My ADHD son cannot make friends

Stephanie - posted on 04/28/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




My 8 year old son has ADHD and is having a very difficult time making and communicating with boys his age. We have him in Boy Scouts and Soccer, but it seems like lots of other boys make fun of him because they think he is "different". He comes sometimes as mean, but does not realize he is. We are worried about him when he gets older.


Guest - posted on 04/28/2014




ADHD can be difficult, but it is NOT an excuse for bad behavior, or for being mean.
If he is coming off as mean, whether he realizes it or not, other children, and later other adults, are not going to want to be friends with him. When he does something rude, or mean, or just something that might make other people uncomfortable, point it out to him. Say, "Look, I know you weren't trying to be rude, but (insert specific action) is rude because (insert explanation for why we do not do say/do it). In the future, when this comes up (insert appropriate actions)." This will help him to become more attentive and aware of the way his actions affect the actions of those around him, and help him build a bank of appropriate actions and responses.
To help him learn to communicate more effectively, ask him to tell you about his day in chronological order. Then ask him how he felt about particular parts and how those feelings impacted his actions. For example, once you've heard about his day, ask, "What was your favorite part of the day?" then "Why?" Next ask "What was the most difficult part of your day?" "Why?"
Don't get upset if he tells you something he skipped over during the chronological telling, that is normal--they won't remember every detail unless it is attached to something else. Also, you may have to prompt him during the chronological telling a good bit, help him transition from one part of the day to the next by using what you know about his schedule to ask guiding questions.
Speech works as a delay function in our brains, putting thoughts, feelings, and actions into words helps us to delay actions long enough to process our thoughts and feelings in all of the appropriate areas of the brain in order to make the best possible decision. If we never take time to put our thoughts into words, we often fail to establish long term memories, fail to establish good problem solving skills, time management skills, and even fail to properly weigh out the benefits and consequences of our actions. Most people think in their native language, and the delay is much the same as if they were actually talking. People with ADHD often think more visually, and thus this important task is overlooked, so making him actually talk it out will be very beneficial for him.

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