National Book Week South Africa, ADHD and the Benefits of Reading

It’s National Book Week in South Africa which is an absolute highlight for Ashton and probably another excuse to buy more books. Reading is such an important part of education and learning in general, whether or not a child has ADHD. Almost all areas of our lives require that we are able to comprehend reading material and retain that information. In addition to that the benefits of reading are numerous.

ADHD Reading Problems

Studies estimate around half of children with ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and ADD Attention Deficit Disorder experience difficulties when it comes to reading. Attention issues make it difficult for children with ADHD to concentrate when reading. These children may take longer to get through a page and experience difficulties when reading aloud. Sitting still for long periods, in order to read the assigned pages tends to be the biggest culprit with boredom setting in and the child becoming distracted.

Ashton was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 9 and one of his biggest obstacles was reading. He couldn’t sit still while he read and he absolutely hated reading. It is however critical that children with ADHD who struggle to read receive resources to help them improve their reading skills. We didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, accept persevere in getting him to enjoying reading. I set goals with a reward system. We bought him crazy fun books that peaked his curiosity. In fact we let him read absolutely anything he wants to read and 5 years later we are reaping the rewards. In fact this boy is book obsessed having bought close to 60 books in the past 9 months (with his own money as well).

The Benefits of Reading

  1. Mental Stimulation
  2. Anxiety and Stress Reduction
  3. Increased Knowledge
  4. Vocabulary Expansion
  5. Memory Improvement
  6. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
  7. Improved Focus and Concentration
  8. Better Writing Skills
  9. Tranquillity
  10. Free Entertainment (if you go to the library)
  11. An activity that can be done almost anywhere

As a child I was never encouraged to read and it’s a skill I seriously wish I had. I’m probably the worst reader on the planet, but am making a concerted effort to change that with my kids with daily allocated reading time slots and books as gifts. Reading has changed Ashton’s quality of life and has helped him cope better with his medical condition of ADHD, anxiety, depression and BPD.

There’s a reading genre for every person on the planet, and there’s something out there that will peak your curiosity and imagination, so make time amidst the daily hustle and bustle of life to open up a book and indulge your imagination.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this because both myself and one of the Twins have ADHD. I have resorted to not reading at all unless it’s your day to day or it will help me get by type of reading. My son on the other hand loves to read but he gets very nervous when he has to read.

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