The Link Between ADHD and Stuttering

mother and child with adhd practice reducing stuttering

Author: Circle of Care

Stuttering and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can both be challenging for children, but what happens when they go hand in hand?  In many cases, children with ADHD are also diagnosed with stuttering. The co-occurrence of both is more common than one might think, and understanding the link can help shed light on how to best support and manage this dual diagnosis in children.

Is There a Link Between Stuttering and ADHD?

Yes, research has shown a link between stuttering and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Studies have found that people who stutter are more likely to have ADHD than those who do not. This could be due to the fact that both conditions involve difficulty in controlling and regulating behavior and emotions. Stuttering may be caused by the same underlying abnormality in brain circuitry that is known to cause ADHD. This could explain why some people with ADHD also have a tendency to stutter.

As we grasp the complexities of this interplay, it becomes imperative to consider holistic approaches to address the diverse needs of individuals with dual diagnoses. Beyond conventional interventions, such as speech therapy and ADHD management, there is a growing recognition of the importance of incorporating comprehensive strategies. This could involve counseling, behavioral therapies, and, for those at risk of seeking solace in substance use, participation in 30 day drug programs to mitigate potential challenges associated with coexisting conditions. This integrative approach aims to provide tailored support, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of individuals navigating both stuttering and ADHD.

Can ADHD Cause Stuttering in Children?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that affects the ability to concentrate and pay attention, resulting in hyperactivity, impulsivity, and difficulty maintaining focus on tasks. It has been theorized that ADHD can cause stuttering in children because they may not be able to process the communication signals their brains are receiving, leading to a breakdown of verbal fluency. Additionally, ADHD often causes feelings of anxiety and frustration due to difficulty focusing or maintaining attention, which can directly impact speech patterns and cause stuttering. Finally, hyperactivity can cause children to be more talkative than normal, leading to a rapid rate of speech that can be difficult to control.

Signs and Symptoms of Stuttering in Children

Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects the flow of speech, causing disruptions in how words are articulated and spoken. This can potentially cause a pediatric speech delay. Children who stutter may repeat certain syllables, prolong sounds, or pause while speaking. The cause of stuttering remains largely unknown; however, some experts believe there is a link between ADHD and stuttering in children.

Common signs and symptoms of stuttering include:

  • Difficulty getting words out, which may lead to pauses or repetitions of syllables and sounds.
  • Using fillers (e.g., “um” and “uh”) when speaking.
  • Tension in the jaw, lips, face, and chest while speaking.
  • Avoidance of certain words or sounds.
  • Increased rate of speech, as if trying to finish the sentence quickly.
Children with ADHD are three times more likely to develop stuttering compared to children without ADHD. 
Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Speech Therapy for Stuttering ADHD Children

ADHD and stuttering can be managed with pediatric speech therapy. Speech therapists can help children better control their verbal fluency by teaching them relaxation techniques and improving their self-monitoring strategies. Additionally, speech therapists can work on helping the child improve their communication skills by focusing on articulation, pronunciation, intonation, and expressing ideas. Lastly, speech therapists can help to reduce the child’s anxiety surrounding speaking and improve their self-confidence.


Pediatric Speech Therapy for Stuttering at Circle of Care

At Circle of Care, we offer comprehensive speech therapy services for children who stutter. Our team of experienced speech therapists will work with your child to develop strategies and techniques that can help them reduce their stuttering and improve their communication skills. We also provide support and guidance for parents so they can better understand the link between ADHD and stuttering, and how to help their child manage the disorder. Contact us online today or call (877) 434-4317 to learn more about our speech therapy services.



Learn More About Our Pediatric Therapy Services at Circle of Care