Is There A Link Between Stuttering And ADHD?

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Is There A Link Between Stuttering And ADHD? | Triumph Therapeutics | Physical Therapy in Washington DC

ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders.

Beginning in childhood, it tends to be a lifelong condition.

Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when we think about ADHD is children having trouble paying attention or having impulsive behaviors.

And while this is one manifestation of ADHD, there are many others

However, there are some speech issues that may come with ADHD, like stuttering, and many people aren’t aware that there’s actually a connection between these conditions.

Some research indicates that children with ADHD may have abnormalities in the area of the frontal lobe that contributes to speech processing, and this can cause communication difficulties.

If your child suffers from speech issues like stuttering – whether or not it’s related to ADHD – and you found this article after searching the web for “Washington DC pediatric speech and language therapy clinic” or something similar, please keep reading to find out more.

Let’s learn more about this subject and see how you can get help.

What Is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a type of speech impediment characterized by the disruption of the way communication flows.

Children who stutter experience broken speech that leads to the following issues when speaking:

  • Repetitions (re-re-re-peti-tions)
  • Prolongations (prooooooolongations)
  • Abnormal stoppages (silence)

This condition can affect many areas of a child’s life, especially if they also have to deal with ADHD symptoms.

Speech therapy treatments for children who stutter are geared toward offering strategies to help them manage their stutter.

What Is ADHD?

As mentioned previously, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by:

  • Hindered attention span
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsive behavior

As a result, children with ADHD often present the following symptoms:

  • Trouble understanding directions
  • Getting distracted easily
  • Issues thinking before acting
  • Having a hard time completing tasks
  • Fidgeting
  • Talking excessively while not listening
  • Showing signs of aggression at times

There are also three different categories of ADHD:

  • ADHD predominantly inattentive type
  • ADHD predominantly hyperactive impulsive type
  • ADHD combined type

Children with ADHD often have difficulty meeting developmental milestones.

This includes gross motor skills development, fine motor skills development, and with speech development as well.

What’s The Connection Between Them

There seems to be a link between ADHD and stuttering according to some studies.

The brains of children with ADHD have smaller structures in the frontal lobe.

The frontal lobe includes the amygdala, hippocampus, and thalamus, and is responsible for important functions like:

  • Impulse control
  • Socialization
  • Concentration
  • Emotional regulation

Therefore, children with ADHD have trouble controlling these functions.

However, it has been discovered that another region of the frontal lobe, called Broca’s area, may also not function fully in children with ADHD, which can result in speech issues like stuttering.

The Broca’s area ensures language is produced in a fluent way by regulating breathing patterns while speaking, which is required for regular speech.

How To Help Your Child With ADHD And A Stutter | Triumph Therapeutics | Physical Therapy in Washington DC

How To Help Your Child With ADHD And A Stutter

Having ADHD is already challenging enough when it comes to the development of your child, but when stuttering is also present, children’s lives can get even more difficult.

They may have a hard time learning or making friends in school, since it can affect their social lives.

However, there are ways to manage stuttering linked with ADHD, and speech therapy is a good place to start.

The benefits are many, but the focus of a speech therapist is to teach your child to manage their stutter in order to improve socialization, learning, and quality of life.

From a parental perspective, though, it might be frustrating to have a child with both ADHD and a stutter.

Here are some tips to help you manage.

1. Make Sure You Stay Calm

If your child suffers from ADHD you probably already know that stress only makes symptoms worse.

The same is true when it comes to stuttering, so it can help to practice some breathing exercises in order to relax, slow down and focus.

These exercises can also help to regulate emotions.

Here’s an example of a breathing exercise you can do with your child:

1. Sit or lie down comfortably
2. Start breathing slowly and steadily through your nose until your lungs feel full
3. Hold your breath for three seconds
4. Take a larger breath to completely fill up your lungs
5. Hold your breath for five seconds
6. Exhale slowly from your partially open lips
7. When you feel the air is out, wait for three seconds
8. Blow out the remaining air with force and wait for five seconds
9. Repeat

After this, it may become easier for your child to speak slowly, which is beneficial for people with ADHD, since brain signals tend to get mixed up easily when we speak quickly.

It’s recommended to continue practicing speaking slowly, as an exercise, by reading books out loud and stopping every time the need to stutter arises.

This may require practice, but the difference can be observed over time.

2. Practice Active Listening

It’s important to remember as a parent that children with ADHD and a stutter might get overwhelmed due to their conditions, and this can trigger feelings of anger and frustration.

Listening to what your child has to say, even if not expressed properly, can help them feel supported, but you can explain to them later on how to express themselves in a more efficient way.

It’s never a good idea to pressure your child to repeat themselves, as this can cause insecurities and embarrassment.

Having patience while your child tries to convey a message is the best approach.

Try not to get distracted with other activities while they speak, as they need you to give them time.

3. Get Them A Speech Therapist As Soon As Possible

It can be quite frustrating for parents to see their child struggle everyday with a speech impediment and ADHD.

However, speech therapy can be very effective in helping children gain control over their speech.

The sooner you take them to see a speech therapist the better.

Book Your Appointment With Triumph Therapeutics Today

If your child has ADHD and a stutter at the same time, and this article has helped you in recognizing the link between these two conditions, it’s a good idea to book an appointment.

We can answer all your questions, offer a pediatric evaluation to assess your child’s case, and provide effective management plans with the help of our speech therapists.

At Triumph Therapeutics pediatric therapy clinic, we offer services and knowledge that can provide you with the best care to improve your child’s quality of life.

To get started, book an appointment with Triumph Therapeutics today.

If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today for a free phone consultation.

Triumph Therapeutics
4900 Massachusetts Ave NW suite 340,
Washington, DC 20016

(202) 621-9793
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Triumph Therapeutics is a team of highly experienced pediatric therapists specializing in physical therapy, speech language therapy, and occupation therapy for children, adolescents and their families as they work to reach their growth and wellness goals