Speech Issues


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    • #73197

      48 and recently came to the realization I have ADHD – started looking into it after reading an article about “time blindness” and couldn’t help but think “that’s me!”

      So one thing I haven’t found any information on, possibly related to ADHD, is a speech problem I have.

      Too often my words come out all jumbled or I’ll combine words into one that doesn’t exist. This literally happens on a daily basis. It makes it a bit difficult to express myself and share ideas, etc. This has been occurring as far back as I can remember, so nothing new.

      Wondering if others with ADHD struggle with this or know what it may be called.

      Final thought, (also wondering about others with this issue), I am fairly intelligent and fairly well educated, however, I seriously cannot have an intelligent conversation with anyone to save my life. I cannot recall facts on demand. They are there, somewhere rolling around in my brain, but trying to use them to support my ideas or show I have at least a little intelligence is nearly impossible. This has been a regular source of frustration for nearly all of my adult life.

      Glad I found ADDitude,

    • #73202

      Hey Scott,

      I have the same problem. Especially if I get over-excited or angry or stressed. Some times the words come out jumbled because my focus will change mid-word. More often my mouth just won’t form the words and I have to calm myself before I can speak. I also have a problem with stuttering. The funny thing is that I really enjoy and am good at public speaking! Go figure! Even so, speech can be a real source of frustration for me.


    • #73203

      It also happens if I try to talk too fast. I have to purposely slow myself down. Harumph!

      • #73345

        I just found an article online about this speech thing being a symptom of anxiety (some types anyway). Oddly, even just talking to my wife sometimes I have this problem. Seems my brain may not be coming out of anxiety mode even when I have nothing to be anxious about. Interesting stuff for sure. Kinda just wish I wasn’t my own subject in this research I’ve been doing.

        Thanks for commenting Todd.

    • #73347

      I talk too fast and jumble words. While I’m a pretty good writer, I’m terrible at oral communication.

    • #73387

      I can see anxiety being a root cause. It certainly is in my case. Unfortunately, those of us with ADHD are prone to anxiety.

      Yeah, I see a lot of the stuff froom my research in me, too. The more I find out the more I recognize symptoms and how they’ve affected me and my life.

    • #73560
      Penny Williams

      Could be anxiety and stress of a social situation.

      Could be related to executive functioning deficits almost always apparent in those with ADHD — trouble organizing thoughts and processes in the brain:

      What Does Executive Function Disorder Look Like in Adults?

      Or, it could be a speech issue of some kind, but I think the former two possibilities are much more likely.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #73607

      Hmmm… Scored even higher on the Executive Function Disorder test than the ADHD test. Interesting stuff.

    • #73654

      I have this problem as well and it seems to get me in huge messes at times. Like you said, I am intelligent, I know what I am talking about but I cant say it. I end up sounding like….I don’t even know. I have 2 serious issues that I have been trying to resolve for years. My daughter and I were taken advantage of very badly by (get this, a disability councilor) and a landlord. We are completely in the right but my communication gets so horrible that people don’t understand me or take me seriously. It gets worse and worse.

    • #73706

      I scored 93% on the EFD test. Not really surprised. 70% on the ADHD self test, which is a surprise. Maybe because I’ve been dealing with it for so long (I’m 56) that I’ve developed some coping strategies.

      • #73826

        Was talking to my wife this afternoon about coping strategies. I learned back in my early 20’s after losing my wallet and locking my keys in the car (a couple times for each) – I am constantly checking my pockets to verify I have keys and wallet. I kinda look and feel paranoid or OCD, but I haven’t lost my wallet or keys in decades. I think there is an anxiety component to it as well though as I’ll double and triple check to be sure. Its kinda like when I used to wear a watch, I’d check the time but it wouldn’t really register and I’d find myself checking a couple/few times before I’d actually know what time it was.

      • #73995

        I do something similar. I try to put things like my keys, wallet, etc. in the same place every time. Things can go sideways quickly if I put things like my glasses down someplace that’s not normal for me. Or if my wife moves or covers something I’m expecting to be where they’re supposed to be. <heavy sigh> But, yeah, I’m always checking my pockets for my wallet, phone, keys, etc.

