What is ADHD?

ADHD is short for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD can cause speech problems — including word pronunciation.
ADHD is short for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. ADHD can cause speech problems — including word pronunciation.

ADHD is a mental health issue common in children. It can cause speech problems — including word pronunciation. Lack of fluency while speaking can cause pauses and repetition, making children sound as if they are stammering.

ADHD is short for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. It is a condition affecting the development of the nervous system that makes paying attention difficult and causes hyperactive and impulsive behavior. Though ADHD affects people during childhood, the condition may continue into adulthood.

A child without ADHD may sometimes have difficulty focusing during their development. But a child with ADHD doesn’t outgrow this behavior. It might even become more severe as they grow older and start socializing with friends at home and school.

What actually causes ADHD is unclear. However, genetics, brain injury, and environmental issues may all play a role.

A child may live on with unrecognized ADHD into adulthood. The condition presents a bit differently in adults than in children. Every individual may show ADHD symptoms differently from others.

Types of ADHD

Depending on the symptoms, ADHD is classified into three types:

  • Predominantly inattentive presentation.  The affected child has difficulty organizing tasks, remembering instructions or routines, and paying attention to detail.
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation. The affected child is impulsive, restless, and unable to focus or stay still while doing simple tasks.
  • Combined presentation. This type is a combination of the other two types, and the affected child displays symptoms of both.

Symptoms of ADHD

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, a child with ADHD may show symptoms like:

  • Fidgeting or squirming
  • Daydreaming
  • Excessive talking
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty socializing
  • Inability to resist temptation
  • Carelessness
  • Risky behavior
  • Incapability to wait to take turns

ADHD and speech

Most people with ADHD have language or speech problems. This is caused by an inability to focus attention and by impulsive speech or behavior.

A child with ADHD may also have trouble in school. That's because people with ADHD have trouble putting ideas together and clearly giving voice to their ideas.

Individuals with ADHD may appear to speak without thinking first. They are unable to stop to think about what they are about to say. An affected child’s speech may sound unedited.

Their impulsive behavior also means that your conversation with them may have a lot of interruptions. Their impulsive speech might also be characterized by excessive talking and many monologues. As a result, it becomes hard for other people to participate in conversations with a child with ADHD.

Tips to help children deal with ADHD

Consider doing the following to help your child deal with ADHD:

  • Get involved. If your child is struggling with ADHD, try to find out all you can about the condition and about the treatment regimen. Take your child to every doctor’s visit and follow through with the doctor’s treatment recommendations.
  • Administer medications. Always ensure your child is taking their medications at the appropriate time and in the recommended amount. Make sure that all the medications are stored safely.
  • Seek some support. Consider getting support from a group or even joining one. This may help you become better informed about your child's condition and how to manage it.
  • Purposeful parenting. Find out how ADHD might be affecting your child, and how best to help them. Recognize and appreciate your child’s strengths.
  • Work with teachers and the school. Get involved with what your child is doing in school and connect with the child's teachers.

Conditions related to ADHD

Other conditions related to ADHD include:

  • Anxiety disorder. This condition leads to excessive fearfulness or worry.
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Someone with this condition tends to get rebellious, especially when there’s authority involved.
  • Conduct disorder. This disorder causes antisocial behavior. The individual may start doing things like fighting other people, stealing, and even destroying property.
  • Depression. Depression is a condition that causes sadness or feeling hopelessness.
  • Sleep disorders. This condition results in difficulty finding sound sleep at night and achieving a regular sleep pattern.
  • Autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). An individual with this disorder may experience hardships communicating with other people.
  • Epilepsy. Epilepsy is a condition of the brain that causes seizures.
  • Tourette's syndrome. This syndrome causes involuntary movements and noises.
  • Learning disorders (including dyslexia). This condition causes difficulty in learning.

Effects of ADHD in adults

As your child moves into adulthood, ADHD might have the following effects:

  • Career and financial problems. An adult with ADHD is most likely to have trouble maintaining a job, recognizing authority, managing their money, and maintaining a work routine.
  • Relationship issues. Maintaining good relationships with spouses and family can be quite hard.
  • Mental and physical health problems. ADHD can lead to issues like eating compulsively, drug abuse, stress, and anxiety. These factors combined cause physical and mental damage.

Tips to help deal with ADHD as an adult

To deal with issues that come with ADHD in adulthood, you can:

  • Exercise regularly and practice healthy eating
  • Get enough sleep
  • Train yourself to keep time
  • Engage friends in conversations in person and online to cultivate good relationships
  • Ensure you work in a supportive environment
  • Consider practicing mindfulness
  • Do not blame yourself for the condition you are in, remember that ADHD is to blame


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Medically Reviewed on 9/14/2021

The A.D.D. Resource Center: "The Effects of ADHD on Communication."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "What is ADHD."

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: "Relationships & Social Skills."

HelpGuide: "ADHD in Adults."

Kids Health: "What is ADHD?" Murdoch Children's Research Institute: "Kids with ADHD more likely to have language problems."

NHS: "Symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)."