Have you ever found yourself reading the same paragraph over and over, unable to grasp its meaning, even though you're trying your best to concentrate? If you or someone you know has ADHD, this scenario might feel painfully familiar, and you're far from alone in this struggle.
Reading comprehension is the ability to understand, interpret, and analyze written information. It's more than merely recognizing words on a page; it's about grasping ideas, making connections, and applying what you've read to different contexts. This skill is crucial in everyday life and learning, enabling us to follow instructions, engage in meaningful conversations, and think critically.
Your brain then decides whether to retain the information that you just understood from what you were reading.
But ADHD can throw a wrench in your ability to read with sufficient comprehension retention. Those with ADHD often have working memories with reduced capacity. This can not only hurt your reading comprehension and the amount of information you retain, but also your reading speed, as you may have to re-read large portions of the text to assist with connecting the ideas, or because you missed parts of the text altogether due to distraction.
Symptoms like distractibility and impulsivity that are often associated with ADHD can also create significant obstacles in reading. Distractibility may lead to losing one's place in the text or missing key details. Impulsivity might cause a rush through reading, such as skipping words or sentences unintentionally, leading to misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
When you have ADHD, reading doesn't have to be a relentless battle. With the right strategies, it's possible to turn a frustrating reading process into a rewarding journey of learning and discovery. Let's delve into some of the most effective non-medication tips for enhancing reading comprehension and retention for those with ADHD.
Remember what we talked about in a previous post, how ADHD can be simplified as a disruption between knowledge and action? This disruption makes it hard to do what we know we need to do in order to read well: stay focused, calm, and engaged for long periods of time. As a result, while you may not be able to rely on your brain by itself to connect knowledge with action, you can change your environment to clarify the link between knowledge and action for your brain.
So your general approach should be to do whatever you can to make both what you read about and your reading experience more concrete, physical, and immediate to your senses. Doing so helps your brain take focused action on the task at hand.
Here are some specific techniques to achieve just that for reading and improve reading speed, comprehension, and even retention:
Remember, dear reader, that every step forward, no matter how small, is progress. Reading well, especially with ADHD, might feel like an uphill battle at times, but with practice, patience, and the right strategies, it can turn into an enlightening and rewarding experience.
Your voice matters, and we'd love to hear from you! Have you tried any of these strategies? What works for you? What challenges are you facing? Share your experiences, ask questions, or offer tips in the comments below. Together, we create a vibrant community of learners and readers supporting one another.
Try reading with SwiftRead's software for a distraction-less, engaging, and fast-paced reading experience.
Jason, from 🇺🇸:
Absolutely game changing. I have ADHD and it's so hard to get through text. Getting it just "beamed into" my brain with SwiftRead is so much nicer.