LD & ADHD: One of the most common co-existing disorders with LD is ADHD, with as much as 50% of individuals having both LD & ADHD.  Larry Silver, MD; Learning Disabilities Association of America

What is ADHD?

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental (brain-based) condition.It begins in childhood (before age 12) and can last across the lifespan.

ADHD involves difficulties with inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity.

Inattention refers to wandering off task, seeming not to listen, being easily distracted, daydreaming, being disorganized, being forgetful, and losing materials.
Hyperactivity refers to over-activity, restlessness, fidgeting, talkativeness, and being unable to stay seated.
Impulsivity refers to intruding in other people’s activities (e.g. interrupting, blurting out), being unable to wait, and making hasty decisions without thinking
about the potential consequences.

These difficulties must be beyond what would be expected for someone of the same age or developmental level.

3 Types of ADHD

The DSM-5 lists 3 types of ADHD: Inattentive Presentation, Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation, and Combined Presentation.

The Combined Presentation is the most common, with 50-70% of individuals with ADHD having problems with both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.

About 30% of individuals with ADHD only have difficulty with attention, while about 10% of individuals with ADHD only have difficulty with hyperactivity/impulsivity.

Symptoms of ADHD

-Symptoms affect each person to varying degrees (mild, moderate, and severe).
-Symptoms may change from moment to moment and day to day.
-Symptoms can depend on the setting or what the individual is doing.
-Symptoms are often worse when the individual is bored, unsupervised, or doing something difficult.
-Symptoms are often better when the individual is doing something he/she enjoys, when rewarded immediately, or when closely monitored.

  • Symptoms can change over time. For example, in adolescence/young adulthood, hyperactive symptoms are often less obvious than in childhood. However, difficulties with restlessness, inattention, poor planning, and impulsivity last over the lifetime. Many children with ADHD continue to struggle into adulthood.

Go to  About ADHD for more in-depth information about ADHD.

LEARN MORE about Co-existing disorders of LD, ADHD, and other related challenges:

Article: Related Disorders of a Learning Disability – What you Should Know. Written by Dr. Larry Silver and published by Learning Disabilities Association of America.