Understanding ADHD | For Professionals | For Teachers | Assignment Accommodations | Reading Assignments
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Reading Assignments

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Students often struggle with reading assignments not because they cannot read the text, but because they have trouble with comprehension. Depending on their grade level they might have difficulty recalling letters, words, and sequences of events. Reading can also become a boring and meaningless task for students with ADHD when they do not understand what they are reading. If there is no connection from the story to their current knowledge, their mind is more likely to wander. The following are some accommodations for reading assignments:

  • Highlighters: Let the student highlight key words and key concepts. Allowing students to highlight words and phrases while they are reading helps keep them more engaged. It also helps them identify key points and answer questions about a reading passage.

  • Graphic organizers: Provide students with graphic organizers. Having the student fill in a graphic organizer while he or she reads a passage helps him follow along with a story. Graphic organizers can be used to sequence story events and identify important parts of the story.

  • Word lists: Preview new vocabulary before reading a story. If students have no prior knowledge of key terms in a story, they are going to have difficulty making sense of what they are reading. By previewing vocabulary words first, you give students the background information needed to understand the story.

  • Computer programs: Use computer software for practicing concepts. Software programs and games automatically move a student from one problem to the next. As soon as one question is answered, the next one appears, giving the student external motivation to continue reading.



Barkley, R. (2016). Managing ADHD in School The Best Evidence-Based Methods for Teachers. Eau Claire, WI: PESI Publishing & Media.

Lougy, R., DeRuvo, S., and Rosenthal, D. (2007). Teaching Young Children with ADHD: successful strategies and practical interventions for PreK-3. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Teach ADHD. (2013). Rethinking ADHD in the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://www.teachadhd.ca/abcs-of-adhd/Pages/Rethinking-ADHD-in-the-Classroom.aspx

U.S. Department of Education. (2008). Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Instructional Strategies and Practices. U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/adhd/adhd-teaching_pg3.html

Zeigler Dendy, C. (2000).  Teaching Teens with ADD and ADHD: a quick reference guide for teachers and parents. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House.


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