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ADHD in Boys

Doesn't socially respond to adults

My nine-year-old great grandson with ADHD has lived with us for four years.  He gets a lot of extra help at school and has a tutor on Saturdays.  I work at home with him each day.  He came with Delayed Development so is slow in making progress.  He has good friends his own age.  He is in Cub Scouts.  He has a problem with socially relating to adults.  When people speak to him in the neighborhood or church, he barely responds, if at all.  I tell him to at least wave his hand and smile, if he can’t say anything.  Any other suggestions?  Thank you.  Carol Johnson


In the future when you witness one of these incidents where an adult speaks to him in the neighborhood or at church (and he barely responds at all) observe what is going on, and shortly after (& not with the adult still present) ask him more about his experience.

• Did it take him by surprise (so didn’t notice at first that the adult was even speaking to him)?  Then once he realized the adult WAS speaking to him (not speaking to some other adult as is more often the case) was he a bit flustered having not really heard all of what was just said to him?

• Out “in the neighborhood” these incidents will be less predictable and more sporadic, so all you can do is have after the fact discussions.

• “At church” they will be more predictable and generally more “scripted.”  Before church, in the car & especially right when you get out of the car will be the time to remind him of the standard types of greetings & introductions he might expect.  Finding a few church friends who will commit to regularly addressing him in this way (and who understand what ADHD is all about) could be very helpful).

Posted by BC on May 03, 2014 at 6:22pm

My son has the same troubles communicating with adults.  I find he’s much better if there’s not much going on around him w. we just got home from dinner with his grandparents and he could hardly say two words until we were out in the parking lot.  It was crowded. Noisym and dark in the restaurant and I could tell he was struggling.  Good luck.  I’m hoping it B’s easier for my son.  It’s hard to see him struggle socially.

Posted by Sporty on May 05, 2014 at 5:15am

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