In recent years, increasing attention has been given to attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), neurological disorders that make it difficult for them to focus and pay attention. Because almost all children can be distractible or hyperactive to varying degrees, ADD and ADHD are often overlooked until the child’s lack of focus begins to affect their academic performance. Once the disorder is identified, the child’s doctor and educational team will work together to devise strategies for the child’s success. Because ADD and ADHD can affect a child’s ability to communicate effectively, a speech-language pathologist is typically a part of this team. How can speech-language therapy help a child with ADD/ADHD?
- Focusing language: Because it’s difficult for the child to filter out distractions both external (e.g. noise from the hallway) and internal (e.g. thoughts about what they will do later that afternoon), their conversational style is often affected. A child with ADD/ADHD will often abandon thoughts mid-conversation, and switch topics frequently and abruptly. A speech-language pathologist will help the child identify these issues, and develop strategies for focusing their conversation and improving communication.
- Study skills: In addition to verbal communication, a speech therapist will also help a child to improve their academic performance through study strategies. The therapist will help the child develop and use tools for use in the classroom, for example, graphic organizers for improved reading comprehension or writing development, and tools for increased focus and follow through (e.g. checklists and journals).
Check in again next week, when we’ll wrap up our series on ADD/ADHD and discuss more of the ways a speech therapist can help.
Do you know a child with ADD/ADHD? What have been some of your biggest challenges and how have you overcome them? Share your story in the comments section below!
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/adhd.htm