Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size

Additional Qualifications Online Application System

You may use this system to:

  • Apply for Additional Qualifications courses
    (Note that a valid email address and credit card are required)
  • Check the registration status of your application
  • Update your current contact information

Research Spotlight: Rhonda Martinussen

Reading & Writing Disorders

How can we help children with ADHD better understand what they read and hear?

About 5% of children in schools around the world – 1 to 2 students per classroom in Canada – have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disordern (ADHD).

A former elementary school teacher, Rhonda Martinussen has worked with children with attention, learning, and behavioural difficulties both in the classroom and as part of her research outside the classroom. Her research examines the relationship between ADHD and reading and writing disorders.

How? Executive functions, such as working memory, are involved in reading and listening comprehension. Many children with ADHD have weaknesses in working memory that may affect their ability to understand what they read or hear (e.g., in a lecture); Rhonda’s research will determine whether working memory is related to comprehension skills in children with ADHD, independent of coexisting language and word reading skills.

She is also researching the relationship between inattention and reading skills among primary school children. Specifically, her study is examining the relationship between inattention in the classroom and children’s development of reading fluency.

The results of Rhonda’s research will help educators understand how to best support children with ADHD. In addition, from an educational and theoretical perspective, her research will provide greater insight into the role of attention and working memory in academic achievement.

Rhonda’s research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the University of Toronto Connaught New Staff Matching Grant, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Rhonda Martinussen is an assistant professor in the Institute of Child Study in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology.

Rhonda's faculty profile (HDAP)

See more Research Spotlights