing

  • Difficulty with math


Myths about dyslexia

  • Some people believe that dyslexia is a problem with the eyes, but the reality is it’s a language based learning difference, not a vision problem. 

  • Others believe that dyslexia is all about seeing words backwards. However, dyslexia is about the brain’s processing of language. While the brain focuses on the middle of things, like a face or a picture, we are taught to read left to right, top to bottom. 


Dyscalculia 

Dyscalculia is a condition that makes it hard to understand math and tasks involving math.


Dyscalculia can look like:

  • Struggling to grasp the meaning of quantities like biggest v. smallest

  • Challenging to understanding the logic

  • Difficulty making change at a store

Myths about Dyscalculia

  • Some people think that being ‘bad at math’ is the same as having dyscalculia, but it is a challenge based on biology. Researchers are still investigating the exact causes.

  • Many refer to dyscalculia as ‘math dyslexia,’ thinking it involves numbers flipping around. This misunderstanding stems from misconceptions about dyslexia. People with dyscalculia struggle with number sense and math concepts, not with numbers themselves flipping around.


Learning disorders as a whole are quite common with  ADHD. Understanding what they look like and how to support yourself can improve your quality of life! 


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