I know many of you have ADHD kids who lack social skills, what can I do to help my son make friends?

Amanda - posted on 10/24/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My seven year old tells me how no one will play with him at school, they tell him he is crazy, and has even been bullied (hit, pushed, etc.). It breaks my heart, but I do not know what to do!!! I go to eat lunch with him and have met the kids and tried to show them how great Parker is and show Parker how nice the kids can be if he makes a little effort, but it feels so hopeless. Someone please offer some suggestions for me and my little guy!

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Theresa - posted on 10/25/2010

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Is he on an IEP at school? If not talk to the school about getting him on one. If he is talk to his Special Ed teacher about social skills classes. They will help him learn to read social ques that ADHD kids don't naturally see. You can also talk to his doc about where you might be able to get him some social skills therapy. Both of my sons did soc skills classes in elementary school and it helped them tons!

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Amy - posted on 10/28/2010

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I had a similar experience! Even after a year on meds with vastly improved behavior, my son was picked on and excluded. The thing that frustrates me is that when it comes to ADHD kids, it seems as if the school system thinks its acceptable for them to be bullied. Like they somehow earn it with the negative behaviors. But you know they wouldn't let a tourettes kid or an autisitc child be picked on because of behaviors that result from a medicated diagnosis.

We saw no improvement in the year with the way my son was being treated. Even with kids in the neighborhood who "know" us. We have a magnet school nearby, so we switched. It's a science magnet, and my son LOVES all things science, so it was a perfect fit. He has all kinds of friends now (I did not disclose the diagnosis to the school, and I did not allow the previous school to share the information), I've not gotten any calls from the school regarding behavior. We'll see how the parent teacher conference goes next month. If it looks good, I'll not disclose the diagnosis. I may disclose the ADHD if it seems as if my son would benefit from it. He's embarrased of it, and I don't want him to be treated like a diagnosis... so ... we'll see. But right now, I'm so so so glad we changed schools! The young kids just won't forgive him, and the district won't stop them from bullying.

Did you know there are scientific studies that show ADHD children are 4x more likely to be bullied than "normal" children? Yet our school doesn't seem to be interested in stopping that.

Marta - posted on 10/28/2010

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My son is now 16. he is ADHD/ODD. he did struggle in the early yrs with friends. Though is the middle child of 5, he would go with his older sinlings to play. til even they would say that they just don't want him around. Upper grade school he made friends that were from his class. (EBD class). JR high became the biffest pronlem as he tend to make friends with the "trouble makers" Now in high school, he has frends from many different angles. They like any child have to make thier way, without loosing who they are. yes it is hard in grade school, but it does get better. I found looking back, that I worried more then he did. Our specail children, well they tend to live in the moment and tend to talk with whomever give them a bit of acceptance and understanding. sometime that is even older kids then them. Truth for me, is that with this child I had more pronlems with church then I ever did with schools. Church tried to put a square peg in a round hole, and then would turn and call me bad parent because it wouldn't fit.

Pamela - posted on 10/28/2010

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Do they have a socialization group in his school? Sometimes they do, and you won't know about it, until you ask. I found out about it, and make sure my now 10.5 year old daughter goes. Also, in your area, they might have different groups. I don't know where you live, but in PA they have a group called Collage and Prompt n Play. Maybe if you call them, they would know of something in your area. Have a great day.

Linda - posted on 10/27/2010

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My 6 year old goes through the same thing. I've thought about going and having lunch with him but worried that it might isolate him further (he doesn't eat his lunch and I thought me being there might help with that). I'm sorry that i don't have any suggestions to help, I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone with this.

Carol - posted on 10/27/2010

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The best thing I did for my son with similar problems was to have him participate in behavioral therapy with a psychologist. It helped him immensely.

Nancy - posted on 10/27/2010

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I can SO releate to you!! If your son has any friends at all, encourage play dates as often as you can. He will learn social skills that way. I also encourage finding an ADHD support group for you to join as you will find parents with similar issues and they may be willing to get their kids together with yours. More than likely, their child will have the same issues with friends as your child does and they may be just as eager to have their kids find friends. Good luck and dont give up. All ADHD kids are special, it's getting other people to recognize it. :)

Leah - posted on 10/27/2010

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my son is 5 years old and in kindergarten. he is already wanting to drop out of school because he has no friends. i feel like his teacher is nit picking at him because of his add/ adhd/ ocd. its just not fair. what do i do?

Syd - posted on 10/27/2010

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Kids like ours miss very important social cues, which as you know causes problems. cognitive therapy helps, work with him at home on his social skills. it is alot of work, but very rewarding.

Wendy - posted on 10/27/2010

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There are "social skills"classes in the school system (here in MD). I've also seen classes that are offered by the local "special needs" school, for kids and their parents. I saw them posted when my son was still in public school. I pulled him out due to the lack of school response and support when my son was bullied in the classroom. We are now on our 4th year of homeschooling; the school board reviewer (homeschoolers are reviewed twice a year) had me skip a grade with him; something that would have never happened in public school! We still have problems with social skills but they aren't as bad. We have a group of kids that meet each week for gym, he's in karate and Sunday school, at least he isn't getting bullied anymore.

Cassandra - posted on 10/27/2010

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I am struggling as well. My son is eight and he cant keep friends. He is so in other kids faces and all of the kids have given up on him. It breaks my heart. He wants friends so badly. Alot of the parents have told their kids to stay away from him. I am thinking of possibly throwing a christmas party at our house and inviting his class to our house. Giving the other parents a chance to meet us. Part of me is scared that nobody would come though. Its worth trying though

Dawn - posted on 10/26/2010

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I've role played with my girls. We've practiced what to do if someone says something mean, bullies, doesn't want to be friends, etc. We go over what being a good friend means. I ask them what they like in other people. I hate to say it but my kids struggle has been they have some behaviors that turn off other kids f/ wanting to play w/ them. And I know it hurts. So I took the honest route and acknowledged that to myself and watched when they interacted w/ other kids. Then I took what I found out and gently worked out problem behaviors and situations with my kids so they have alternatives the next time they want to react to another child a certain way. For example, I noticed my daughter wasn't a good listener. A child would tell her something and instead of acknowledging what that child said or continue on the subject, my child would completely change the subject or make a face clearly telling her friend she wasn't interested in what her friend had to say. So we talked about give and take in a conversation, contributing in a conversation and being aware of body language. It really helped her and made her aware of how other kids may read her.

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