As of 2011, rates of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) reached approximately 11%, up from 9.5% in 2007 and 7.8% in 2003. There are a variety of theories as to why the diagnosis rate continues to rise. But regardless of why ADD/ADHD seems to be on the rise, this disorder can cause significant social and academic issues for children who are diagnosed. When a child does receive a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, a speech-language pathologist is often part of the team that helps the child manage the disorder. How can a speech therapist help a child with attention deficits?
- Improving Social Language: The distractibility and lack of focus that accompany ADD can make conversation difficult. A child with ADD often finds themselves lost in a conversation, interrupting others, or going off topic. A speech-language pathologist can help the child recognize these issues, and provide strategies to better focus during conversation and keep the conversational flow balanced.
- Focus in the Classroom: ADD often results in a child performing below their academic potential because of difficulty focusing. A speech therapist can give a child support strategies to increase success in the classroom, like visual organizers and concrete ways to monitor their focus level. The speech therapist may also work with the classroom teacher to help them understand the ways ADD/ADHD can affect language and communication in the classroom and head off potential issues.
- Non-verbal Cues: Non-verbal cues are sometimes difficult for a child with attention issues to gauge because they require attention to detail. This can cause social issues, such as not being able to pick up on when a friend is lost in a conversation or annoyed. A speech language pathologist can help a child practice reading and interpreting these cues.
Does your child have ADD or ADHD? What are some of the communication and academic challenges they face? 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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