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ADHD and Social Skills

Why Other Children are Rejecting Your Child

Developing healthy peer relationships is critical for the normal development of an ADHD child. Peer relationships have been found to be an important predictor of positive adult adjustment and behavior. Difficulty in finding friends leads to feelings of low self-esteem and these feelings usually continue into adulthood.

Children with poor social skills are at risk for delinquency, academic underachievement, and school drop out. Even though the inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and restlessness frequently persist into adult life, these problems are of less importance as the child gets older. Rather, the main difficulty ADHD patients encounter as they reach maturity is their inability to interact appropriately with others.

ADHD children often lack the social skills that are essential to success in life. These children can be socially inept, and their lack of interpersonal skills may cause them a multitude of difficulties. In addition, positive relationships with friends in childhood provide a critical buffer against stress and help to protect against psychological and psychiatric problems. ADHD children lack these positive interactions and thus are at risk for a number of emotional problems.

Probably 60% of ADHD children suffer from peer rejection. ADHD children are less often chosen by peers to be best friends, partners in activities, or seatmates. As the children grow older, their social problems seem to get worse. Their inappropriate behavior leads to further social rejection and exacerbates their inability to relate to others appropriately. Long term these children are more likely to have difficulty finding and maintaining successful careers. This is not surprising since social aptitude can make or break careers and relationships in the adult world.

ADHD and Social Skills

Causes of Poor Peer Relationships

ADHD children are frequently disliked or neglected by their peers. It is difficult to determine all the factors that make a child unpopular, but children who frequently display aggressive or negative behavior tend to be rejected by their peers.

Peer Relationships and ADHD

Impulsivity and Aggression

ADHD children tend to be more impulsive and aggressive than other children. Teachers observe that the social interactions of ADHD children more often involve fighting and interrupting others. These children are more intense than others and behave inappropriately in social contexts. For example, ADHD children are more likely to yell, run around and talk at unsuitable times. They also tend to want to dominate play, engage in off task behaviors and engage more in teasing and physical jostling of peers. This sets up a process of peer rejection.

Academic Problems

ADHD children often do not do well in school. Poor school performance by itself does not result in social rejection. However, the way the child responds to his academic difficulties can contribute to inappropriate social behavior. Children who cannot engage themselves with classroom work assignments often disrupt and irritate their peers.

Inattention

ADHD children have difficulty with sustained attention. Deficit in attention seems to be related to peer rejection independently of the aggressive, impulsive, and hyperactive behaviors of ADHD children. These children become bored more easily than other children. As a result, they are more likely to become disruptive in the classroom.

ADHD children have difficulty in modulating their behavior and changing their conduct as the situation demands. They have apparent social-cognitive deficits that limit their ability to encode and recall rules of social cues. Children with ADHD pay less attention to others verbally in games and other activities.

Many ADHD children are aware that they are socially inept. Children who are anxious or fearful about peer relations are unlikely to behave in an effective manner. These children withdraw from peer interactions and, in this way, limit their ability to gain acceptance and friendship.

Children are rejected by peers when they appear to be different. Similarity fosters social acceptance. Because ADHD children do not learn social clues as well as other children, they tend to be viewed as strange.

ADHD and Risk of Injury

Bad Behavior

One of the keys to your child’s social success is proper behavior. If your ADHD or ODD child frequently misbehaves, it is your obligation as a parent to teach your child how to improve his behavior.

If your child is aggressive or defiant, if he does not accept the authority of adults, or if he conducts himself in a such a way that children his age will view him as a behavior problem, then your child will have a difficult time making and maintaining friendships. The friends he will attract are other aggressive problem children, the type of child with whom which you would rather your child not associate.

All children need friends. Behavior problem children have trouble making friends with others, so these children tend to congregate together. They reinforce each other’s bad behavior. If you are an aware parent and you have control of your child you can put a stop to friendships with these children. However, you must have control of your child’s behavior in order to help him to avoid the trap of bad friends.

