I am the mother of an ADHD child. I wear that badge proudly. Because, as the parent of an ADHD child, I’ve been blessed to discover new child development experiences that I did not discover with my older child. Through the challenges and blessings of raising an ADHD child, I have been forced to master my own inner strengths and have even been given an opportunity to find a true-to-life situation on which to explore my own personal interests in the field of medical, specifically in the neurological sciences.
At present, my ADHD child is an adolescent undergoing the normal hormonal changes expected for a teenage boy his age. While ADHD has created additional challenges with his pubescent changes, one such change has become increasingly challenging during this period, his change in voice and pitch. Known as pitch frequency, I did some research to determine why my ADHD son seemed to now speak in a monotone pitch. Was it related to his ADHD, complications associated with child growth and development or simply a natural change in speech pattern based on puberty and hormonal changes?
Pitch frequency is the term used to describe the change in speech pitch, normally ranging from 150 to 400 Hz in both pre-pubescent males and females. However, with puberty, and the associated change in vocal patterns, males often experience a change in pitch frequency, resulting in lower tones ranging from 80 to 160 Hz. In my ADHD, pubescent male, this speech pitch frequency never seems to change, remaining almost always in the very low range, and is also complicated by his ADHD tendency to speak very fast.
In my research, I’ve learned that a key aspect of delayed or irregular child speech development involves the lack of reading. Reading, both orally and silently, provide a child with the tools and opportunities to gather together sounds and letters into a structured logic and, therefore, naturally create pitch fluctuations as a measure by which to decipher and understand the material being read. With my ADHD son, I will admit, reading was a difficult task to achieve. As a result, my goal during this pubescent period is to open the door and encourage more active reading; possibly engaging in a reading group or club.
From this revelation, I decided to create a book reading club. With the assistance of my ADHD son, we created flyers and distributed these to local libraries and coffee shops. What we soon realized is the overwhelming desire of many adolescents, teenagers and young adults to participate in these same reading clubs. For my ADHD son, the opportunity to create a reading book club has improved many of his ADHD symptoms, from improving his low self esteem to even improving his speech patterns and development.
My ADHD son is a leader. I’ve been told this by family members, church leaders and even educators. He is intelligent and enjoys the recognition and responsibility associated with leading a group of individuals. When he feels successful, he becomes more successful. What started out as a simple concern over his pubescent change in speech and pitch frequency, turned into a path to improve his overall physical and emotional well being while, at the same time, opening our minds and spirits to new reading materials in a variety of genres.