Benita Ranzon

Episode 13: ADHD and learning difficulties

In this episode, we talk with Psychologist Benita Ranzon about one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized conditions that affect kids and adults - ADHD

Watch episode 13 on YouTube

About Benita

Benita Ranzon

I have been working in private practice at Fullarton House since 2005. The focus of my practice is on educational issues for students and adults.

  • I offer diagnosis of specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia.
  • I provide learning and support strategies for home, school and work to enable people with reading, spelling, writing or maths difficulties to be successful.
  • I offer diagnosis and advice to parents of children with ADHD, as well as adults with ADHD.
  • I identify students with high intellectual or academic potential, sometimes called ‘gifted’ students, using the WPPSI-IV or WISC-V cognitive tests. I provide recommendations on curriculum differentiation and other supportive strategies at school and home

Show notes

While ADHD is not a specific learning difficulty like dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia, it does have a high association with these difficulties. Approximately 40% of people living with ADHD will also be living with dyslexia. This has big implications for parents and teachers in terms of being vigilant about ADHD symptoms in our kids and being knowledgeable about how ADHD and learning difficulties may impact each other.

ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that typically begins in childhood and may continue into adulthood. It is characterized by persistent patterns of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity that can impact various aspects of a person’s life, including academic performance, work productivity, and relationships. 

ADHD is typically identified based on specific criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). They have a PDF fact sheet about AHD available to download. You can see that the last time this was updated was in 2013! These criteria include the presence of symptoms in multiple settings, impairment in daily functioning, and the exclusion of other possible causes for the symptoms.

ADHD related links and resources we mention

Additude magazine

ADDitude is an online resource for families and adults living with ADHD and related conditions and for the professionals who work with them.

They have great resources about kids living with ADHD.

They also have an excellent YouTube channel.

Jessica McCabe - How to ADHD

Jessica runs a YouTube channel that she describes as an ADHD toolbox. It’s mostly aimed at adults but has great tips and resources for understanding ADHD from a lived experience perspective.

Jessica’s TED talk sharing her ADHD success story.

Dr Russell Barkley

We referred to Dr Russell Barkley a number of times during this podcast. YouTube is scattered with lots of bits and pieces of Dr Barkley’s numerous talks. Dr Barkley talks about ADHD from a medical perspective, and the video below goes into the clinical details of ADHD for parents. He is engaging, compelling and highly knowledgeable.

Comments and questions are welcome!

We would love to hear about your experienced with ADHD and any tips you can share about supporting kids living with ADHD. Please leave a comment or ask a question below!


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4 Responses

  1. Dear Bill, Michael & Benita,
    I thought I knew a lot about ADHD, I did not! My son was diagnosed with ADHD a few weeks ago, I found this episode so helpful as a teacher, but even more so as a Mum. I feel more prepared for the unexpected and understand why my son and students react in the way they do to certain situations. I will be sharing this episode with my staff and husband!
    Thanks so much.

  2. I learned so much from this episode. Thank you Benita, Michael and Bill. I really feel for the poor children that dont get diagnosed….often from chaotic families who cannot navigate the health system

    1. Thanks Sandra. I agree, there must be quite a few that slip through the cracks. Hopefully, raising awareness will mean more of these kids get the support they need.

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