You probably know that ADD and ADHD make it difficult for children to focus. But did you know ADD and ADHD affect a range of communication skills too? From the classroom to the playground to the dinner table, ADD and ADHD can make it difficult for a child to interact with others effectively. Take a look at a few of the ways ADD and ADHD impact communication and how a speech-language pathologist can help!
- Staying present in a conversation: A child with ADD or ADHD is constantly bombarded with distractions, both from their environment (“What’s going on outside that window?”) and from their own thoughts (“I wonder what’s on television tonight…”). These distractions make it difficult to fully engage in a conversation; children with ADD or ADHD tend to switch topics frequently and abruptly or abandon thoughts mid conversation. A speech-language pathologist will help the child recognize these issues and provide ways to help stay focused.
- Recognizing 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.
- Communication in the Classroom: Decreased communication skills can prevent a child from achieving their full academic potential. A speech-language pathologist will often provide a child with ADD or ADHD support strategies that they can use in the classroom. For example, repeating directions aloud before following them, and creating aids like visual organizers and checklists to help focus on classwork. With a few well-taught strategies, a child with ADD or ADHD can improve their focus and follow-through in the classroom.
Do you know a child with ADD/ADHD? What communication challenges have they faced? Share your story in the comments section below!
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