New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Learning Disabilities and ADHD

Dyslexia, ADHD and Speech

My 15 year old is having trouble with spoken language.  He’s always been one to mangle the pronunciation of words and we just thought it was part of his dyslexia.  But this first year of high school has really been tough.  He seems to suffer with “brain freeze” more often than not and struggles to even complete sentences aloud and in conversation.  Any ideas?  Do we need to get him checked out?


See if you can get referred to a Speech Language Pathologist.  I would definitely check it out.  Perhaps some speech therapy might help?

Posted by staypositive on Feb 06, 2014 at 2:18am

I would say yes to getting him checked out.  He may have one of the processing disorders.  Does he have an IEP?  We have a wonderful speech language therapist at our high school.  Our SLP’s work a lot with how the person processes language and information. 

You may also be interested in Dr. Arwood’s work at  Here are 3 snippets.
Theory:  We realize that the majority of learners today think with a visual brain. But our culture educates with auditory methods… At the APRICOT Clinic, learning is viewed as an acquisition process as well as a mediation between language and behavior. All methods are based on how language and the brain function.
2nd snippet:
Ellyn Lucas Arwood is the contemporary originator of Pragmaticism Methodology which looks at the learner or whole child, not just the products of the child or learner. Learning language is a function of the brain and today’s neuroscience provides the research for understanding how language functions. Language is the tool for literacy; how we view, think, read, write, listen, speak, and calculate. The more language a learner is able to use, the better the learner is able to think. The better a learner is able to think, the better the learner is able to function in society. Pragmaticism Methodology is not a program but a philosophy based on a theoretically sound and logical approach supported by neuroscience and evidence-based data collection over the past 40 years.
3rd snippet:
- - -In summary, if you have a child that has been given a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder, you have a child who has been diagnosed because of noticeable behavioral characteristics affecting the way the child learns. Perhaps we could approach the problem from a different perspective - which is: The child shows a number of problems with his/her learning system as evidenced by certain behavior. Let’s work with that learning system trying to make information more meaningful, thus, making the child’s learning system work more effectively so the child functions or attends better.

If someone thinks visually, but is being taught with words, words and more words, they have to translate everything to make sense.  This takes up a lot of processing time in the brain.  It can be confusing.  I don’t know if your son thinks visually or not.

Here is a very general test one of our teachers used last week.  She asked the class to close their eyes.  She said the word lemon.  After about 3 seconds she asked them to open their eyes.  If they said lemon out loud or inside their head, she said they were auditory learners and they could study by rereading their notes out loud, get a fellow auditory friend and quiz each other, or do flashcards out loud.  If they saw a lemon they were a visual learner.  They should read the illustrations or pictures, highlighting their notes or draw the concepts.  If they felt or tasted the lemon they were kinesthetic learners. They like to learn in a process.  They could rewrite their notes.  A person can be more than one at the same time.

Good luck with your son.  High School can be difficult especially for those who struggle with many kinds of unseen handicaps.  I hope he has some helpful teachers.

Posted by whizinc on Feb 06, 2014 at 5:00am

Mama Bear…I’m a medical social worker. Just want to put my two bits in. I would suggest a thorough medical exam to rule out any medical cause for your son’s behavior. I think sometimes with learning disabilities we throw everything into that basket and sometimes there can be something physical going on that can be missed without a medical checkup. If he checks out ok medically, then maybe a followup with specialist for learning disabilities. I know in my profession I always make sure physical cause is ruled out before investigating other areas as I see lots of medical conditions that impact people. Take care.

Posted by E's Mom  on Feb 06, 2014 at 6:52am

Thanks for all the good information!  I’m not sure where to go from here but I guess I’ll start with his psychiatrist and maybe with the dyslexia specialist at school…  He also has developed a tic, blinking and squinting his eyes but I think this may be a nervous tic or anxiety related…not sure…so complicated!

Posted by mamabear on Feb 07, 2014 at 10:08pm

I am 57 yo and have always had difficulty with verbal communications . Breain freeze, looking at one thing and saying that word instead of what i mean, just saying the wrong words etc. For me alot of it depends on may other factors for me. AM i tired, stressed, did i take my meds. I never heard of auditory processing or whatever the name for all of this is? i have laughed ans said ai had verbal dyslexis or auditory dyslexia many time before. After reading these threads i wonder if I shouoldbe tested for auditory or verble processing disorders…

Posted by Nursedeb on Feb 09, 2014 at 7:19am

i also have speech issues. my speech issue is verbal dyspraxia. i also have brain freeze. I had speech therapy when i was a kid, up until 5th grade. people sometimes comment on my speech. also I have brain-freeze too. I’m on ADHD meds, and i notice my speech is more fluent on the medication than when i’m off the medication. an evaluation with a speech therapist and a check-up with the doctor might shed some light on the speech issues for your son. Best of luck!

Posted by Lilapsophile on Feb 28, 2014 at 9:00pm

My 8 year old has speech delays. He receives speech therepy at school. He also is behind in math and reading. We have an IEP on him. This coming school year he will be in special ed but mainstreamed out into a regular class for art, science, and music. He also has ADHD.

Posted by mdasch on Jun 23, 2014 at 9:24pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions