The Comorbidity between Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children and Arabic Speech Sound Disorder

Ruaa Osama Hariri


Children with Attention-Deficiency/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) often have co-existing learning disabilities and developmental weaknesses or delays in some areas including speech (Rief, 2005). Seeing that phonological disorders include articulation errors and other forms of speech disorders, studies pertaining to children with ADHD symptoms who demonstrate signs of phonological disorders in their native Arabic language are lacking. The purpose of this study is to provide a description of Arabic language deficits and to present a theoretical model of potential associations between phonological language deficits and ADHD. Dodd and McCormack’s (1995) four subgroups classification of speech disorder and the phonological disorders pertaining to the Arabic language provided by a Saudi Institute for Speech and Hearing are examined within the theoretical framework. Since intervention may improve articulation and focuses a child’s attention on the sound structure of words, findings in this study are based on the assumption that children with ADHD may acquire phonology for their Arabic language in the same way, and following the same developmental stages as intelligible children. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses have proven that the ADHD group analyzed in this study had indeed failed to acquire most of their Arabic consonants as they should have.

Keywords: speech sound disorder, attention-deficiency/hyperactive, developmental disorder, phonological disorder, language disorder/delay, language impairment

Full Text:



Amayreh, M. M. (2003). Completion of the consonant inventory of Arabic. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 517-529.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1997). Roles of audiologists and speech- language pathologists working with persons with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. [Technical Report]. Retrieved from:

Brown, T. E. (2005). Attention Deficit Disorder. USA: Yale University Press. 1-205

Camarata, S., & Gibson, T. (1999). Pragmatic language deficits in attention–deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 5, 207 -214.

Cook et al. (1995). Association of attention-deficit disorder and the dopamine transporter gene. American Journal of Human Genetics, 56(4).

Cohen at al. (2000). The interference between ADHD and language impairment: An examination of language, achievement, and cognitive processing. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 41(3), 353-362.

CHADD. (2011). Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). Retrieved from:

Currie, J., & Stabile, M. (2006). Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD. Journal of Health Economics, 25, 1094-1118. Retrieved from:

Gillam et al. (2011). Communication sciences and disorders; from science to clinical practice. (2nd ed.). Massachusetts: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. 6-114.

Haidar, F. (2003) Co-morbidity and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in Saudi Arabia. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 9(5, 6), 988-995.

Holm et al., (1999). Identification and differential diagnosis of phonological disorder in bilingual children. Language Testing, 16(3), 271-293. Retrieved from:

Jeddah Institute for Speech and Hearing. Retrieved from:

Lee, D. (2004). Testing executive function models of adhd and its comorbid conditions: a latent variable approach. Ph. D. dissertation. Retrieved from: /handle/1969.1/2801/etd-tamu-2004B-SPSY Lee.pdf?sequence=1

Fewell, R., & Deutscher, B., (2002). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Very Young Children: Early Signs and Interventions. Infants and Young Children, 14(3), 24-32.

Matthews, P. H. (2007). Oxford concise dictionary of linguistics. New York: Oxford University

McIntosh, B., & Dodd, B. (2008). Evaluation of Core Vocabulary intervention for treatment of inconsistent phonological disorder: Three treatment case studies. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 25(1), 09-30. Retrieved from:

McGrath et al. (2008). Children with Comorbid Speech Sound Disorder and Specific Language Impairment are at Increased Risk for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 151-163

Rief, S. (2005). How to Reach and Teach Children with ADD/ADHD. (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint. 3-64.

Redmond, S., Thompson, H., & Goldstein, S. (2011). Psycholinguistic profiling differentiates specific language impairment from typical development and from attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Speech, language, and hearing research, 54, 99-117.

Wolraich, M. (1999). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: The most studied and yet most controversial diagnosis. Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 5(3), 163-168.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2019 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.