It is common knowledge that children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often suffer from learning disabilities. However, a new study has found that ADHD children are also are at a much higher risk of developing written language disorder (WLD).
According to ADHD experts, the findings of the current study shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the disorder, as most people with ADHD are known to experience some form of learning disability, with about 80 percent suffering effects on their ability to read.
One expert who isn’t startled by the results of the research is Dr. Tanya Froehlich, a developmental and behavioral pediatric specialist, and assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, who noted, “It’s completely in line with what's expected and with prior research data…. We already know that people with ADHD have a higher rate of reading disabilities. So this makes sense, and goes along with [prior research] as well as with what we have observed in clinic.”
However, the latest study is the first to provide evidence of a specific link between ADHD and writing disorders according to the researchers. Study author Dr. Slavica K. Katusic, an associate professor of epidemiology and pediatrics, and her colleagues, will have their findings published in an upcoming issue of Pediatrics. A noted professional in the field of pediatrics, Katusic is also a consultant in the Mayo Clinic’s department of health sciences research. According to Katusic, most prior ADHD studies have been based on a clinical research sample of children, “which may not reflect the full spectrum of ADHD in the population at large, so this is the uniqueness of this study, because this is population-based.”
Katusic pointed out that the study findings indicate that “regardless of gender, there is a dramatic difference” in the risk of written-language disorder. In fact, the results of the study suggest that ADHD kids are at a five times greater risk for having writing problems in comparison to individuals who do not have ADHD.