Language impairment in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in preschool children

  • SR El Sady
  • AAS Nabeih
  • EMA Mostafa
  • AA Sadek


Language impairment (Li) is a highly prevalent comorbidity in children with psychiatric disorders and behavioral problems. The most common psychiatric diagnosis among children with Li is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and conversely, Li is a frequent comorbidity found in children with ADHD. Despite the frequent cooccurrence of these two common disorders, there have been few studies that specifically investigate language abilities of children with ADHD. Therefore the main objective of this work was to evaluate language profile in ADHD children and to determine whether there is a specific ADHD related language profile in preschoolers in comparison with the control group with no ADHD. Fifty-three preschool children were diagnosed as ADHD and then they were evaluated for their language development. We recruited 36 children fulfilling our inclusion criteria and had delayed language development then we compared this case group to a sex and age matched group of children with delayed language with no ADHD (n= 25). Assessment of intelligence was done for both groups using the Stanford Binnet Test IV. Evaluation of ADHD was done for both groups using DSM-IV criteria for ADHD. Comprehensive assessment of language development was done using the Arab Linguistic Test (ALT). EEG was done for both groups. Our results revealed that children with ADHD showed a significant delay in language development. But there was no difference between ADHD children and the control group in total language age, semantics, pragmatics and expressive language age. The only scale that showed difference between children with ADHD and controls was the receptive language age and receptive age quotient. There was no significant difference between cases and controls in EEG. Weconcluded that it is important to take into consideration language abilities when assessing children with ADHD and it is informative to include ADHD screening tools when dealing with children with DLD.

Keywords: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); Delayed language development (DLD)


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1110-8630