Why do we care so much about reading? Why is it important to get our boys reading to their greatest potential? The most basic reason is that reading is the most important skill that people have to enhance their intelligence. Through reading, people improve their vocabularies and memories, become better writers, and even relieve stress. On a more practical level, literacy levels are correlated with financial success. In sum, we need to ensure that our boys are reading because their lives will be more fulfilling, relaxed, and comfortable.
Boys and ADHD
Another, often less discussed issue with boys’ reading is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We all know that reading takes concentration – without it – you can’t get to the end of a sentence. What many people don’t realize is that while ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects between 8-10% of school age children, boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Of course, only a tiny fraction of boys have ADHD, but this fraction is significantly larger than the fraction of girls that have ADHD. This can also account for the differences in proficiency in boys’ and girls’ reading scores. Therefore, if your child son is unable to focus, is easily distracted, and often fidgets, consider getting him tested for ADHD. His lack of reading skills could be attributed to a surmountable learning disability.
Let’s get those boys out of the back of the classroom and living up to their fullest potential!