Does ADHD Cause Stuttering?

Does ADHD Cause Stuttering? | District Speech & Language Therapy | Washington D.C. & Arlington VA

Does your child have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Are they struggling with stuttering, or repeating a letter, word, or phrase when they don’t mean to?

Would you like to know more about the connection between ADHD and stuttering?

If you are looking for speech therapy treatment for stuttering, District Speech can help.

But is ADHD related to stuttering?

If so, what can you do about it?

Keep reading to find out.

What Is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects both children and adults throughout the US and around the world.

It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder that hinders your attention span, causes hyperactivity, and increases impulsive behavior.

At one point, it was called ADD – attention deficit disorder – but now that’s considered an outdated term.

Symptoms Of ADHD

Some of the more common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Being easily distracted
  • Difficulty sitting still
  • Frequently interrupting others
  • Being hyperactive
  • Being hyper talkative
  • Frequently daydreaming
  • Difficulty reading

What Causes ADHD?

Research is ongoing, but we don’t know at this point what the cause of ADHD is.

It’s believed that neurology and genetics play a role, as well as lower levels of dopamine.

What Is A Stutter?

A stutter is a kind of speech disorder where the flow of communication is interrupted.

With a stutter, you might hear breaks in words and phrases, repetitions of parts of words or phrases, or prolongation, which is an elongated word.

A person with a stutter might be self conscious about their speaking habits.

Signs Of A Stutter

Some of the more common signs of a stutter include:

  • Frequent interjections – uhhs, umms, etc
  • Difficulty beginning to speak
  • Repeating certain sounds
  • Elongating certain sounds
  • Tension in the face and upper body
  • Lip tremors, facial tics, or excessive eye blinking
  • Reluctance to speak
  • Social anxiety

What Causes Stuttering?

Stuttering can be caused by a number of different factors, including:

  • A family history of stuttering
  • Childhood development
  • Family dynamics
  • Physiology
  • Brain injury

Stuttering can also be caused by emotional trauma, but this is rare.

Is There A Connection Between The Two?

Research over the years suggests that there is a link between ADHD and stuttering.

One speech study revealed that 50% of the participants who stuttered also had ADHD.

Though doctors typically diagnose ADHD based on symptoms, it’s also something that you can observe in the brain.

The brain of a person with ADHD contains smaller structures in the frontal lobe.

These structures are related to socialization, impulse control, concentration, and emotional regulation.

Apart from these physical indicators in the brain, researchers have observed functional disturbances in the Broca’s area of the frontal lobe in study participants with ADHD.

This might cause speech issues and articulation issues seen in people with ADHD.

Research also indicates that a lack of blood flow to the Broca’s area causes people to stutter.

How To Help Your Child With A Stutter Linked With ADHD

After reading this far, you might be wondering how you can help your child.

ADHD presents unique challenges in your child’s life, but there are ways that you can support them and prepare them to face those challenges.

Speech therapy for children can help, but there are things you can do as a parent as well.

Read on for some suggestions.

1. Stay Calm

If your child is struggling with their speech and articulation, staying calm is vital.

Even though you might feel frustrated at times, it’s important to stay positive.

Negative reactions to your child’s behavior or speech will only impede their progress.

It’s normal to feel anger, frustration, and even sadness, but try your best to express them in private, away from your child.

ADHD and its relation to stuttering | District Speech & Language Therapy | Washington D.C. & Arlington VA

2. Practice Active Listening

Your child may feel a lot at once and not know what to do with the intense emotions.

This can create an overwhelming sense of anger and frustration for them.

Listen to your child, even when they say things in a way you do not like.

Make sure you let them know that you understand what they’re saying.

You can always explain a better way to express it later.

Listening will also reduce frustrations with your child’s stutter.

Constantly asking your child to repeat themselves will only make them feel frustrated and embarrassed.

It might take them a long time to say something, and you must be patient.

This time will only increase if you get antsy or start doing something else as they speak.

Give them the time they need.

3. Seek Early Intervention Speech Therapy

Early intervention speech therapy will help grow your child’s linguistic competence.

Research has shown that when children with speech or language disorders are treated at a younger age, the results tend to be much better.

Early intervention speech therapy for stuttering caused by ADHD can boost your child’s confidence when talking.

Book Your Appointment With District Speech Today

Having ADHD and a stutter can make it difficult to navigate life.

To learn more about therapies and strategies that you can learn with your child, book an appointment with us today.

Our team of trained speech therapists are experienced with working with stuttering caused by ADHD and can meet your child’s needs and help them reach their speech and language goals.

Book with us now and we will match you with one of our qualified speech therapists who will work with you to understand the challenges that your child is facing and put together a plan that suits them.

Book your appointment with District Speech today.

District Speech and Language Therapy
1300 I St NW, #400E,
Washington, DC 20005


District Speech and Language Therapy specializes in speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy solutions, for both children and adults, in the Washington D.C and the Arlington Virginia areas.