Almost two years ago, a lady who had signed up for one of my speed reading courses showed up early on the first day of class to privately inform me that she had a reading disability, so that I wouldn't be too frustrated at the poor performance that she was expecting in the class. I gave her some words of encouragement and told her that she might do better than she thought she would. I'm glad I encouraged her.

She ended the course reading 18,000 words per minute.

While it's not uncommon for children to attain such reading speeds, I've only had one adult student in my life who could go faster.

Last night I just finished talking to my friend, Troy, who is a school teacher. He and I have the same hobby: We teach children to speed read. It was nice to find out that Troy has noticed the same pattern that I have noticed in our speed reading students: Some "Learning Disabled" people are EXTREMELY gifted when it comes to speed reading. Specifically, the children who have ADD and Dyslexia tend to catch on to speed reading better than most other children, based on what Troy and I have seen in our speed reading classes (in fact, the charter school where Troy has taught at for the past 2 years has 50% of the students DIAGNOSED with Attention Deficit Disorder [ADD]) . I know other speed reading instructors who have noticed the same pattern with ADD (including ADHD) and Dyslexic children also. Recently, new evidence has come forward that verifies what we speed reading instructors have discovered on our own.

In 1997 Jeffrey Freed, M.A.T., published his book RIGHT-BRAINED CHILDREN IN A LEFT-BRAINED WORLD, in which he explains, among other things, that kids with ADD and Dyslexia are usually gifted when it comes to speed reading. This is because normal reading and speed reading are each processed in completely different parts of the brain. Normal reading is processed in the Left half of the brain. But speed reading is processed in the Right half.

Since children with ADD and Dyslexia are generally Right-brain dominant, it makes sense that they would have an easier time of learning to speed read than to "slow read." ADD and Dyslexia are not really "disorders." They are just different ways of processing the same information. The "solution" to these conditions is a different APPROACH to learning altogether.

I agree with Mr. Freed, based on my experience as a speed reading instructor. Most of my star students had the symptoms of being Right-brain dominant. And those who had the most difficulty displayed the symptoms of Left-brain dominance. Of course, Troy indicated that those ADD students at his school were generally his best speed readers also.

If you have a child who may have ADD or Dyslexia, and you want him /her to be a better reader, one of the best things that you could do is to teach him/her to speed read.

It's all pretty easy, really. There are two articles that have recently been published on the subject of how to teach your children to speed read. You can do it successfully even if you don't know how to speed read yourself. One article is found on the website under the subject of "speed reading." The other one recently came out in the Sep-Oct 1999 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine, pages 40-45. The Backwoods article is also found on the website, in their previous issue section.

The Backwoods article can be used for children of any age from 8 on up, while the article is geared for children from 8-12.

If you want all the most up-to-date information and instruction on how to teach children (and it works for adults, too) to speed read, consult the manual SPEED READING 4 KIDS, available from The American Speed Reading Project at

This method has been successfully used in the classroom and at home for teaching "normal" kids as well as ADD and Dyslexic children, to speed read (even some children who were so poor at normal reading that they were considered non-readers). Though it is recommended that children attain 3rd grade reading level before beginning the program, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try if you have no other alternatives for your child.

Author's Bio: 

George Stancliffe lives near Yakima, Washington and teaches speed reading locally and nationally. In 1997, he formed The American Speed Reading Project, dedicated to making speed reading become a universal skill for all children by the age of 12. He is the author of the manual SPEED READING 4 KIDS.