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Parents of ADHD Children

Friends (or lack of friends)
Keywords:


Hello.  I have a son who is 14 and has ADHD/Autism.  He struggles socially and does not have friends that come to the house or that he interacts with outside of school.  I have a 12 year old daughter who also has ADHD but is much more social and has a couple of friends she does things with.  I struggle because I am so thankful for the few friends that she has and really want to support those friendships by allowing her to do things and planning things for them.  I feel so sad for my son because he is not able to be included as these are mostly things the girls would enjoy.  I often ask him to join in but understandably he choses not to do so.  I feel guilty that I plan things for my daughter and it seems so unfair to him.  But at the same time, I don’t want to deprive my girl of her activities.  I am curious how others handle these kinds of situations. We do a lot of things as just the family so my son does get to do things of course.

Replies

I think you are doing this perfectly. Your daughter deserves your support. And your son deserves your support. You are supporting both of them as best you can.

Your son’s anxiety is not your fault but there is something you can do to reduce it’s impact. Simply pay very little attention to it. He already feels badly so, if you talk about it, generally that will underline it and heighten its effect. It might even be helpful if, for a time, you can pretend it is not there.

An ADHD coach, using FaceTime or Skype, could help him learn strategies to interact.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Jun 28, 2017 at 9:13pm

***I highly encourage you to post this question to ADDitude’s new discussion forums, as well. I think your question would get a lot of attention in the Friendships & Activities forum: https://www.additudemag.com/forums/forum/parenting-adhd-kids/friendships-activities/. ADDconnect is transitioning over to this new forum now.***

There’s actually a very similar discussion on the new ADDitude forums here: https://www.additudemag.com/forums/topic/concern-for-my-14-year-old-son-and-his-isolation/.

It could be social anxiety as well as poor social skills: https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/social-anxiety-disorder-in-adults-with-adhd/.

Penny
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Jun 29, 2017 at 2:47pm

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