As Speech-Language Pathologists’ we work alongside children with language deficits however, in many cases we find that these children typically have a comorbidity disorder. Research has indicated that there is a greater percentage of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who are somewhat delayed in the onset of language compared to children without ADHD Children. Additionally, the literature has suggested that children with ADHD and have had language impairments are at high risk for writing difficulties and other literacy deficits. This compelling research has allowed SLPs to work closely with teachers, special educators and other professionals in settings that provide treatment for children with ADHD since literacy and writing are important elements of success in school. As SLPs what are the research facts we should know about this intricate relationship between ADHD, literacy and writing? What are some evidence based treatment approaches we may use to treat this population? These questions will be further explored down below.
Children who have ADHD and language impairments have:
- history of language delays or disorders that are at the root of their writing difficulties.
- demonstrate writing difficulties with literate language components such as cohesive devices, complex grammatical structures in writing.
- higher frequency of grammatical errors in writing.
- deficits in working memory and executive functions that affect writing skills
- children with ED see writing as laborious and avoid it as much as possible
- Stop and List
- Graphic Organizers (sequential)
- Assistive technology
- Sentence Combining
- Writing lab approach
- Focusing on the process of writing
Further, it is our professional duty to collaborate with other professionals that are part of the team, advocate for self, client, family, educate parents and other professionals on the connection between language disorders and ADHD. This will help us provide a better understanding of our role to others and help this population.
By: Jacqueline Prieto M.A., CF-SLP