Did you know that rates of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are now estimated at 11%? ADD/ADHD is a neurological disorder that impacts the way a person pays attention. It most commonly affects school-age children, and can cause significant social and academic issues. During the school year, children with ADD often receive school-based intervention. However, many children benefit from additional help over the summer. A speech-language pathologist is often part of the team that helps a child manage ADD. How can a speech therapist help a child with attention deficits?
Skills for Classroom Success: Because it’s difficult for a child with ADD/ADHD 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), they often perform below their academic potential. A speech-language pathologist can help the child develop and use tools for use in the classroom to help improve academic success. For example, many children benefit from graphic organizers to improve reading comprehension or writing development. Others find and tools for increased focus and follow through helpful, for example, checklists and journals to record goals and achievements. A speech therapist can also discuss the child’s strengths and challenges with their classroom teacher, and work together with them to modify the classroom environment to help the child succeed.
Improving Social Communication Skills: The difficulty focusing that accompanies ADD can significantly impact a child’s social communication. A child with ADD may find themselves frequently lost in a conversation. Others may behave impulsively when distracted and interrupt others or abruptly shift to an unrelated topic. This can negatively affect friendships and create social issues for the child. A speech-language pathologist will help the child develop strategies to better focus during conversation, and help keep conversational flow balanced. A speech therapist can also help a child with ADD to recognize non-verbal cues, like facial expression and body language. Because they require attention to detail, these social cues are often problematic for children with ADD. 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.
Want to learn more? If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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