National Center for Learning Disabilities

Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest NCLD YouTube

Take Action

A- A A+


What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and what does it have to do with learning disabilities (LD)? ADHD and LD are not the same thing, but ADHD certainly can interfere with learning and behavior. About one-third of people with LD have ADHD. Clear up your confusion about the two often co-occurring disorders by accessing the information below.



How to Talk to Your Child About Being Distracted and Unfocused

How to Talk to Your ADHD ChildMy son John, now age 23, has struggled with ADHD and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) since he was in preschool. A bright, sensitive and outgoing child, he’s always wanted to succeed in school and fit in socially. His ADHD and OCD, of course, didn’t always make it easy for him. I first learned about executive function when John was in middle school; it was a memorable “aha” moment for me. Suddenly, his learning and behavior challenges made more sense—as did the success (or failure) of the tactics I’d been using to help steer him in the right direction.

Continue Reading

ADHD General Information

About ADHD - General ADHD Info

What Is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a brain-based disorder that can affect children, adolescents and adults. Researchers are still exploring what causes ADHD. We do know that the disorder often runs in families and many studies suggest that genes play a big role in ADHD. Other possible underlying causes include environmental factors, such as early exposure to lead or to alcohol before birth, and brain injury.

Continue Reading

10 Helpful ADHD Resources

AD/HD Resources - Students with LDDon’t panic. Stay focused. puts everything you need at your fingertips, and help is only a click-of-a-mouse away.

Our team has compiled a list of the most up-to-date information and resources to offer guidance and support about Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The fact is, ADHD and LD are not the same thing, but ADHD certainly can interfere with learning and impact behavior. As many as one-third to one-half of people with LD also have ADHD.

Continue Reading

How to Treat ADHD

ADHD Treatment and MedicationAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that can be well managed through medical, educational, psychological and behavioral treatments. Finding the right combination of treatments can be a difficult process. It’s important to work with your child’s physician, team of educators and others as you figure what works for your child and what does not. And remember, be patient! This can be a trying time for your child, your family and you.

Continue Reading

Identifying ADHD and LD Problem Situations

ADHD and LD ProblemsAs a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, I see children with a wide range of disabilities. When I first meet with a family, I always ask the parents what they hope to gain from their visit with me. One of the most common questions parents ask is, “What does my child have?” This question is understandable, because treatments and services are based on a child’s diagnosis. The disorder is usually the focus of the health care and educational systems.

Continue Reading

How to Diagnose ADHD

ADHD Symptoms and DiagnosisSigns of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often occur in combination with reading, spelling, writing, arithmetic and language problems, as well as social and emotional problems. Sometimes it can be hard to determine if a child’s behavior is the result of ADHD, learning disabilities, or other disorders that can impact learning and behavior. That’s why it’s so important to have a careful and comprehensive evaluation done by qualified medical and educational professionals.

Continue Reading

Managing the Problem Situations of LD and ADHD: Partnering With Your Child’s Doctor

ADHD Problems - Parent/Doctor RelationshipThe symptoms of LD and ADHD often overlap, and treating a child’s individual problem situations, instead of his or her diagnosis, can empower parents. The “treatments” or strategies needed for many problem situations caused by LD and ADHD are the same. You and your child’s doctor can decide which challenges are the most important, and then choose the treatments or strategies you think will best address them.

Continue Reading

Community Favorites: Books on ADHD

ADHD Books - LDFact: About one-third of individuals with LD also have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Another fact: Our amazing social media community on Facebook and Twitter quickly responded to our request for their favorite ADHD-related books. These books contain helpful information that not only shed light on ADHD, but also provide tips on how your child can cope with ADHD in school. If you have more suggestions, please add them to the comments below.

Continue Reading

A Father and Educator’s Story: ADHD Myths, Diagnoses and Treatments

carter-normanOver the course of three years, I was approached by three teachers who had all expressed similar concerns about my son’s behavior. They described his behavior using different language, and citing different examples, but looking back, I see that all of their concerns aligned with the criteria for ADHD. My initial reaction was one of fear. Was I a defective parent? Did I have a defective child? Did they want to drug my child and suppress his personality with stimulant medication? I had a lot of anxiety and no real answers. I did what many parents do; I blamed the teacher.

Continue Reading

Will ADHD Medication Change Your Child’s Personality?

Effects of ADHD Medication on Child’s PersonalityThis is a common misconception. When doctors prescribe medication for ADHD, it can take a little while to figure out which medication works the best for your child and at what dosage. There are many medications on the market, and some may work well for some children and not others. It’s not uncommon for doctors to try different medications until the optimal type and dose is determined for your child’s age, height and weight. When prescribed effectively, ADHD medications work quite well soon after taking them. Your child’s personality won’t change, but his ability to focus and self-regulate will improve, which can make it easier to learn and to manage social situations. These changes can help your child build confidence and positive self-esteem.

Continue Reading

What’s the Difference Between ADD and ADHD?

ADD and ADHD | What’s the Difference?Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are both brain-based conditions that affect people’s ability to stay focused on things like schoolwork, social interactions and everyday activities such as brushing teeth and getting dressed. The biggest difference is that kids with ADHD are hyperactive—they can’t sit still and are so restless that teachers quickly notice their rambunctious behavior and begin to suspect there might be attention issues involved. Kids with ADD might fly under the radar a bit longer because they aren’t bursting with energy and disrupting the classroom. Instead, they often appear shy, daydreamy, or off in their own world.

Continue Reading

What Teachers See: How ADHD Impacts Learning in High School

What High School Teachers See: ADHD Symptoms’ Impact in the ClassroomHigh school isn’t just about academics; it’s also about learning to be self-sufficient and self-aware. Still, as the work becomes more rigorous and teachers expect students to become more independent, ADHD symptoms may show up in different ways at school. The following signs are typical of ADHD, but some of them may also occur with executive functioning issues and dyscalculia.

Continue Reading

How Is ADHD Diagnosed, and What Might Indicate a Misdiagnosis?

How to Diagnose ADHD | Signs Your Child Was MisdiagnosedA doctor (including neurologists, psychologists, pediatricians and psychiatrists) is the only professional qualified to formally diagnose ADHD. To qualify for the diagnosis, a child must display symptoms of the disorder for at least six months. It’s important to know that there is no single test for ADHD. There are many steps in diagnosing ADHD, first of which is a complete physical exam and discussion of medical history. The doctor will also want to make sure your child doesn’t have other medical issues that may look like features of ADHD.

Continue Reading