    • #74126

      I do this ALL the time! I’ve realized that it happens when mind mind is racing a mile a minute and I’m thinking ahead to what I want to say but I’m currently saying something different. I’ll conflate a couple of words or even a whole sentence so they end up sounding like gibberish. It’s embarrassing and I always hope that the person I’m speaking to thought they just didn’t hear me right.

    • #74199

      The word/sentence jumbling AND the blank brain thing happens to me literally every day of my life. I recently started coaching a middle school basketball team and, my dear god, I cannot explain anything straight. I start my sentences at the end and then back track, and half the time I’m like what did I even just say, was that a word??? I can overcome it by preparing precisely what I need to say (word for word – have to read it off a paper, honestly), but the thing is, I have been playing basketball since I was 5 and any normal person would be able to wing it with the kind of knowledge I have, ha!!!! Everyone gets confused and my sister (my asst coach) literally said she gets anxious for the girls because they must get totally overwhelmed not understanding anything. I’m like……….. YIKES
      But I think the blank brain thing is yeah, due to anxiety or stress but it’s probably because I know I am prone to word jumbling, therefore I am anxious therefore I just kinda freeze or am like what is anything? It happens mostly when I’m not talking to someone I feel super comfortable around (or maybe I just notice it more?). (Un)Funny thing is that I am a very talented writer. Thank god. Anyway, it’s incredibly frustrating especially when meeting new people or talking to a group– it’s like, “guys, I swear I know things and am intelligent… I just…. can’t… blahhh”
      So I feel you!!!!

    • #74610
      Kim Clement

      Hey all. im very knew too all of this, i am 50 and going for my ADHD diagnosis on 31/1, was reading through the forums and this one about speech jumped out at me, i am a chronic stutterer and have been my whole life, did years and years of specch therapy and nothing helped…..until i tried dexamphetamine i take 15mg per day and my stuttering has stopped completely, for the first time ever i can now say a whole sentence in one go…go figure

    • #74617

      Hi Kim,

      I’m happy for you. I stutter, too, sometimes and it can be very frustrating. I’m just glad you found something that helps.


    • #122678

      Hello, I am new to this site.

      I just found out that mix of my sufferings was ADHD. I was recently diagnosed this year. It takes for me to be in the medical field to know what was happening to me. I thought that my symptoms were because of my complex trauma but it was mix with trauma and ADHD. I am having issues with gibberish and mixing my words as well. Sometimes people would look at me or talk to me like trying to understand what I am saying, luckily I am polite and kind and they just smile, lol. Any tips or management on this?

      Thank you,

    • #123174

      I have a speech sound disorder since i started talking. I have a hard time with “S”s, “R”s, and “Th”s. I more recently noticed i have a hard time explaining things or explain thing in an unusual way. I also often go off-topic quite often and sometimes i lose my train of thought.

    • #123221

      Oh boy…this sounds like I am reading my biography!! So much mumbo jumbo and I also talk at a much lower volume than most. I have to express myself through writing and have clear focus to do so. I do feel anxiety is part of it, but lately I started to question whether or not I had an acute form of narcolepsy also. It’s like part of my brain starts to go to sleep when I am talking and I literally cannot find words in my word bank in my brain. I feel it gets harder at certain moments and I can literally start to see blank space. I do get over-excited at times when I take an interest in what I’m talking about or my passion gets sparked. That is when I feel at my best. But I do wonder where this void comes from, kinda like when your computer hard drive becomes fragmented and you’re looking for the missing cluster…but you are not alone. 🙂

