How Language Development Helps or Hurts ADHD Kids After The Third Grade

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Having ADHD does not itself cause a delay in language development.  However, children diagnosed with ADHD have about at 50% chance of having one or more learning disabilities including delays in expressive or receptive language.  They also may have difficulty with reading, writing or written language.  I feel it is important that children suspected of having ADHD should be evaluated for possible learning disabilities due to the fact that in some cases the child might have only a learning disability or language disorder rather than ADHD or they could have both.  In either case it is important to identify all possible underlying causes for the problem facing the child so a comprehensive treatment plan can be developed.

I have found this checklist published by the Learning Disability Association to be a good screening tool.  If your child shows on number of these signs, you should take the checklist to your school to discuss with your child’s teacher are request a psychoeducational assessment.  You might also want to take it to your child’s pediatrician so he or she can do additional screening and referrals as needed to a psychologist or other professional for more in depth evaluation.

It is important that all parents pay close attention to their child’s reading skill development.  If they are not at grade level, early intervention is very important.  A number of research studies have shown that children who are not reading at grade level by eight-years-old (usually 3rd grade) are at risk for developing serious behavior and emotional problems as they get older.

If your child is not a grade level ask his or her teacher what they can do to help as well as what you can do at home.  First as soon as your baby is able to sit and focus for a few minutes you can start reading to them.  It is important that parents spend a lot of time talking, singing a reading to their child, especially during the first five years.  However, you should continue to read with your child frequently which means you reading to them as well as you listening to them read.  Discuss what the passage means.  Ask questions.  Make it a fun time.  As they get older this can be an alternative electronic devise use some of the time and will also ensure a strong parent/child bond.

Check out this great article to help improve your child’s reading.