Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 26–43 | Cite as

Occurrence and pattern of impaired reading and written language in children with attention deficit disorders

  • Jean Elbert
Part I Dyslexia Research and Its Applications


The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence and severity of reading, spelling, and written language impairment in children clinically referred for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Specific questions involved 1) whether ADD subgroups with and without hyperactivity differ in reading, spelling, and written language achievement, 2) whether age and gender interact with ADD sub-group class to affect reading/written language achievement, and 3) whether prevalence of impaired reading/written language in these subgroups is consistent with previous reports in heterogeneous samples. Subjects were 115 ADD children aged 6-12 who were subclassified as ADD + H(72 percent) and ADD - H(28 percent) by objective teacher ratings. Dependent measures included tests of single word recognition and vocabulary, word attack, contextual comprehension, written spelling, written sentence construction, and writing fluency, in addition to a structured behavioral observation, during which aspects of inattention and motor activity were coded. A large fraction of this sample met public school LD criteria (54 percent), and achievement on most measures was globally poorer than the respective test normative groups. The ADD + H subgroup showed significantly poorer word attack skills, while the subgroups did not significantly differ from each other on other reading/written language measures. However, 17 percent of the total ADD sample were ≥ 1.5 SD below the mean in total reading achievement, and 29 percent were ≥ 1.5 SD below the mean on measures of written spelling/language. Gender X age interactions, indicating poorer performance in the middle age group of females, were likely related to lower IQ.


Oppositional Defiant Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Reading Disability Learn Disability Oppositional Defiant Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The International Dyslexia Association 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Elbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Child Study CenterUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sdences CenterOklahoma City

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