How ADHD Affects Speech and Language Development

12 May 2018

BY: speechsolution


In this month’s newsletter, we talk about how Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects speech and language development. 

Did you know that ADHD is the most common mental health disorder amongst the pediatric population?


Common symptoms of this disorder include:

  • hyperactivity 
  • inattention 
  • impulsivity


Often times the effect that this disorder has on communication is overlooked!


The following areas of speech and language can be affected by ADHD:

1. Motor coordination

  • Oftentimes these children experience difficulty with the motor coordination needed for speech. This affects their articulation and overall intelligibility.

2. Volume and pitch

  • Speech volume and pitch can also be affected as these children oftentimes speak at a higher volume and different pitch than their peers.

3. Executive functioning 

  • Executive functioning is the process in which your brain coordinates thoughts, makes plans, and carries out actions such as judgment, planning, and sequencing.
  • You may notice that these children repeat filler words, have increased grammatical errors, and incorrect sentence structure while trying to vocalize their thoughts and ideas.

4. Language processing 

  • Difficulty staying on topic.

5. Pragmatics

  • Pragmatics are the social rules for language. Oftentimes these kiddos will speak out of turn or talk excessively, breaking common communicative rules.

Children with ADHD are at risk for language delays but several strategies can be used to help them communicate more effectively.

Some strategies include:

  • Making sure you have their full attention
  • Addressing them by name before asking questions or giving commands
  • Giving them ample time to process and respond
  • Provide pauses and segment information into smaller phrases in order to be more easily understood
  • Never stop providing encouragement to communicate!

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s language development please feel free to contact us!


Speech Solutions