September marks the beginning of a new school year for millions of children, along with new challenges for every student. However, students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may face steeper challenges than others.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports that ADHD affects between 4 and 12 percent of school-aged children, which is concerning, considering the adverse effects of ADHD on academic performance. A 2019 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that ADHD was associated with substantially lower performance in school independent of socioeconomic background factors.
So, as a new school year begins, Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center (BHSC) encourages students and their families to familiarize themselves with the condition to ensure it does not interfere with their efforts to do their best in the classroom in the year ahead.
According to Amy Bamrick, Director of Clinical Services, “ADHD is a chronic condition of the brain that makes it difficult for children to control their behavior, which is why the link between ADHD and poor academic performance is so strong. Children with ADHD often have trouble getting along with other children and, if they have issues with attention, they can have difficulty learning.”
Bamrick notes that ADHD includes three distinct groups of symptoms: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Children with inattention may daydream and have a hard time paying attention, often do not seem to listen, may be easily distracted from work or play, and may not follow through on instructions or finish tasks. Children with hyperactivity may be in constant motion, exhibit difficulty staying seated, frequently squirm or fidget, talk too much, and be incapable of playing quietly. Children with impulsivity may frequently act and speak without thinking, run into a street without first looking for oncoming traffic, be incapable of waiting, and frequently interrupt others.
Children with ADHD will not necessarily have all these symptoms. Symptoms are classified by the type of ADHD a child has, and are usually determined to be inattentive only, hyperactive and impulsive, or combined ADHD, which includes symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. While all children exhibit symptoms from time to time, getting a diagnosis is important if children exhibit symptoms on a regular basis for more than six months.
BHSC’s Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication disorders in children. ADHD can affect children academically and socially. BHSC’s professionals conduct comprehensive clinical evaluations that will provide you with information about your child’s skills and recommendations for follow-up. BHSC will also send a written report to you, the doctor, and any others as requested by you.
Evaluations may be completed at any BHSC clinic location, or by utilizing BHSC’s Speech Language Teletherapy Services. Most major insurances are covered, and private pay options are also available. Call 716-885-8871 for information, and learn more at https://askbhsc.org/speech-language-clinic-services.