It is not uncommon for disabilities or other conditions to co-exist, and some research highlights a particularly high chance of someone having a dual diagnosis of both attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.
How common is a dual diagnosis?
Studies have found that although ADHD and dyslexia are common conditions on their own, both frequently occur together. Some studies have found that nearly 25% to 40% of people with ADHD have dyslexia (and vice versa).
The primary concern in cases where ADHD and dyslexia co-exist is that they can often have similar signs. For example, children with both conditions may find it difficult to:
- Read, write or take tests
- Comprehend or explain content they read
- Pay attention to instructions or lessons
There are significant differences between these two conditions, and these similar signs can occur for vastly different reasons depending on the child’s condition. For example, a child with dyslexia may have trouble reading because the brain processes language differently. Meanwhile, a child with ADHD may have difficulty reading because their brain has trouble focusing.
That is why Healthline suggests that is important for California parents and teachers to understand both of these conditions separately as well as how they co-exist. In doing so, parents and teachers can reduce the chance of overlooking signs and symptoms of these conditions either coexisting or occurring separately.
Applying the research
It is helpful to be aware of the chance of these conditions co-existing. Perhaps your child received a dyslexia diagnosis, and therefore you obtained an evaluation to help determine their needs as well as an independent education plan (IEP) to assist them at school. However, what do you do if your child is still struggling?
Since research has shown that there may be up to a 40% chance that your child may have ADHD in addition to dyslexia, they may benefit from additional evaluations. Understanding your child’s condition and their needs in these situations is critical to ensure their IEP can truly help them learn and succeed in school.