ADHD affects anywhere from 3 to 7% of children in the United States and recent research indicates that as many as 26% of these children also stutter.
A new brochure published by the Stuttering Foundation seeks to answer questions and give helpful tips for parents and professionals dealing with the two complex issues.
The treatment most often used for ADHD continues to be medication; yet, some recent research indicates that some of these medications may actually aggravate stuttering. Non-stimulant medications such as Strattera may be indicated for ADHD children who also struggle with stuttering.
What can parents do? Joseph Donaher, M.A., of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offers 5 timely tips for parents and speech language pathologists:
1. Keep instructions simple and clear and have the child repeat them back. Have a consistent organized schedule.
2. Increase activities where the child must concentrate and focus and cut back on activities that promote aggressive or impulsive behavior as do some television programs.
3. Use frequent praise to keep the child motivated and interested.
4. Provide visual cues and concrete examples to help the child better understand and retain information.
5. Use good speaking habits yourself such as keeping eye contact and using a easy relaxed rate.
For more information on stuttering and a free copy of ADHD and Stuttering, visit the Stuttering Foundation at www.stutteringhelp.org