Speech therapy for ADHD is a well-known form of learning therapy in which a trained speech therapist will determine the deficits in the child’s speech, and then use a combination of pronunciation practice, strengthening the muscles used for speech, and learning to speak in the correct way.
Speech therapy is also known as being incredibly beneficial for assisting children with ADHD and allowing them to overcome some language and communication difficulties that tend to come along with the ADHD diagnosis.
Speech deficits in ADHD often show up as problems with articulating what they want to say, lesser speech fluency (the smoothness of how sounds, word, syllables, phrases, and sentences form in the child’s mouth), as well as reductions in the quality and tone of their voice when they speak.
Teaching a child the skill to speak clearly, will also allow them to communicate with the confidence they need to do their personal best in social and academic areas of life.
Some of the goals for speech therapy are often:
- Improving attention skills: As attention deficits are the core of ADHD, tasks in speech therapy not only manage speech, but other skills that increase attention, such as: using visual clues, auditory skills, and practicing concentration in a less-distracting environment.
- The ability to maintain attention: With the same amount of time spent on the child each session, with similar activities in the same session, allows the child to have a sense of structure, and reduces the anxiety of not knowing what is about to happen. With this environment created, the child has the mental and emotional capacity to practice skills that may not come as naturally to them, such as paying attention for an extended period of time. This can also be encouraged and supported by their speech therapist, leading to a positive relationship between the therapist and child.
- Improving expressive language: Expressive language is the extent of the child’s capability to ask for objects they want, choices they may choose, questions they may ask, and questions they may not only answer, but describe. Any forms of gesturing, facial expressions, or writing are also parts of expressive language skills. Without these skills, a child cannot communicate what they want, need, or feel, and this can lead to a lot of distress on the child’s behalf as well as misunderstandings from caregivers.
Ultimately, when speech therapists, occupational therapists, ABA therapists, parents, and doctors work along, each and every child will have the skills and the support that they need to thrive.
Article by: A. Pascoe (2023)