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Parents of ADHD Children

Making friends


My son is 7 and is unable to get along with his peers, it’s hard for me to watch time and time again him exploding when he has to take a turn or share some item. He doesn’t get the give and take thing, he snags a lot and just doesn’t know how to share. Since pre school, when I would pick him up I always found him playing on his own, at first I thought it was kinda cool since I am an introvert myself but now that I know what I know it breaks my heart to see him always on his own because I know he actually wants friendships. It really sucks to feel helpless when it comes to your kids. I talk to him about his actions and how they can make or break friendships and he gets it at the time but then it’s back to the same thing. He gets along the same with his younger sibling, they always fight over the smallest thing, it’s ridiculous! He is very emotional and cries over these issues, he is just pushing people away and I don’t know how to help him.

Replies

Similar situation here. My second grader (just turned 8) dx ADHD & Aspergers has never been able to sustain a friendship.  His problems are boundaries—personal space and inappropriate comments.  He tries soo hard to make new friends while doing so his physical & verbal inappropriate actions become even more pronounced.  The worst part, the emotional bullies “zero in on him”.  My son thinks these guys are his friends then comes home crying because of the way they treat him.  He even had to “pay ” to play games during recess and had no idea this was wrong..he was the only child who had to play..he had spent almost $57 from his piggy bank before my husband & I found out about this one.  We tried group social therapy over the summer, it helped a lot it just was horribly expensive(insurance doesn’t cover group therapy).  Unfortunately we couldn’t afford the group therapy alone with his private therapy, medications, and doctor visits—just doing all we can and trying more activities outside of school anytime we can.  Good luck, know you are not alone- group social therapy was very helpful… I strongly recommend it if you have access to it.

Posted by Jr Litigator on Jan 09, 2014 at 1:30pm

You can get therapy for social issues by seeking out a behavioral therapist or a play therapist. I would look for one who specializes in ADHD.

Social success can be taught but it takes a lot of time and a lot of focused work on it.

If he has social issues at school as well, I would ask that he have regular meetings with the guidance counselor to help him with better social skills as well. That is part of their job and that can be extremely helpful in the school setting.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 09, 2014 at 1:58pm

I have found that taking advantage of any social groups offered by the school is extremely helpful.  My son went two rounds of lunch group sessions with the guidance counselor in 3rd grade, and he really liked it, plus it did help with his social skills.  Unfortunately, the school stopped offering it.

The guidance counselor is a great place to start. If they don’t currently offer a group session, perhaps you could get them to start one.  Good luck!  We’re all here and in the same boat!

Posted by JAMurphy on Jan 09, 2014 at 4:24pm

One session a week with a group and the school counselor is in my daughter’s IEP for social skills work. We also made a lot of effort with one on one friendships with neighbors and kids of our friends so that when she was having a particularly hard time in school last year with some serious mean-girl bullies, she still had playdates on the weekends with kids who do not go to her school and were completely out of the mean-loop. Her outside of school therapy also focuses somewhat on appropriate emotional responses, putting other kids comments and behaviors in perspective, etc. so she is gaining a lot of confidence. We often role-play conversational gambits before going into a situation with new kids, and that helps. She was also a bit behind her peers in emotional development as well as struggling with school work so we made the difficult decision to have her repeat 4th grade in an ICT setting. I am so glad we did! She is much more on par with her peers developmentally now, is gaining academic confidence and it got her away from the mean girl clique who are now in grade 5. She still does not have close friends from school, but she feels she has a circle, and has the skills to ignore things that bug her (most of the time). Her teachers have been great about letting me know when she seems more easily upset, and she is learning to say to kids - “I am just not in the mood for it today”  rather than freaking out if they are teasing in a normal non-bully way that kids do. She is 10, about to be 11, and it has been a slow road, but do-able. Don’t lose heart!

Posted by LyndaK on Jan 09, 2014 at 5:18pm

I hear you loud and clear baddleforhim. My five year old exhibited the exact same behavior as yours does. He would not share and because of his impulsive behavior could not pay attention long to other people let alone his school work. As I have written before, we did not dismiss medication, we were concerned that he was too little for it and researched alternatives. We are using playattention and it is working great. One thing that the entire family has learned is that it is not that he doesn’t want to share or have friends he does not have the attention focus he needs to do so. The program has taught him to focus at short periods of time and then gradually his ability to focus progresses not just on the moment but to people in the moment. Because his brain has actually been re-trained he is now out of the “box” and can interact with others. He has friends and sleep overs and doesn’t snatch a toy away or disrupt a family night game. As another poster just mentioned, we also learned (God, we learned alot about him and us too), that he is very tactile, not just in the physical sense of the meaning to the word but to other sensory stimulation as well. Here’s a prime example which occurred when we first started with the program. We learned that he liked to fish. It wasn’t just going fishing he loved - he loved to lay on the blanket and feel the sun and breeze on his face. We never saw him so calm and relaxed. He got self-satisfaction and gratification from catching the fish but more importantly, he got the same feeling from being in these elements. There is so so much we have learned and have grown as a family. We thought we were doing it for him but it ended up helping us grow and learn just as much. You have come to the right place my friend. Look at it as a journey and one that you all can take in and enjoy. CHEERS!

Posted by Elly on Jan 09, 2014 at 9:08pm

This is the first time I’ve reached out, I wasn’t the blogger or support group type but I need an outlet since I keep these issues to myself for the most part. My co workers don’t even know my struggles because I am a private person and if I don’t consider you a friend or someone who will understand and not judge I don’t bother disclosing my life.  I’m glad I’ve started here, I appreciate hearing your stories, everyone has offered advice I can use. Thank you!

Posted by baddleforhim on Jan 10, 2014 at 5:17am

We all know how you feel. Most of our family felt that my son was just a spoiled little tike and should be disciplined. Then when we did not medicate we lost a lot, a lot of friends and schisms developed within the family. Stay the course and you will fine. Now that he has improved so much things have settled down and they will for you as well. You are in a good place. CHEERS.

Posted by Elly on Jan 10, 2014 at 9:02pm

Ironically, I had been in the same place as your son, but back then, no had heard of ADHD much less for girls. Now, as an older woman with a late diagnosis, i can see how it has hurt me. I very few friends and seem to be pushed out of the way. It is so hard at my age to make friends and especially keep them. I have some acquaintances, and am now finally realizing what I did to push people away and am going to therapy to help me.
Please get professional help for your son. I would hate for him to go through his life as I have. It is much too lonely.

Posted by DianeLDL on Jan 11, 2014 at 5:54pm

I know what you mean DianeLDL, when I read about ADHD I think could that have been me as a kid, what was I like, I know I was very shy and socially awkward and continue to be sadly. I have always stuggled with it and I don’t want my son to go through that at all, I guess that is why I am so sensitive when it comes to him getting rejected by his peers.

Posted by baddleforhim on Jan 12, 2014 at 3:06am

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