ADHD and language impairment A study of the parent questionnaire FTF (Five to Fifteen).

Barbro Bruce, Gunilla Thernlund, Ulrika Nettelbladt

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The parental questionnaire FTF (Five to Fifteen) was given to parents of 76 children (mean age 11 years) diagnosed with ADHD. About half of the children had at least once been referred to a speech- and language pathologist. Most of them had not received any intervention or follow-up. A factor analysis identified six problem areas, which explain close to 75% of the total variation: Cognitive Skills, Motor/Perception, Emotion/Socialisation/Behaviour, Attention, Literacy Skills and Activity Control. The majority of the children had pragmatic problems, which are associated with some of the core aspects of the ADHD symptoms, especially inattention and impulsiveness. Communication and language comprehension caused these children many more problems than expressive language. Problems of reading and writing were very frequent. IQ-score was associated with maths and reading/writing. Additional items reflecting language skills, in particular language comprehension and pragmatics, were also found in other domains in the FTF, mainly in Executive functions, Learning and Social skills. Problems with language and pragmatics thus seem to be associated with the typical problems with learning and social skills in children with ADHD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-60
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychiatry

Free keywords

  • pragmatics
  • social skills
  • language impairment
  • language comprehension
  • ADHD


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