Dyslexia and ADHD: How to Differentiate Both of Them?

October 1, 2021
Differences between Dyslexia and ADHD


Mental health ailments stand out among the most concurring disorders, with ADHD taking a leading position. Common comorbid psychopathologies linked to ADHD include personality, substance use, neuro-behavioral, anxiety, and mood disorders. 

With dyslexia classified as a widespread neurobehavioral disorder, it is no surprise when medics report several concurring cases with ADHD. Both conditions have nearly similar symptoms, making it complicated for therapists to diagnose dyslexia and ADHD

Even with overlapping symptoms, the disorders differ both in diagnosis and treatment. For this reason, it is vital to understand what to do if you have both dyslexia and ADHD.

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What Is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a common learning disability categorized by difficult reading and writing. In other terms, patients struggle to identify sounds and speech, leading to challenges in decoding them into words or letters. The condition affects parts of the brain vital in processing language. There are four main types of dyslexia; visual, double, surface, and phonological.


What Is ADHD?

ADHD is the most prevalent childhood neurodevelopment disorder. It is a lifetime condition with symptoms visible from as early as six years. In most cases, warning indicators are only noticeable when a child encounters academic and social relationships challenges. Symptoms associated with ADHD include impulsiveness, poor planning, restlessness, poor management skills, and low concentration.


Different Types of Dyslexia


The Dyslexia-ADHD Link 

Most ADHD patients fall behind in their studies because of their reading disabilities. Primarily they lose track, miss details/phrases, and skip over words plus connections. The problem is more accelerated when students have to peruse through a complex and long passage. 

Despite all, how can you tell if a reading problem stems from ADHD or dyslexia? It is worth taking into account that dyslexia and ADHD often coincide. Often 15 to 40% of people with dyslexia have ADHD. On the contrary, 1 in 4 ADHD-affected individuals has dyslexia. Below are common similarities between dyslexia and ADHD:

  • Genetically Linked

Both mental conditions run in some families. In truth, about 40-60% of individuals inherit dyslexia from their parents. On the other hand, roughly 77-88% of people with ADHD get it genetically. 

  • Brain Characteristics

The brains of dyslexia and ADHD patients vary from those without the disorders. For instance, medical brain scans depict that the left part of the dyslexic brain is less active than the right. In addition, brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters may work abnormally. 

  • Risk Dynamics

There are a couple of factors that increase the chances of developing dyslexia and ADHD. Remember that even if these conditions are genetically associated, exposure to alcohol or cigarettes when pregnant makes it more prevalent. Moreover, coming into contact with lead toxins trigger ADHD but not dyslexia. In rare cases, brain damage or stroke causes dyslexia, even in normal adults.

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What Are the Differences between Dyslexia and ADHD?

Even with a whole load of similar symptoms, dyslexia and ADHD differ in one way or another. Here are some of the most prevalent disparities:

  • Life Impacts

Apart from matters concerning learning, dyslexia may not have any other impact on patient’s lives. By contrast, ADHD affects almost every aspect of an individual life. Due to the inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity associated with the condition, patients struggle with missing deadlines, failed relationships, financial challenges, and so forth.

  • Reading Capability 

It is pretty evident that dyslexia affects the reading prowess of infected individuals. Oppositely, ADHD may not have an effect on the learning capability but influence the focus or attentiveness to read without getting fidgety. 

  • Writing Skills

ADHD alters how the brain organizes thoughts or pays attention when writing. Dyslexia is more detrimental because vital writing skills like grammar and spelling are heavily impacted.


Dyslexia and ADHD
Common Dyslexia and ADHD Symptoms


Are Dyslexia and ADHD Disabilities?

Disability is a mental or physical condition that confines moving, thinking, or performing everyday activities. It goes without saying that dyslexia and ADHD disorders have a negative impact on patient’s lives. Although dyslexia on its own rarely qualifies for disability allowances, concurrence with ADHD increases chances. 

Overall, verified dyslexics may receive disability allowances from the Department of Work and Pensions. For severe ADHD patients, it is possible to get Social Security Disability payments if the condition prevents them from working.


How Do You Get Tested for ADHD and Dyslexia?

Currently, no genetic or medical test is available to diagnose dyslexia. Instead, it requires qualified mental health experts to assess patients mainly through reading examination. With telemedicine becoming rampant lately, therapists can also use technology to diagnose dyslexia from any corner of the world.

When diagnosing ADHD, experts use various tests and evaluations to make eventual conclusions. Bear in mind that diagnosing ADHD in children and adults can be complex because the condition concurs with several other mental health conditions. 

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Bottom Line

Even with the latest technology, there is no combined treatment solution for dyslexia and ADHD. The brighter side is that treating dyslexia and ADHD can be managed independently. Dyslexia is easily handled with various reading interventions geared towards articulation and decoding. Generally, ADHD is best controlled with medication and therapy. 

Thankfully, Mango Clinic has the latest and most effective treatment options that guarantee quick relief. Call qualified doctors and get proper diagnosis and prescriptions, either via telemedicine or in person.

Contact us at Mango Clinic for ADHD treatment or click the banner below to book your appointment.


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