“My son was recently diagnosed with ADHD? I have heard that children who suffer from this disorder may also have speech and language problems. Can you tell me what I should be looking for?``

Many children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD) manifest language, auditory processing and/or social language difficulties.  Speech-language pathologists are oftentimes involved on multidisciplinary teams that treat children with these disorders.  Early treatment can help the child learn to communicate more effectively in the classroom and in other social situations.  Treatment may include goals targeting organizational skills, expressive language skills, auditory processing strategies and pragmatic language skills.  

A child with ADD or ADHD may exhibit the following, all of which can be treated by a speech-language pathologist:

  • Difficulty following through on directions
  • Difficulty comprehending written or spoken language
  • Difficulty with reading comprehension
  • Poor vocabulary and/or word finding difficulties
  • Talking excessively and/or interrupting others
  • Difficulty describing things in an organized, coherent manner
  • Blurting out answers to questions before the questions have been completed
  • Poor turn-taking skills
  • Difficulty joining ongoing conversations appropriately
  • Difficulty making inferences
  • Difficulty understanding figurative language, ambiguity, or multiple meaning words.

If you feel that your child is having difficulty with the skills listed above, you should consider a full speech and language evaluation.  A speech-language pathologist can collaborate with your child’s teachers and other service providers to develop a treatment plan specific to your child.