Does Dyslexia Affect Attention?

ADHD and dyslexia are different brain disorders that often overlap. Statistics point out that a third of the people with dyslexia also have ADHD. At the same time, there is the likelihood that if you have ADHD, you will also have other mental illnesses or dyslexia.

However, the occurrence of either is not a sign that the other is on the way. Typically, the two illnesses are characterized by similar symptoms and risk factors, which create difficulty in identifying them. 

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ADHD Dyslexia Comorbidity:

Comorbidity of ADHD and dyslexia [1*] is quite frequent.

The two conditions have common symptoms:

  • Naming speed
  • Motor skill deficits
  • Working memory deficits
  • Information-processing speed problems

How Does Dyslexia Affect a Person?

Typically, dyslexia interferes with the way your brain processes are written information. As a result, it makes you experience more difficulty recognizing, spelling, and decoding words.

The impact may be different, but people with the condition exhibit problems reading quickly and reading without making errors. 

Co-Existing Conditions

  • ADD and Dyslexia Together

In some instances, the conditions are viewed as independent, but there are cases where executive function impairments in either have been associated with the other. In such a case, someone may have both of the conditions. 

  • Can You Have ADHD and Dyslexia?

It is possible to have ADHD and dyslexia. If you have both of the conditions, you typically have broad executive function impairments in addition to impairment to specific skills essential for reading.

The Dyslexia-ADHD Link Symptoms

Dyslexia is typically a learning condition that makes it difficult to process written or spoken language. On the other hand, ADHD affects a person’s impulse control and attention, making the individual prone to hyperactivity.

How Are Dyslexia and ADHD similar?

Some of the common characteristics of ADD and dyslexia include: 

  • Heredity

Both illnesses are likely to be transferred from one lineage to another and may be common among relatives.

  • Brain Features

People with the conditions have brains with chemical and physical variations than those without. 

  • Risk Factors

They both share common parameters that heighten the chances of developing them, including:

  • ADHD and Dyslexia Similarities

    The Link Between ADHD and Dyslexia

Similarities and Differences

1. Reading Problems

This is a common symptom in both conditions but can often present differently in each case. If you have dyslexia, you are likely to take long to sound out words or misread them altogether.

When suffering from ADHD, your reading speed may be significantly slow though your reading may be accurate.

2. Writing Problems

People suffering from either of the conditions usually experience difficulty writing in a tidy manner. If you have dyslexia, you have trouble precisely spelling, proofreading, or using grammar.

When suffering from ADHD, you are likely to have problems organizing your thoughts and spotting errors in your writing.

3. Forgetfulness

If you have ADHD, you’re likely to forget important activities, misplace items, and have scant memories of your childhood.

If you have dyslexia, you may find problems remembering places, pronouncing people’s names, and tend to mix up words that resemble. 

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4. Attention Problems

Does Dyslexia Affect Attention?

People with dyslexia may find it difficult to read to the point they give up and focus on other activities. ADHD patients also experience difficulty being attentive and get distracted easily, particularly when not interested in an activity. 

5. Social and Work-Life Effects

While both conditions can affect your social or work life to a certain degree, ADHD has more dire and lasting effects than dyslexia.

Failure to manage ADHD may result in frequent conflicts with those close to them, difficulty managing their finances, and work problems, among others. 

Dyslexia and Developmental Dyslexia Diagnosis

Dyslexia and developmental dyslexia are the same conditions. When individuals claim to have dyslexia, they mean that they have developmental dyslexia [2*] , which is usually inherited. 

Typically, there is not an outlined test for diagnosing dyslexia.

Medical specialists will use several factors to confirm the presence of the condition in an individual, some of which include the following: 

  • Medical history, childhood development, and education-related problems
  • Your home life
  • Vision, hearing, and brain tests
  • Psychological testing
  • Reading and other academic skills tests
ADHD and Dyslexia Differences

What Are the Differences Between ADHD and Dyslexia?

Dyslexia Treatment

Medical studies have yet to establish a mechanism to treat the underlying problem that leads to dyslexia. The condition is managed using educational techniques if detected earlier in life.

This will help the child find the necessary help to improve their reading skills right from their early stages and will be able to succeed later in their studies. 

A child with dyslexia can acquire reading skills through the parent’s help, taking the following steps: 

  • Seek medical guidelines on the child’s condition earlier in their life
  • Reading aloud to the child
  • Discuss the matter with the child’s school so that they can give the child the necessary help
  • Take time to encourage the child to read so that they can enhance their reading skill

Mild or slight dyslexia is also a common but often assumed condition in children and adults.

It presents with experiencing a difficult time contemplating the sounds in words, average spelling, and reading abilities. In some cases, people with slight dyslexia will hesitate to read aloud in a group setting. 

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Medical Advice

Dyslexia and ADHD in adults are common since they are often life-long conditions. Seeking the help of medical professionals from EZCare Clinic immediately you discover the condition is critical.

This is because the professionals will help determine its presence and guide appropriate management. 


+2 sources
  1. Comorbidity of ADHD and dyslexia. (2010)
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  2. Developmental dyslexia
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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.