Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Reading Problems and ADHD

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Jerome J. Schultz, Ph.D.

Q: I have a 14-year-old stepson who has ADHD. He is in a Resource Program in our public school system. He failed the seventh grade and is in summer school. I have been helping him with his homework and have discovered he can only read approximately on a second-grade level. He does not get any extra help at school during the summer session. How can I catch him up? It seems the school system has just been passing him up to the next grade.

A: It sure does, and it's a good thing that you identified the problem while there's still time left to do something about it. If he has never been evaluated for a learning disability, ask the school to do that NOW! You should contact the administrator of special education or the building principal. Unless the special education staff is around in the summer, they may not be able to do testing until the fall. You can choose to have your stepson tested at a learning disability clinic at a local hospital (Contact the state branch of the Learning Disabilities Association, or by a private psychologist (contact the Board of Psychology in your state for a referral).

If your stepson has had reading problems all along and no one in the school has referred him for evaluation in the past, they've got some catching up to do. I would ask them to hire a tutor trained in reading disabilities or learning disabilities to work with him this summer. If he is reading at the second grade level, he's unlikely to be successful in summer school, unless they read EVERYTHING to him. You can get all of his books on tape by contacting Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. This may take some time, but at least you'll have a way to get knowledge into his head, even if his reading skills are low. Incidentally, if your stepson's math computation (not word problem-solving) skills are higher than his reading skills, this is an indication that he is bright enough to learn, and that he should benefit from the right kind of teaching.

More on: Expert Advice

Jerome (Jerry) Schultz is the founding clinical director of the Learning Lab @ Lesley University, a program that provides assessment, tutoring, and case management services for children with learning challenges. Schultz holds a Ph.D. from Boston College, and has completed postdoctoral fellowships in both clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks