8 Ways To Help Your Kid with ADHD and Speech Delay

How To Help Your Speech Delayed Kid Talk - ADHD and Speech Delay In Kids - Helping Your Kid With ADHD and Speech Delay

The connections between ADHD and speech delay are not overly documented. It’s not something parents can easily find out about from doctors. However, after loads of research I figured out the reasons behind my own sons speech delay. Today I’m sharing a bit about how in addressing ADHD and speech delay we were able to get some of the milestone breakthroughs we had been looking for.

When my son was first diagnosed with Speech Delay at 2 years old the doctors started throwing around all sorts of words and possible diagnoses where speech delay is a symptom. While the diagnosis didn’t scare me things just weren’t adding up. 

As someone who generally trusts doctors, believes in science, and will follow doctors orders it was a bit odd wondering if the doctors were moving a bit fast. This doctor who saw my kid for all of 15 minutes once every couple of months was making a determination that would affect my child’s entire life.

I immediately dove into research and talking to people who fall under the Autism spectrum or have children who do. I started looking into all the things that could cause a delay in speech. I looked at our family history and started preparing for how to best help my child succeed.

I worked with him, got him speech therapy, and as he got older his speech improved. I also noticed certain behaviors improved, but I also noticed some familiar behaviors in myself and my husband.

I have inattentive ADHD which means I don’t show a lot of the physical symptoms of ADHD like fidgeting. My husband has Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD and we realized through our research that our son was likely also ADHD. You can read about the types of ADHD here. 

Then I started reading from reliable sources, medical papers, and published articles on speech delay. What I found was a well documented connection between ADHD and Speech Delay. 

It suddenly clicked, but what didn’t click was how to help our kid outside of speech therapy. We needed ways to help our kid with speech and language comprehension at home to give him the best possible chances at doing well in school and in life.

We weren’t getting the help that we needed from our speech therapist. So I started making connections and following speech therapists online. This became especially useful during 2020. In fact we saw more improvement in our son’s speech and behavior in that one year than we had in the 5 years previously.

I finally figured out what works for my son and now I’m sharing my information with you so that maybe you can see the same types of improvements.

Right now you can try ABC Mouse for free for 30 days! ABC Mouse is an app that your preschooler through second grade kids will love. It helps them practice everything they are learning in school with fun lessons and activites they can do on their Kindle Fire Tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. It’s a must have, click here to take advantage of this deal while you still can.

ADHD and Speech Delay Connection

Before we dive into the different ways that you can help your ADHD child with their speech delay, I wanted to make sure I give you the correct resources. This will help you to make a better educated plan when determining how to help your child best.

Below are three articles, one medical article and two plain text articles that explain the link between ADHD and speech delay.

These are just a few of many published and peer reviewed articles from researchers, doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, speech pathologists, ect. Understanding how the ADHD brain works and what type of ADHD your child has can help you in identifying exactly what you can do to help your child.

If you think your child has ADHD and speech delay you will want to share your concerns with your doctor so you can get the diagnosis. There are behavior therapies that greatly help teach your child how to manage their life better. 

What You Can Change About You To Help

Before you start working at all the ways you can help your kid you have to first change a few of your behaviors. These changes will provide your kid with a comforting environment that will help them open up to you.

When your communication skills are lacking it can be overwhelming and can make children seclude into themselves and give up. It’s important that you give them a comforting environment so you can help them succeed in life.

Keep Your Tone Calm

It can be frustrating when trying to communicate with a child who lacks communication skills, you need to keep your cool. Believe me I know your frustration with this. Your instinct might be to talk louder, but that’s not going to change anything.

By keeping your tone and communication calm you are signaling to your child that his lack of skills and understanding isn’t that big of a deal. It means they can feel comfortable learning from you.

Wait Till You Have Their Attention

In ADHD your kids are likely not going to be attentive. Which means if you walk in while they are watching something or playing something, and say, “time to brush your teeth and get ready for bed.” They likely didn’t even process what you just said.

It is helpful instead to say their name and wait till you have their full attention. This way they don’t just hear you talking but can comprehend what you are saying. 

Short Instructions

In most kids you can give them a series of instructions and they will follow them. “Go potty, brush your teeth, get a glass of water, get in your pajamas, and go to bed.” 

In kids with ADHD and speech delay, they need that list of 5 things broken down and given one step at a time. This makes it easier to process the instructions. Again you will want to make sure they are paying attention to you when you give the instruction.

How To Help At Home

Now that you know how to adjust your behavior you can more easily use tools at your disposal to help your kid in their language development. I recommend doing all of these techniques to see which ones help your child the most.

Read To Them Daily 

Reading to your child every night and pointing to the words is a great way to help your child learn new words. I recommend reading through the book once then on each page ask your child what they see.

Have them point to the pictures and describe what they are seeing. Ask them to identify different emotions and possible body languages of the characters in the book. You can even ask them to mimic those emotions with their own body language and face.

