Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are neuro-developmental conditions which are characterised by a pattern of behavioural symptoms of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity that may occur in various combinations (American Psychiatric Association, 1994)
Not every child with ADD/ADHD will experience the same effects of the condition, however may children with ADD/ADHD will experience some language and communication difficulties. Our Speech and Language Therapists can help your child with these communication difficulties.
Symptoms Of aDHD Speech Problems
The three main areas of communication that can be affected by this condition are comprehension, expression and social skills.
Comprehension: a child’s ability to understand language. The student with ADD/ ADHD can have difficulty with listening, following instructions and understanding words and sentences.
Expression: the student with ADD/ADHD can often have difficulty getting their message across to others. They can rush when talking and have poorly organised language expression meaning others have difficulty picking up what they are saying.
Social Skills: (also known as pragmatic skills) refers to our social language. This is how we converse with others by using greetings, asking questions, staying on topic and ending a conversation. As children with ADD/ ADHD have difficulty with planning and organising or following rules they can often be poor at conversational skills such as not waiting their turn to speak or interrupting. They may also have difficulty with the non-verbal aspects of communication such as facial expression, tone of voice and eye-contact. The student with AD(H)D is often unaware that they have difficulty following these rules of conversation and sometimes it can lead to having difficulties with friendships.
Treatment Of ADHD Speech Problems
Our Speech and language therapists can provide treatment to help with the different communication problems related to ADD / ADHD which your child might is experiencing.
We can help by making recommendations to the school around adapting the environment to better suit the needs of the child. For example have the child sit at the front of the classroom or repeat directions back to the teacher before performing them. We may also suggest some organisational tools be implemented, for example checklists or planners to help the child with their organisation and planning and give recommendations on how to support the language skills of the child in the classroom. The SLT will also work on social skills and some meta-cognitive strategies on how to develop an internal locus of self-control such as 1stop, 2think and 3do or act.
Treatment will also include more specific speech and language goals. Our aim is to help your child reach their maximum potential in terms of language use and communication skills. Our SLTs if needed, can teach your child study skills to help them with their organisation and concentration abilities which can make day to day life, at school or at home easier to manage.
Our Expertise Of ADHD Speech Problems
Our Speech and Language Therapists can help children with ADD/ADHD who are having difficulty with their communication, expression and interaction while the conditions itself is diagnosed by Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists.
All of Spectrum Health’s Paediatric Speech and Language therapists are qualified from University with a B.Sc. or M.sc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy and have ample experience working with children who experience communication difficulties at different stages of their development.