Why are Social Concerns the Biggest Challenge for Children with ADD and ADHD?

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In all my experience both personally and professionally working with ADD and ADHD children and families, I’ve come to the realization that social challenges are the most difficult for individuals with ADD/ADHD to face. It’s very difficult to deal with ADD/ADHD as an individual, but having alienation by peers makes the process even more difficult.

When I was growing up, I felt this exact alienation that I describe above. I was dealing with so many personal issues related to my ADHD that it made my life much more difficult because I wasn’t accepted by almost all of my peers (ironically enough, the one kid that did accept me is still my friend almost 35 years later). While I’d like to think I’ve made some quality friends in my life, it was a nightmare growing up.

So why do these social concerns occur? What can be done? Well that’s a difficult question. But here are some pointers…

  • Work with your child on not interrupting
  • Many children with ADD/ADHD can play the role of victim or act “helpless”, teach your child to be more self-sufficient and work on problem-solving strategies.
    • In other words, if a peer is being mean to you, what can you do type scenarios?
  • Work with your child on everyday skills like eye contact, conversational greetings and language, handshakes and other subtleties that may not be first nature.
    • Let me expand upon this point. Children with ADD/ADHD are always working overtime to keep up with peers. Just being able to keep up in school is a challenge. These skills may not be observed or understood. It is important that these are taught.
  • Be the pin cushion for your child.
    • This is one of the most difficult things for a parent to do (and understandably so). But you’d rather your child hold it together at school and come home and vent to you. You need to be the rock for your child.

To follow up on the last point, you’re your child’s best friend. And best teacher. Take these jobs seriously because it will help your child more than you can imagine.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, so please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit www.carrolleducationalgroup.com www.iepexperts.com.  I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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