With contributions from Anne Betteridge, PG Dip in Adult Dyslexia Diagnosis and Support, and author of Chambers Adult Learners’ Guide To Spelling. Anne is an ADHD Coach and Mental Health Mentor at The ADHD Centre. From her work supporting ADHD adults with study skills, she has identified a number of specific challenges to studying with ADHD. You can learn more about Anne here.
You can also use movable cards. This works well as a planning tool for longer pieces of writing and allows you to move away from technology. Using planning cards helps to give clarity to kinaesthetic learners and is often a good starting point for your writing.
A spellchecker tool can be helpful but it is not always the best solution. It tends to give a few choices and someone may not know which choice is correct. Also, spellcheckers don’t tend to sense check, so if you insert a wrong word that is spelled correctly but doesn’t make sense, it might not identify an error.
If you know you struggle with spelling, it is a lifelong issue but there are things you can do to help yourself:
- Ask someone to proofread your writing.
- To learn how to spell a word forever, you need to break the word up, focus on the difficult part(s) and then find a visual way to remember it.
- If there are common words you find difficult, you may want to keep a list of these words either in a notebook or on your phone.
- Use mnemonics to remember spellings. Here is an example for the word rhythm:
Rhythm Helps Your Two Hips Move.
Mnemonics are more memorable if you say them out loud so try repeating them to other people. Often people find silly and rude ones are easier to remember!
As adults, we often find ourselves note-taking, whether this is in a lecture, meeting or discussion. The key to making useful notes is to find the way that works best for you. Line after line of text on a page might be meaningless for some people, and visual representations such as mind mapping or storyboarding can be helpful if you have ADHD. Mind mapping engages the brain and can help with focus and concentration.
The Cornell Method is also worth considering. It involves breaking up the page into sections and then reviewing and summarising the content.
ADHD and Dyslexia
There’s a 45% overlap in ADHD and other comorbid learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. We have identified the following key indicators and characteristics of people with combined dyslexia and ADHD:
- Good people skills
- Reluctant to write at length
- Difficulties with spelling
- Good verbal skills
- Avoids reading
- Muddles right and left
- Disliked school/hated having to read aloud
- Good work ethic
- Poor short term and working memory
ADHD and Dyspraxia
In a similar way, these are the key indicators of ADHD and dyspraxia that have been identified:
- Executive function impairment
- Problem solver, lateral thinker
- Poor handwriting
- Speech difficulties
- Difficulty with one, two or all of: fine motor skills, gross motor skills and balance
Some of these characteristics, such as the executive function impairment overlap with ADHD symptoms and it is often poor handwriting that stands out. Just like ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia can go undiagnosed, especially when they are comorbid with other conditions.
At the ADHD Centre, our specialist coaches can advise you about study skills and help you to work out what style of learning works best for you. It’s important to realise that it’s never too late to learn and maybe the way you learnt at school didn’t suit you.
To learn more about our ADHD Coaching, private ADHD Assessments and evidence-based treatments, please get in touch with The ADHD Centre. You can reach us on 0800 061 4276 or by email at email@example.com
Our guide Practical Tips And Techniques For Students With ADHD is FREE to download.
The book Chambers Adult Learners’ Guide To Spelling by Anne Betteridge has some brilliant techniques that you can work through in your own time.
Crossbow Education for visual stress and dyslexia resources
Dyslexia Box has resources and support for dyslexia in the workplace.