Does your child find it hard to focus, and do they get easily distracted? Do they exhibit unruly behavior and fidget non-stop? If they do, then they might have ADHD.
Don’t panic! ADHD is a fairly common problem, and there is plenty of help for you out there – including Speech Blubs and this article.
Known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, ADHD is a common condition that is a disorder of arousal, which means that the areas of your child’s brain that are responsible for attention and executive functioning are disrupted – leading to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Approximately 10% of school-age children worldwide have ADHD, and it affects twice as many boys as girls. The disorder can run in families and is NOT a result of poor parenting. It’s a valid neurobiological condition that often exists in conjunction with other disorders such as:
ADHD symptoms vary as your child develops, though there are three core symptoms of ADHD:
Studies show that children with ADHD are at risk for communication problems, and it can be very frustrating for you and your family when there is a continuous communication breakdown.
If your child is constantly distracted, hyperactive, and impulsive, then it makes sense that they are not going to engage with you and the world around them in the ways that they should. This has a detrimental effect on speech and language development which often causes them to experience speech and language delays/difficulties in any (or all) areas of language. Here’s a table to help break it down for you:
|Phonology (speech sounds)||Identifies and distinguishes between the different sounds of speech when listening to someone speak||Appropriately uses speech sounds and patterns when speaking||Understands the associations between letters and sounds when reading||Accurately uses the associations between letters and sounds to spell words correctly when writing|
|Morphology (word structure)||Understands how words are built and put together when listening to someone speak||Builds words and correctly puts them together when speaking||Understands grammar and the order of language when reading||Uses grammar and word |
order correctly when writing
|Syntax (sentence structure)||Understands how sentences are built and put together when listening to someone speak||Builds sentences and correctly puts them together when speaking||Understands sentences and how they are structured when reading||Uses sentences correctly and |
understands how to structure them
|Semantics (word meaning)||Understands vocabulary and the meaning of words when listening to someone speak||Uses diverse vocabulary and meaning when speaking||Understands vocabulary and the meaning of words when reading||Uses diverse vocabulary |
and meaning when writing
|Pragmatics (language use)||Understands the social aspects of spoken language during conversational exchanges||Uses spoken language socially by producing cohesive and relevant messages during conversations||Understands the character’s point of view and responds accordingly||Effectively conveys a |
point of view and the intended message
As mentioned earlier, children with ADHD have difficulty with executive functioning, which means that they have difficulty sorting and organizing the information they perceive in their everyday lives – such as their thoughts when holding a conversation. Here are some common communication difficulties in children with ADHD experience:
The best thing you can do to help your child if you suspect they have ADHD is to ensure that they get the correct diagnosis. There’s no single test that can diagnose ADHD, and it can be a tricky process. A diagnosis requires that there should be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic, and/or occupational functioning.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, then you need to be on the lookout for potential speech and language issues and address them sooner rather than later. You can also adapt your communication style to help encourage your child to communicate and to make the process easier for them.
To assist both your child with ADHD and your family, your doctor may prescribe your child with medication to help them fulfill a successful and active day. This medication is often prescribed as part of a treatment plan to address your child’s psychological, behavioral, and educational needs, and a team approach is generally required so that your child receives all the support that they need.
In addition to these tips, you can download our Speech Blubs app and work on some of our fantastic communication-centered activities.
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