    • #188073

      I get it. I slip up all the time and my other half feels like it is on purpose and a bad habit. He feels if I mess up its because I’m playing games or not caring about speaking to where he has to ask me questions. I feel like I’m being criticized every time I slip up and he feels like I’m breaking promises because I apologized for not getting my words right and he thinks that I’m not doing anything about it. Quite the opposite. Every day since I was 5 I have had known speech issues. I never could get my words out right then and now as an adult I was diagnosed with inattentive add. He thinks it’s me not wanting to fix my issue every time. He says I’m not doing anything about it and he is the one in the receiving end. He says I don’t take the blame for a bad habit and I tell me please stop. I feel like I’m being put down and criticized every time and when I express this, he gets mad and says I’m putting the blame on him instead. He is the one that has to deal with my burden and I can’t make it right well enough. I’m always failing and have since I was younger. I went to the doctor,I’m in cognitive counselling, I write things out for work so won’t slip up there. I’m trying my best and want to do better. I really do and he doesn’t see it. I love him with all my heart. When things get heated I have a hard time controlling my anger and I make bad decisions like keeping it going even in front of a boss. I did apologize for that and he thinks it’s fake and only for the pay check and it truly isn’t. He said I wasn’t sorry for starting in before that because I won’t admit to my bad habit which I already know I have I know I’m working on it and he says I’m not. I feel like I’m an idiot and can’t do anything right. I even got so mad and said it was over. He thinks that is what I wanted to say all this time and it isn’t. The anger, not understanding or even letting me share with him because I feel like I can’t share at that point about my issues and all. My heart is so broken because I love him and I wish with all my heart that he would see that.

    • #188325

      I have recently started to suspect I have ADD and I’m reading things that explain an awful lot about various occurrences when I was younger. Following on from the speech thing, during a conversation if I have something I want to say I’m always having to say it in a loop in my mind whilst the other person is talking so I don’t forget. Makes it double hard to listen and pick up on what the other person is saying.

      Out of curiosity what goes through everyone’s mind when you’re asked simple questions like ‘how are you’?

    • #188395
      Dr. Eric

      What tests are these? Most standard ones do not present scores in percentages.

    • #190676

      I’m 25 years old and just got my diagnosis a month ago with moderate ADHD and severe ADD
      I’m not as hyperactive as I was as a kid because I’ve learned coping skills.

      But I have this problem, I hate it! I will know what I’m going to say before the other person is done talking and then get distracted and forget some words or the names of things, sometime even what I was going to say totally. Usually I’m not even on topic because they will change what we are talking about mid sentence and I’ll still not keep up. Or ramble.

      I have a hard time remembering words or these huge words will come to mind and I’ll be insecure because I don’t know if I’m using the right word. Usually the person will correct me nicely or help me finish my sentence.

      it’s like I’m stuck in my mind. A deer in the head lights. The more nervous or over stimulated I am the worse it is.

      When I’m on my meds they usually calm me down so I can think straight but I still notice I forgot the words to things or forget how to say them. Just not as often.

      I did have a good education but it was really hard to focus in school so my grades weren’t very good. When I was in elementary I was reading at a 2nd grade level in 4th grade because I didn’t want to sit still and learn. I was in special ed… you think they would have known that I had adhd. They just said my parents needed to discipline me more and sit down with me and make sure I practice.
      I was not good at school until highschool and college when I learned more coping mechanisms.

    • #190686

      Maybe what I suggets here is to manage and eliminate some stressors here first.

    • #195979

      I also find, especially at night, I just speak… poorly. The first clause and second clause of a sentence end up having different tenses, I know what I want to say and then when I’ve come out I’ve picked really odd synonyms, or something that just kinda sounds…. dumb.

      “He was going to get his car fixed, but, now he’s not sure” turns into “He didn’t fixed his car yet. But soonish maybe. …Sorry, why did I say that?” or worse “He didn’t get it on his car yet.” What?

      I can read just fine (I think), but when I read out loud I rewrite sentences as I go, fairly seamlessly, to make them match my voice.

      “Jake had found the serum to be useful and was waiting on lab reports from the space station”->”Jake found the serum result to be useful and waited for space station lab results.”

      People often don’t notice, but, if it is a very long sentence, its like an AI program that can’t keep up the illusion for long.

      It would help if I didn’t try to read aloud and do voices and motions for all the characters, but, where’s the fun in that? 🙂

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