Hyperactive Impulsive Language Processing

My youngest son, the son with Hyperactive/Impulse ADHD (ADHD-HI) is going to need language therapy. Or verbal fluency therapy or auditory processing therapy or God only knows what! We are scheduled for a teacher conference after Spring break but his teacher spoke to me while I was setting up their teacher appreciation breakfast last week and briefly asked me to be looking into this.

She, of course, thanked me profusely for organizing the appreciation breakfast, and for the breakfast casseroles that I had baked and told me how delicious and voluminous the deviled eggs were. She told me that my son's native American whale was wonderful but none of this buffered the bad news that he would need yet another form of therapy.   I didn't really believe that more deviled eggs would mean better news at the parent/teacher conference, did I???

We have done occupational therapy, group therapy, play therapy, speech therapy, Psychotherapy, reading tutoring, and vision therapy. This is not a child that enjoys any therapy. You cannot convince him that any therapy is fun and the best that I can do is convince him that it is necessary and inevitable.

He does seem to have some verbal fluency or auditory issues. He has always been really bothered by loud noises, which has been really interesting to me because he can make some incredibly loud noises when he is unhappy. He seems to lack a complex external language, which may be because of a lack of a rich internal language. Remember that internal language is what Russell Barkley, the ADHD expert, describes as the voice in your mind that helps you contemplate events and plan your behavior.

My ADHD-HI son can talk just fine but he has a great deal of difficulty elaborating on anything. He seems to comprehend stories that I read to him pretty well. He loves to be read to.  If he has missed something in the story he will ask to go back so that he understands better what is happening. His problem is that he cannot tell stories on his own without a great deal of effort, help and prompting.

His Native American whale project required an oral presentation. It was torture to get him to practice this presentation and even more torture to have him prepare 10 Native American facts to report on. The frustrating thing for me (and I am sure more so for him) is that he knows tons of Native American whale facts and he loves to read about this topic. The trouble lies in his ability to talk about these facts. I am sure that it was the oral report that reminded his teacher that he needed some extra help with his verbal fluency.

Another example of his problem with verbal fluency comes when he is trying to describe a game or a movie to someone. He loves movies and he will sometimes attempt to tell someone what a movie is about. This can go fairly well until he is asked to elaborate. He tends to just give up when asked for more details. He says, "I don't know", a lot. His teacher is, of course, right and he absolutely needs some help in this area. Hopefully, for his sake, most of the therapy can be home based.

I think that his problem with verbal fluency is somehow tied to auditory processing. I am beginning to think that this particular problem is more of a problem for ADHD-HI and not as much for ADHD Predominantly Inattentive (ADHD-PI). I will start soon to look for an auditory processing specialist in my area.

I will keep you posted on my progress and on any other terrific news that comes our of our parent/teacher conference.


  1. Tessermom,
    My daughter has a mild to moderate auditory processing disorder. Last year she did the Fast For Word program. Excellent program, excellent results.

  2. Thanks Julie, Is this something you can do at home??

  3. Yes, my daughter did it at home, 40 minutes a day, five days a week for five weeks. I went through an audiologist, she loaded it on our computer, and sent status reports. Some school districts use it. I'm not sure but I think anyone can be trained to administer the test. It really does work. Julie


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