ADHD and Literacy

The following two narratives from the DALN shine light on the difference ways that ADD/ADHD affects literacy. For Ashley Willis, reading and writing were helpful tools in gaining focus. Cassandra Guard, on the other hand, faced more hindrances with writing because of her ADD. I hope you enjoy the highlights of these two stories below. Be sure to click on the links to hear/read what the authors have to say in their own words.

In her beautifully-written narrative, Willis discusses her experiences growing up with ADHD and struggling with holding onto or remembering a thought. She expresses how frustrating it was to quiet her mind so that she could focus on the work before her. For her, ADHD brought shame and self-doubt. When she was nine, however, she began reading authors such as Bradbury, Tolkien, and King. These authors inspired her to write, which led her to learn how to focus and to become the “author of words and worlds” and her “own life.”

Guard had a different experience when it came to her ADD and literacy. As an adult, she only recently found out about having ADD, and in her narrative, she reflects on how her ADD held her back without her fully realizing it. She remembers almost failing all of her writing classes and can now realize that she had trouble expressing herself. She wishes that she was taught how to be confident and to write in a way that she could understand. Although she can only recognize this about her learning process in retrospect, she is now able to notice the same patterns happening with her son and can be more active in helping him receive what she didn’t.


Photo credit:
Michael Dales

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