COMMUNICATION DISORDERS IN CHILDREN WITH AD/HDSpeech Therapy for Children
The Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) plays an important role in the assessment and treatment of children with AD/HD. (Please note the term AD/HD will be used. The slash (/) means with or without hyperactivity. AD/HD covers both subtypes.)
Speech and Language disorders occur in about 17% – 38% of children and the prevalence is 3:1 males to females. (Jones, C. B. & Fahy, J. (2011) Attention Disorders – AD/HD and Its Relationship to Executive Function. Linguisystems Free CEU Program: www.linguisystems.com/ceu. )
Many students with AD/HD have subtle undiagnosed speech and language disorders. These can result in academic and social communication issues. Speech and language patterns vary from child to child with AD/HD.
However we do see some specific patterns which may include:
- Inaccurate or incomplete comprehension (understanding);
- Poor recall of instructions and directions;
- May speak in phrases instead of full sentences;
- Stories may be disjointed;
- Difficulty understanding figurative language, ambiguity;
- Language difficulties that may affect reading and writing;
- Social communication issues e.g. missing cues both verbal and non- verbal and interrupting others; and/or
- Understanding more complex information at school e.g. science , English subjects
In order to determine the communication issues associated with AD/HD, our S-LPs would need to begin with an assessment. Once the assessment is complete and therapy begins, many strategies and techniques will be recommended. Working with the school and parents is a very important aspect of the whole process. Some school recommendations may include: asking the teachers to repeat instructions, requesting confirmation that the student understands, re-stating information in a more concrete manner and using different levels of cueing or support depending on the needs of the child.
S-LP’s are a very important part of the team that supports students with AD/HD. They make a very important contribution to support the student and his or her social and academic success.
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