It is back to school time for many and this time of year brigns ADHD to the forefront for some. ADHD is a condition of the brain that affects a person’s ability to pay attention. It is most common in school aged children. ADHD is a chronic disorder, which means that it affects an individual throughout their life. Current research has shown there are two distinct variations of ADHD, inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity.
Signs and Symptoms of ADHD
- Has difficulty concentrating
- Has unrelated thoughts
- Has problems focusing and sustaining attention
- Appears to not be listening
- Performance depends on task
- May have better attention to enjoyed activities
- Has difficulty planning, organizing, and completing tasks on time
- Has problems learning new things
- Demonstrates poor self-regulation of behavior, that is, he or she has difficulty monitoring and modifying behavior to fit different situations and settings
- Seems unable to sit still (e.g., squirming in his/her seat, roaming around the room, tapping pencil, wiggling feet, and touching everything)
- Appears restless and fidgety
- May bounce from one activity to the next
- Often tries to do more than one thing at once
- Difficulty thinking before acting (e.g., hitting a classmate when he/she is upset or frustrated)
- Problems waiting his/her turn, such as when playing a game
Diagnosing ADHD involves your child’s doctor as well as family members and other professionals. Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) also play a major role in diagnosing ADHD. A Speech Language Pathologist will observe the interactions with peers and authority figures in the classroom setting, conversations with parents and other family members, assess speech and language development, and evaluate self-awareness of needs and difficulties. The Speech Language Pathologist will also evaluate speech and language skills such as fluency, speech articulation, understanding and use of grammar and vocabulary, and speech sounds.
Speech Therapy Options
Specific speech and language patterns vary from child to child with ADHD which is why an evaluation of each child’s individual speech and language ability is crucial to developing a treatment plan. Speech language treatment will focus on individualized language goals, such as teaching better communication in social settings and study skills. Your child’s teacher will also be involved to change the classroom environment as needed such as sitting them in the front of the classroom, or the use of checklists and visual aids to help with planning and follow-through.
Speech Tails can be a great addition to your child’s ADHD treatment plan. It can help your child continue speech therapy in the comfort of home and is available whenever you need it or is convenient for your child. Available 24/7/365!