Tips for When ADHD Makes Reading Difficult

October 31, 2017 Noelle Matteson

People with ADHD often struggle to read. Learn a few tips and watch a video about ADHD reading challenges and some ways to work around them.

I love getting new books, but attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) makes reading difficult. Discovering what is between book covers is a wonderful experience. However, finishing those books is a different issue. As is often the case for people with ADHD, I have difficulties with follow-through on things, and that includes reading; other people with ADHD find reading difficult for other reasons.

Many with ADHD struggle with reading. Some read a sentence over and over again because they can't pay attention the first time. Others read but don’t remember what they read. A number of people with ADHD hyperfocus on reading if it is something that captures their interest. One reason ADHD-ers might find reading challenging is because a large percentage of them have reading-related learning disorders. About a quarter of children with ADHD struggle with dyslexia.

Tips for Reading with ADHD

It is fine if you prefer other hobbies to reading. I generally like to read, but it can be hard to force myself to do so. Here are a few things I do to get myself to read:

  • I take my ADHD medication. I tend to be more focused an hour or so after taking the medication which can help me concentrate.
  • I read while doing other things. I still play The Sims on the computer, so I can read here and there while doing other fairly mindless activities.
  • I read what I enjoy. I try to choose books that I am eager to dive into.
  • I read when I’m awake. I know reading before bed can be relaxing, but I find that my brain is too tired to invest in the text.
  • I select a varied but limited number of books. For a while, I had four books on my bedstand, two nonfiction, and two fiction. That kept me from becoming overwhelmed, but it still mixed things up and kept me interested. If you find this too hard, focus on a single book at a time. (That’s what I’m currently doing.)

Video About ADHD and Reading

I talk a little more about my past reading habits in the video below.


If you have ADHD, how do you feel about reading? Are you an avid reader, or do you despise it? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading and watching.


Bates, Michael. “Dyslexia and ADHD.” Dyslexia Reading Well.

APA Reference
Matteson, N. (2017, October 31). Tips for When ADHD Makes Reading Difficult, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Noelle Matteson

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