Hearing, identifying, and mimicking is a huge part in building language comprehension in a kid with ADHD and speech delay so I highly recommend spending a little more time in the reading portion.

Have Them Read To You

If your child is about 5-6 years old it can be helpful to have them read the books to you. You can help to correct pronunciation, help them learn new words, and give them a big boost in their confidence. 

It’s also good to do the hearing, identifying and mimicking like when you’re reading to them. It just reinforces learning language and comprehension of language.

I found that once my ADHD and speech delay kid started learning to read he was speaking more and having a lot more conversations with us.

Work On Sight Words Daily

Sight words are words like:

  • And
  • The
  • Them
  • They
  • Their
  • Me
  • We
  • Etc.

I’ve heard these types of words called snap words as well. They are basically high frequency words that your child will need to know in reading and everyday conversation.

I recommend using worksheets, flashcards, or even just practicing writing them on a white board or chalkboard daily. Repetition is key to success with kids who have ADHD and speech delay.

Encourage Them To Speak

Many kids with language delay often resort to independence or just bringing what they want to you. It’s helpful to encourage them to ask for your help.

So the next time your kid just brings you their juice, teach them how to ask for juice instead. “Can I have juice please?” After a few times of this they will remember how to ask for juice. Then all you need to do is a gentle reminder, “How do you ask for juice?” This reminds them to ask for juice instead of just bringing it to you.

Explain Words Using Visuals

If your child is having a hard time understanding your instruction it’s helpful to show them what you are saying. If you’ve asked them to go into the fourth drawer down in the kitchen to grab a bowl and they just look at you confused, you show them.

Take your child by the hand and guide them to what you are talking about. Count the drawers then have them find the item. It’s also helpful to have them repeat back the names of each of the items.

Using visuals further solidifies everyday objects that they will eventually need to identify easily. It also helps them to better comprehend the use of language in instruction.

Use Flash Cards And Speech Tools

We used several different sets of flash cards and we have this sentence builder tool that really helps in getting our son to form sentences. Using speech tools like these provide you with different options to give you something new to do.

While most of speech is learned through daily activities, these tools give you a little something extra to work with and kids really like them. If you can make it into a game where you try to go fast it actually pleases their brain because it moves quickly like they do normally.

Teach Through Play

Play is always the easiest way to teach young kids. They don’t know they are learning valuable things that help them through life. To teach new words you want to verbalize what you’re doing, so “roll the ball,” “kick the ball,” “bounce the ball,” ect.

Then there is pretend play. Mimicking real life in imaginative play is a great way to help them learn new words and communication skills. Likewise, imaginative play that involves superheroes or magic can help your child to learn new descriptive words because it’s purely make believe. 

Play is one of the best ways to teach your kid with ADHD and speech delay about language comprehension. It also gives your kids loads of fun memories during this kinda confusing time for them. When they become adults they remember you playing make believe with them and don’t recognize that you were actually teaching them.

Use A Supplement Learning System

ABC Mouse has been absolutely instrumental in the success of our at home speech therapy. Let it be known, ABC Mouse is not a formal speech therapy tool, it is simply a tool that gives kids the extra help they need to learn from ages 2-8. After that they have Adventure Academy that runs up to age 13.

However, ABC Mouse made preschool and kindergarten easier for us because he kept learning. So while my sons speech is delayed, he has excellent penmanship, counts to 30 easily, names shapes, can spell correctly, read and is even starting to learn simple addition and subtraction problems.

We’ve been using ABC Mouse for the past year and the improvements we’ve gotten in speech and in his education levels are beyond what I could have hoped for last year. He’s advanced in certain areas and as he learns his speech continues to improve.

I highly recommend adding ABC Mouse to your speech tools because it’s something your child can do solo. ADHD and speech delay kids are often independent so learning on their own is often ideal for them. Plus the built in reward system in ABC Mouse is really beneficial to motivating your child to learn. I have a full review of ABC Mouse that you can check out here.

Right now you can try ABC Mouse for free for 30 days! ABC Mouse is an app that your preschooler through second grade kids will love. It helps them practice everything they are learning in school with fun lessons and activites they can do on their Kindle Fire Tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. It’s a must have, click here to take advantage of this deal while you still can.

Your ADHD and Speech Delay Kid Is Unique

ADHD is not a monolith, we have different types but symptoms range from child to child and even in adults. Your kid learns in a unique way and your job is to figure out how they best learn and then fighting for them in their schooling and therapy. 

An ADHD diagnosis means you are closer to understanding your kid and what makes them tick. From there it’s trial and error to see what works, what doesn’t, and how to proceed with your child.

The same thing goes for language. You just have to test and see what works for your kid. Find what works and keep doing it. If it stops working, move on to something else. Just remember to keep your cool and keep encouraging your kid.

Which activity are you most excited to try? Let me know in the comments below. Follow us on Pinterest and pin this to your favorite parenting boards.

How To Help Your Speech Delayed Kid Talk - ADHD and Speech Delay In Kids - Helping Your Kid With ADHD and Speech Delay


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy