Helping ADHD Students Read Actively | Psych in 60

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Helping ADHD Students Read Actively

Students with ADHD often slip into what I call “auto-pilot mode” when reading, meaning that they’re decoding every word, but their mind is someplace else.

They get to the bottom of the page and realize they have NO IDEA what they just read.

The key to avoiding “auto-pilot mode” is reading actively, by finding ways to engage with the text. And there are many ways to do this.

Have a set of questions to answer, turning the reading into a scavenger hunt. Shift the info in the text to another format, like a diagram or compare/contrast table.

When reading, students should always have pencils in hand to underline, circle, draw arrows, and write margin notes.

I’m not a big fan of highlighting because a whole page can end up yellow. But if the student has a cap on how many words can be highlighted, that forces decision-making and promotes active reading.

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Dr. Craig Pohlman
Craig is a learning expert who has helped thousands of struggling students in his psychology career. He’s written extensively about learning issues, including the book How Can My Kid Succeed in School? He has three sons, so he has been up close and personal with things like cramming for tests, scrambling to finish homework, shuttling kids to sports practices, stuffing backpacks, etc. Follow him on Twitter - @DrCraigPohlman

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