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Making friends/connecting with other kids?

Hello all,

First time here and am so grateful to have found this place because I need advice. My daughter is 7 and she struggles with making friends. We finally started seeing a new therapist who connected with my daughter, so I think she’ll get help there. Let me just say that it’s bothering me because it bothers her. She gets left out a lot from play, parties, etc.

I’ve been told from non-ADHD parents that she’s only 7 and she’ll figure it out, but I think that’s frustrating advice. However, if I here it from folks here, then I promise to listen and be open.

Replies

Oh yes, the old “wait it out” advise.  IME, not so much.  My 9 year old daughter has needed and continues to need social skills training and a great deal of support from us (mom and dad) to arrange and oversee playdates.  Social skills deficits are endemic for our kids and they don’t magically wake up one morning as the life of the party.  Therapy is good, social skills groups are good, “friendship groups” at schools are good.  And lots of support from you!

Posted by Labradorim on Aug 29, 2014 at 8:39pm

Wow! I already feel better. Thank you, Labradorim!!!! I’m so new at this. What do you mean by social skills groups?

Posted by ycwrite on Aug 29, 2014 at 10:16pm

OMG! My 13 daughter has always struggled w friendships. I don’t think she has ever had a ‘best friend’. She has friends at school, but none that she is close enough to invite over to our house or be invited. It breaks my heart. She was diagnosed last year and we are finally getting settled into medicine that works, no bad side effects. However, she has a cell phone that has become a living nightmare. She began talking to people she didn’t know, etc. She is now habitually fabricating the craziest stories to text to people that she barely knows, wanting sympathy I feel as well. We’ve asked her why, but all she can say is I don’t know. Any ideas?? I’m lost and don’t know what to do.. Taken the phone away and she seems so much happier. Grrrr

Posted by wortham_momof2 on Aug 30, 2014 at 2:02am

I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter’s situation,  wortham-momof2. It sounds like you’re on the right track by taking away her phone. The only thing that occurs to me is to seek out a good therapist, but it sounds like you’re already on that path since she’s taking medication.

I hope someone with a teen posts here and can give you some insights that would be more hopeful than mine.

Posted by ycwrite on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:26am

IME parenting these kids requires a lot of different approaches, and advice from neuro typical parents often doesn’t apply.
I’m an ‘anti-hellicopter’ parent but mt guy needs lots of guidance, and coaching especially socially.
Good luck,
Take advice from non-ADHD parents with a grain of salt
And follow your instincts
Anna

Posted by Anna from toronto on Aug 30, 2014 at 3:03pm

Thank you, Anna from Toronto!

Posted by ycwrite on Aug 30, 2014 at 4:18pm

Hi Ycwrite,
Your first instincts are sound. I have adult clients who still struggle with this and it is very often is quite damaging to work relationships.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Aug 30, 2014 at 4:38pm

I can empathize with how you must be feeling. My daughter is 9 and had ADHD as well. She seems to be doing well socially but has behaviour difficulties. She is very loud at times and restless. There is no one way to resolve this issue. Try having your daughter meet peers in different settings, such as girls scouts or other organizations. It may take time. I have ADHD as well and went through what she is going through. Scuba diving works for me, I love being underwater and not have to communicate constantly. At 9, scuba diving won’t be an option but a group wit interactions which will accommodate with her ADHD. A group, is a cult with a common purpose, such as an art class, same kids each week and all they do is art.
  Try placing your daughter in a controlled setting such in something she enjoys. My daughter loves to paint and we have her in art lessons, she has friends from that group and some from school as well.  Your daughter can then learn the social skills in a controlled setting and apply what works for her in the rest of her life. Hope this helps.

Posted by Isp75016 on Aug 31, 2014 at 1:36pm

My daughter has a hard time keeping friends. Seems like every year, we have a birthday party for her friends and then by the next year, it is a different group of girls. Just saw one girl who had been a good friend ignore her when my child yelled, “Hi!” from her car. I dropped off my child and cried all the way to work. Part of that is simply kids choosing others who have the same interests - this girl is into sports, mine isn’t. But over all, I’ve seen it before and so has my sweet girl. She knows and it hurts her.

On the other hand, she just started 5th grade and it has been so much better. Like, miles better. She didn’t cry once the entire week! I am hoping this is a sign that more girls will want to play with her this year.

One thing ADHD kids need to work on (like my kid) is being interested in others. My child tends to want to dictate how she play with friends and sticks to a narrow number of ideas. Especially when they play at home. We were in a social skills group but then moved and now she doesn’t have one. I wish she were in one because I know it would help.

It does get better. More kids to choose from, she will mature. My child was invited to ONE birthday party last year. ONE. Even when all the kids had them, she still wasn’t invited much. But then the girls stop doing them and our kids don’t remember.

Posted by momodoodle on Sep 01, 2014 at 12:27am

My young adult child has just been diagnosed with ADD inattentive type.  It now makes sense why he hasn’t put himself out there to make new friends.  Any suggestions on how to guide a young adult starting college living at home?

Posted by crayola on Sep 01, 2014 at 2:42am

Tell the new therapist that you are concerned about social skills so she can work with your daughter on that. You can help her with it as well (http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/24/ and http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/1495.html).

Many occupational therapists can work on social skills as well (my son is having private OT for this and sensory needs now). http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9876.html

Lastly, get her involved in a group activity or sport that she enjoys—the shared interest with others in the group can help.

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

Posted by adhdmomma on Sep 02, 2014 at 3:17pm

This is incredibly helpful! My thanks to everyone who gave suggestions and even shared their story. I don’t feel alone in this anymore. smile

Posted by ycwrite on Sep 05, 2014 at 1:57pm

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