Approximately five percent of children in the United States have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (also known as ADHD).
That might not seem like a lot, but it still works out to more than six million children. More children are being diagnosed with ADHD every year, too.
Are you a parent to a child with ADHD? If so, then you know how challenging it can be to help them develop their vocabulary and perform well in school.
If you want your child to be successful, ADHD vocabulary development ought to be a top priority. Read on for some tips that will help your child to improve their vocabulary.
ADHD and Communication
It’s common for children with ADHD to have trouble communicating. They may struggle with articulation disorders. This is a speech issue that makes it hard for them to produce certain letter sounds.
These children might also have difficulty with speech fluency and vocal quality. It might affect their ability to produce the right words in conversation.
For example, children with ADHD might produce vocal repetitions and stammer more often than other children. They may use filler words like “um” more often than usual as well.
These communication and vocalization issues can lead to frustration and impatience in children with ADHD. They may be hesitant to work on their speech and communication skills because they’re upset or embarrassed.
Tips for Improving Vocabulary Development
If your child has ADHD and is struggling to develop their vocabulary and keep up at school, there are lots of things you can do. The following five tips are great first-steps you can take to help them:
1. Read to and with Them
One of the best things you can do to help your child improve their vocabulary is to read to them and read with them on a regular basis.
Even if your child is able to read on their own, spending time doing it with them provides you with a bonding opportunity and allows you to see how they’re doing.
Listening to your child read allows you to learn more about what words they know and don’t know. You can point out new words and define them for them so they can work on building their vocabulary.
There’s value in having your child listen to you read, too. They can follow along and work on their comprehension skills. It also provides them with an opportunity to learn how to pronounce words that might be problematic for them.
2. Show Interest
It helps to show an interest in what your child is reading and watching, too.
If your child is able to converse with you about the things that they enjoy, they’ll get better and holding conversations and speaking in a way that other people can understand.
Remember that kids are often a lot more willing to engage in vocabulary practice when it involves things they actually like, too.
3. Define New Words
When you come across a word your child doesn’t know, be sure to define it for them and teach them the correct way to pronounce it. Encourage them to get comfortable using new words themselves, too.
It also helps to teach your child how to look up words they don’t know in the dictionary. That way, if they come across a new word while they’re reading or watching a movie, they’ll be able to define it themselves without your help.
Having the skills to look up new words also boosts their confidence and will help them to feel better about using those words in conversation.
4. Translate Figures of Speech
Children with ADHD sometimes have trouble understanding figures of speech. They might take phrases like “grab the bull by the horns” a little too literally.
To avoid this confusion, talk to your child about what different figures of speech mean and help them understand when to use them.
5. Work with a Speech Therapist
Finally, don’t be afraid to hire a speech therapist to work with your child one on one. As a busy parent, there’s only so much you can do on your own.
Having them work with a speech therapist will help them to make progress and expand their vocabulary at a much faster rate than if you were practicing with them by yourself.
Speech therapists also have access to many more tools and are aware of the best techniques to use to help your child build a bigger vocabulary and improve their reading and speaking skills.
Tips for Finding the Right Speech Therapist
There’s a lot you can do on your own to help your child build their vocabulary. Sometimes, though, you need to bring in a professional.
If you want to hire a speech therapist to work with your child, these tips can help you make sure you’re working with the right one:
- Ask about their specialty and the types of children they typically work with
- Ask about their experience and how long they’ve been practicing
- Find out about their educational background and the continuing education courses they’ve taken
It also helps to arrange a consultation with them and your child. During the consultation, pay attention to how they interact with them.
Do they use a positive, encouraging tone? Do they speak to your child in a respectful manner? Does your child seem to like them?
Let the answers to these questions guide the decision-making process for you.
Experience Effective, Successful ADHD Vocabulary Development Today
Helping a child with ADHD to develop their vocabulary can certainly be a challenge. It’s not impossible, though.
If you keep these tips in mind and find the right speech therapist to work with your child, you’ll find that they can make great strides toward improving their vocabulary.
Do you want your child to experience effective, successful ADHD vocabulary development? Do you want them to work on their vocabulary from the comfort of your home? If so, we’re here to help at Great Speech.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a free consultation with one of our speech therapists.