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My child has DLD and ADHD. What strategies can teachers, speech-language pathologists, and others use in class to help?

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Why it matters

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are different things. But there is a substantial overlap:

Limited research to date

In 2023, Senter and colleagues published a systematic review on speech-language pathology interventions for children with executive function deficits (see full citation below). They concluded that we all have a lot more to learn about how best to support children with DLD and ADHD (and other executive functioning challenges) at school.  

We hope that Senter’s study will inspire DLD and ADHD researchers around the world to keep talking to each other more and to produce high quality peer-reviewed studies. But, right this minute, teachers and speech pathologists are working with students with DLD and ADHD in schools and other settings. 

We can’t simply watch and wait.  

What to do: practical strategies to help children with DLD and ADHD

Fortunately – thanks to years of collective research and clinical practice supporting students with DLD or ADHD – experienced teachers, speech pathologists, psychologists, and others know of several strategies we can trial to help school students with ADHD and DLD in the classroom. 

Many of the following strategies benefit all students – not just those with DLD and/or ADHD:

If you have – or are teaching, treating, or otherwise working with – a child with DLD and ADHD, we hope you find these suggestions and linked articles useful.

Principal source: Senter, R., Chow, J.C., and Willis, E.C. (2023). Speech-Language Pathology Interventions for Children with Executive Function Deficits: A Systematic Literature Review. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 54, 336-354. 

(As always, any errors of interpretation are mine.)

Man wearing glasses and a suit, standing in front of a bay

Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

David Kinnane
Speech-Language Pathologist. Lawyer. Father. Reader. Writer. Speaker.

1 Comment

  • Darrell David says:

    It’s great to see strategies for supporting children with DLD and ADHD in the classroom. Collaborative efforts from teachers, speech-language pathologists, and others are so important. Thanks for sharing these valuable insights!

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