COMMUNICATION DISORDERS IN CHILDREN WITH AD/HD

Speech 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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