reading, special needs, chapter books, rick riordan

4 Tips to Get Kids with ADHD to Read

How to Get ADHD Kids Reading

I didn’t know that Percy Jackson author, Rick Riordan, has a son who has ADHD and is dyslexic which is also true of Percy Jackson.  I love how Riordan made ADHD and dyslexia part of the storyline that shows the gifts that also come with ADHD and dyslexia — fast reflexes, ability to read Ancient Greek, etc.

And what is really cool is that Riordan’s son Haley, now 16 years old, has written his own manuscript for a book that exceeds any manuscript produced by his famous dad.  Not bad for someone who hated to read so much that he hid under the table.  I can’t wait to read The Lost Hero.  My oldest has squirreled away with it and is reading it at a breakneck pace.  I also can’t wait to read the work of Haley Riordan!  Like father, like son!  I’m sure it will be a great read!

The full article is here.  The advice from Rick Riordan to get kids with ADHD to read is below.  I have more reviews on Rick Riordan’s chapter books here and here.  I hear that The Heroes of Olympus (The Lost Hero is book 1) series is going to be a 5 book series and an extension of the Percy Jackson chapter book series.   This lastest series combines Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman mythology.  The Kane Chronicles, (The Red Pyramid is book 1), series is going to be a 3 book series and is based on Ancient Egyptian mythology.

reading, special needs, chapter books, rick riordanThe Kane Chronicles, Rick Riordan, The Red Pyramid,, PragmaticMom


1. Model reading at home. If the parents are too busy to read, it’s a safe bet the children will feel the same way. Set aside time for family reading each night. It doesn’t matter so much what the kids read, as long as you provide them space for reading and a sense that it is a valuable part of your daily routine. Sometimes the Riordan family will read books together. Sometimes we’re all reading different things. But we value books, and we have great conversations about our favorite authors and stories.

2. Match your children with the right books. By the “right” books, I mean the ones that will leave them wanting to read more. Every child’s taste is different. Don’t worry if they’re not reading “War and Peace” at age 12. First, build a good foundation and a positive attitude about reading by letting them pick the stories they enjoy. Make friends with a bookseller or librarian. They are a wealth of information on finding books that kids enjoy.

3. Create a productive environment for reading. Usually, this means few distractions. Reading with music or TV? Not such a great idea. On the other hand, many ADHD kids can focus better if they can have something to fiddle with like a stress ball, an eraser, or some other small object that absorb their kinesthetic energy. Let your child participate in finding the most comfortable space to read – a chair, a sofa, a loft, a patio.

4. Most importantly, keep the long view. Your child will grow up to be a successful person. ADHD and dyslexia really are differences, not disabilities. A disproportionate number of millionaires are dyslexics. ADHD adults are valuable in the workplace because they can focus like a laser on things that really interest them. Kids with learning differences naturally become out-of-the-box thinkers, because they have to find different ways to solve problems. If we can get these kids through the school years, they will excel.

Take it from this dad. It seems like just yesterday my son was hiding under the table to avoid reading. Now, he’s writing books longer than mine!

For more on “The Heroes of Olympus” go here.

To visit Rick Riordan’s web site, go here.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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