Reading is one of the most crucial activities for children, promoting language development, building knowledge, and setting up academic success—but getting children with ADHD to read can be tough. ADHD makes reading more difficult, since reading relies on attention and executive function. Quality instruction is only part of the solution, because reading with ease and comprehension only follows from consistent practice. Since most kids avoid doing things that feel difficult, the children who need reading practice most, don’t do it. For the average child with ADHD, keeping busy during the summer may feel like ‘anything except reading.’
Nowadays it’s impossible to discuss how to encourage reading without mentioning technology too, since open access to television and screens gets in the way of recreational reading. Symptoms of ADHD include being easily bored, avoiding mental effort, and novelty seeking. Tech time panders to all of that—no other activity provides so much engagement and novelty, with so little effort required by the kids. Without adult guidance, screens trump reading for many children seeking entertainment during the day.
Summer is a great opportunity to encourage reading and create new habits. As with nutrition, a balanced diet of activities is required for healthy child development. Here’s how to encourage reading this summer: