Friendship Formation and ADD
Why is making friends often difficult for kids with Attention Deficit Disorder?
Kids with Attention Deficit Disorder have problems with executive function. The pre-frontal cortex of the brain is the seat of executive function. Higher level actions, including monitoring and evaluating situations and events, are managed by executive function. Kids with ADD may not be aware that they are making social mistakes. They may overlook social cues. When it comes to integrating into a group, the child with ADD may not know that it is important to assess what is already going on when he walks up to the group. If everybody is discussing the latest video, and he keeps interjecting comments about his favorite hobby, the group will not accept him. Kids who have trouble in the classroom and are kept in from recess lose valuable social skill-building time on the playground. In addition, the problems in the classroom can set them apart from their peers.
What can parents do to help their children make friends? A multi-pronged approach can help to build success several different ways.
*Obtain a copy of The Hidden Curriculum by Brenda Smith Myles. This book is extremely user-friendly. Read through the book and identify the areas where your child has trouble in understanding social behavior. Use the suggestions in the book to help your child understand the subtext that runs beneath our social interactions.
*Find a group that shares your child's interests. Let him join that group. Kids are more likely to be able to build relationships when they share interests. Be involved with the group to ensure that things go smoothly. Don't hover; supervise from a distance. When your child and another child seem to be enjoying each other's company, find ways for them to spend more time together. Be subtle and creative!
*If your child is losing recess at school, find a way to make that stop. Your child can do make-up work at home, rather than at recess. The chances are pretty good that the work is coming home anyway. Many children lose recess to complete work, then they have to bring it home. Skip the losing recess part of the equation. Have it written into an IEP or 504 Plan. Put your concerns into writing. Start with the teacher, move on to the principal, then go higher if necessary. If you need to, find an advocacy group to help you with this. Go to wrightslaw.com for more suggestions. It is a wonderful resource for parents of kids with ADD.
Your child is a precious being filled with gifts and talents. He deserves to be able to make and keep friends. Your strong support can allow your child to learn how to form rich friendships that last a lifetime.
Here are Amazon Links to books that were discussed in the article. I highly recommend them.
The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations
The Hidden Curriculum for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations for Adolescents and Young Adults
Related links: The Related Links below this article will be of interest to you. These articles were chosen to expand on topics that were mentioned in this article.
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You Should Also Read:
The Hidden Curriculum and ADD
The Hidden Curriculum Revised and Expanded Review
Wrightslaw and Attention Deficit Disorder Review
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