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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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Boys, ADHD And Reading


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Provide breaks in reading: In a classroom setting, this method would be very frustrating to those students who are focused on the text. However, when reading in small groups or individually, it is great to have a child stop and tell you a story related to the reading. This will help them concentrate on the story when you get back to it. After you finish reading, ask comprehension questions. You’ll be surprised how much the student retained.

Engage other areas of their brain: While the child is reading, encourage him to paint a picture in his mind. This will stimulate the optical region of his brain. After a few minutes, ask him to share what picture he visualized. This will allow him to have multiple focuses, but remain on the task at hand: reading. In addition, you can encourage the child to take notes while reading. Note taking requires motor skills and hand-eye- coordination. Again, this technique allows the child multiple centers of concentration while still reading.

Utilize books on tape: Reading a book while a tape plays is a great way to give a child with ADHD a multi-sensory experience. You can use books on tape if available or you can read to him yourself, while he reads along aloud.

Break assignments into manageable piece: No one has a limitless attention span; however, children with ADHD have shorter attention spans than most people. With that in mind, help your child split up the reading into many smaller parts. Providing breaks in the reading will allow your child to regroup and refocus.

As a society that increasingly focuses on higher levels of literacy, it is important for us as parents and educators to help our boys surmount the obstacles on their path to reading. Believe me, it’s possible – I have seen it happen in my office for years.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@gmail.com.


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