This study aimed to compare children with different ADHD subtypes and controls on measures of attention, and to examine the relationships between measures of attention and reading and spelling ability. Thirty-eight children with ADHD and sixteen controls were administered tests of four components of attention (viz., attention span, focused attention, selective attention and shifting attention) and two subtests (viz., reading and spelling) from the WRAT-3. The children with ADHD-Combined subtype were found to show deficits in attention span and focused attention, while the children with ADHD-Inattentive subtype were found to show deficits in shifting attention, and subtler deficits in attention span and focused attention. Measures of attention span were found to be significant predictors of reading ability, and measures of attention span and selective attention were found to be significant predictors of spelling ability. These results suggest that different ADHD subtypes show different patterns of attentional problems that have different neuroanatomical bases. Furthermore, academic problems in children with ADHD may be related to their attentional problems.
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