Did you know that more than 25% of Americans struggle with ongoing loneliness? This percentage may be even higher among adults with ADHD. Loneliness and social isolation often result from difficulty conforming to social norms.
Continue reading to learn how online speech therapy can decrease the effects of ADHD.
What Is Telepractice?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) recognized telepractice as an effective modality. It connects Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) with speech therapy clients. The treatment involves interactive audio and video sessions.
These services can occur via Face Time, Zoom, Skype, and other tools. The therapist may also use video clips. Therapy sessions include live interactions, stored and then forwarded information, or a combination.
What Is the Meaning of ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is commonly called ADHD. This can manifest in children and adults. Treatment often involves a combination of:
- Environmental modifications
- Behavior modification
- Speech therapy
The development of treatment plans must focus on the individual’s unique needs.
Effects of ADHD in Adulthood
Most ADHD symptoms begin in early childhood and continue into the adult years. Yet it may not be diagnosed until the person reaches adulthood. Adult symptoms are often less specific than those in childhood.
Common adult ADHD symptoms include:
- Problems prioritizing and organization
- Difficulty with time management
- Problem with multitasking
- Disruptive restlessness and excess activity
- Poor ability to make productive plans
- Easily becomes frustrated
- Frequent mood swings
- Difficulty attending to and completing tasks
- Short temper
- Difficulty dealing with stress
Having ADHD as an adult can cause difficulty in home, work, and social situations.
Strategies Used When Treating Adult ADHD Online
SLPs use many different strategies to address adult ADHD issues. The following are examples of treatment approaches.
ADHD Social Skills
Often, adults with ADHD have an inability to read social cues. Effective social interaction relies on attentiveness, responsibility, and impulse control. Adults with ADHD often demonstrate inattentiveness, forgetfulness, and a lack of impulse control.
SLPs can provide social skill training. Strategies for promoting social success include the following.
The individual may need specific instructions. This allows them to learn about acceptable behavior.
The person with ADHD must feel positive and open to improving their skills. This helps them hear and appreciate feedback from others.
Choose one goal to work on. Focusing on one skill at a time helps decrease distraction. The SLP may steer the individual back to the skill when they start to wonder.
Many people with ADHD miss chunks of information due to poor attentiveness. The SLP may have an interaction with the person and then ask them what they heard. The client should practice echoing with others to ensure they avoid social errors.
SLPs often role-play with their clients. This allows for the modeling of appropriate interactions and for feedback. Practicing this skill, like with other skills, can improve competency.
Role-playing can also increase the person’s self-confidence in social situations. They now have a “playbook” to follow.
SLPs may teach the client to use prompts to maintain focus on their social skill goals. Prompts may include an index card. A watch or other device that vibrates every 4 minutes can act as a reminder to stop talking. A trusted partner can gesture or tell them to be quiet to help with mastering social skills.
Difficulty Finding Words
ADHD can contribute to trouble remembering the word you want to say. SLPs use some of the following strategies to help with this problem.
When you forget the word you want to say, it’s normal to pause or stop talking. You may even forget the point you were trying to make. Instead of pausing, think of other words to describe what you mean and keep talking.
This strategy gives yourself time to add the word later if you remember it. You also keep a social connection in your conversation.
Use a Synonym
Choose another word or group of words that describe the same thing. For example, if you were trying to say, “sublime”, you could say “superb” or “spectacular” instead.
Using words with the same first letter sound activates the part of the brain where the word is “hiding”. This can help you remember it quicker.
You can also use other words like “excellent”, or “amazing”. The listener most often won’t even notice.
Repackage the Word
Once you remember the word, repeat it several times a day to make it easier to find. You may also use strategies such as imagining a picture version of the word. For example, think of a submarine and a lime to recall “sublime”.
Practice Brain Health
Exercise, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress build a healthier brain. The natural stress response causes the brain to focus on the perceived threat. Keeping your brain healthy and relaxed will increase its ability to work for you.
Expressive Language Disorder in Adults
Expressive language disorders (ELDs) cause:
- difficulty speaking
- using grammatically correct sentences
- converting thoughts into speech
The SLP may use one or more of the following treatment approaches.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
In severe cases, speaking or writing can be enhanced or replaced. The person may use pictures, line drawings, and tangible objects. Manual signs, gestures, or fingerspelling can also help.
There are many computer technologies and programs used for speech development. They can focus on language skills, social skills, and social problem-solving. These services may occur with your therapist using internet communication apps
Video modeling can take the form of a pre-recorded format or a live, interactive format. The therapist models the desired behavior. The client watches the behavior and then performs a return-demonstration.
Executive Functioning Training
Executive function exercises focus on improving working memory, impulse control, and cognitive flexibility. Working memory allows a person to remember the steps needed to complete a task.
Impulse control gives people the ability to stop doing something that’s inappropriate. Cognitive flexibility allows people to switch to different mindsets quickly.
Do You Need Help With Speech, Language, or Hearing Problems?
Some adults experience negative effects of ADHD. Yet, all is not lost. Effective therapy can help improve skills and functional ability.
Great Speech provides virtual speech therapy sessions. This is beneficial to those who can’t meet personally with a therapist for a variety of reasons. We use web-based video conferencing technology for real-time sessions.
Pre-scheduled sessions provide opportunities for clients to practice therapeutic activities and exercises. You’ll receive follow-up resources to help you practice your skills between sessions. Request a free consultation today.