Conclusion

Helping children with ADHD build close peer relationships is an important goal to focus on, and is one that often may be over looked. You, as a parent, have the ability to help your child accomplish this important social goal. You should make every effort to help your child in this area. His psychological health and his happiness, both now and in the future, are very much dependent upon how successful he is at making and maintaining childhood friendships.

Anthony Kane, MD ADD ADHD Advances http://addadhdadvances.com

About The Author

Anthony Kane, MD is a physician, an international lecturer, and director of special education. He is the author of a book, numerous articles, and a number of online programs dealing with ADHD (addadhdadvances.com/childyoulove.html) treatment, ODD, parenting issues (addadhdadvances.com/betterbehavior.html), and education. You may visit his website at http://addadhdadvances.com. To sign up for the free ADD ADHD Advances online journal send a blank email to: subscribe@addadhdadvances.com ?subject=subscribeartcity akane@addadhdadvances.com



To order please click the graphic of the product you wish to purchase.


adhd and social skills Look inside this book Focusing on social skills training for adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (AD/HD), this book offers solutions for tackling behavior that is often inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Advice is given on how to handle common social problems such as manners, etiquette, communication, subtext, listening, and interpersonal relationships. The format of the book is designed for AD/HD learning styles and includes true stories, practical exercises, and tips that keep those with AD/HD reading. Adults with AD/HD learn how to identify behaviors in themselves that can cause problems in social relationships.

ADHD and social skills Search inside this book Socially ADDept helps parents teach the hidden rules of communication to children who are having social problems. The manual is in a workbook format and guides parents through each topic through a series of exercises and suggested dialogue. Some of the topics covered are how to handle teasing, use appropriate body language, comprehend jokes and sarcasm, and join groups effectively. Socially ADDept is easy to read and use.

ADHD and relationships How Rude Handbook of Friendship and DatingManners for Teens $9.95 - 0282

Alex J. Packer, Ph.D. Publication Date: 2004 Paperback, 128 pp

Is there a proper way to make new friends? Is teasing always rude? What can you do about friendship problems? How can you show a girl (or guy) that you like her (or him)? What’s the best way to ask someone out . . . and who pays for the date? This book answers these questions and many more. Along the way, teens learn the basics of polite behavior with friends and more-than-friends—and laugh out loud while learning. Ages 13 & up.

ADHD and Family manners How Rude Handbook of Family Manners for Teens $9.95 - 0283

Alex J. Packer, Ph.D. Publication Date: 2004 Paperback, 128 pp.

When family life is full of strife, what can a poor teen do? This book covers the basics of creating the civilized home—a place where people talk instead of yell, pick up after themselves, respect each other, and fight fair. And it’s not all about the traditional family. Tips also cover the blended, shaken, stirred, and mixed (or mixed-up?) family, with special advice for teens whose parents are divorced. Ages 13 & up.

ADHD and school manners How Rude Handbook of School Manners for Teens $9.95 - 0284

Alex J. Packer, Ph.D. Publication Date: 2004 Paperback, 128 pp.

What counts as rude behavior in school? What can you do when a teacher is rude? When someone tries to copy off of your paper during tests, should you tell or not? What’s the best way to handle bullies and bigots? Is there anything worse than cafeteria food? School can be cruel. Here’s sound advice (touched with humor) for teens who want to make it more bearable. Ages 13 & up.

ADHD and Conflict Kids Guide to Working Out Conflicts $13.95 - 0205

Naomi Drew, M.A. ISBN# 1-57542-150-X Publication Date: 2004 Paperback, 146 pp

Conflict is part of being human. It's normal and natural. It's also a major source of stress in our lives. And it's the main cause of violence in our schools, homes, and the world. You don't have to be upset, annoyed, irritated, scared, or just plain mad most of the time. There are real things you can do to deal with conflict, get along better with almost anyone, and feel a lot better about yourself. This book is full of ideas to think about and strategies to try.

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