New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Need help with social interaction for my 15year old son.

My fifteen year old sin is diagnosed with ADD and has been taking Vyvanse for the past 3 years. He is extremely intelligent and medication has helped him immensely to stay on track. His grades are As and he is extremely social at school per his teachers. He goes to a commuter school, 45 minutes from our house.
My concern is that he has no social interaction other than his friends ( from school ) online who he plays games with. I have checked that the games they play are really good. He has such a wonderful time with them as we hear him laugh and crack jokes. He never leaves his room the entire weekend, except for food.  We have insisted that he come and have his meals with the family.

He wants no contact with people unless they are online. He does not meet friends, play outside, invite them or even sit with us. I have tried but he does not want to leave his room. My husband and he get into arguments as he does not come and spend time with the family. How do I handle this? He is a good kid but we want to see more of him with us.


Our son is 15 with ADHD and LOVES to be on the computer or the XBox and can play for hours.  He has had several good friends and once in awhile we see one of the friends come to our house.  Our son, ‘G’, likes to go over to his friends home more often because they can play the games or watch movies unending with no siblings to bother them.

We have one computer in our house with multiple users. Our boys have time limits on the computer. I can set these time limits thru the computer which makes it nice because I’m not always nagging “time to get off the computer”.  The computer gives several warning times and then shuts off!

We do not have computers or TV’s in the bedrooms. When we limit electronics, it is amazing the things that ‘G’ will do, he complains a bit at first, but then he eventually finds something else to do.

Meal time at our house with the family is not an option.  If G doesn’t get off the Xbox when we ask, for whatever reason (dinner or leaving to do something) he will lose privledges to play on the computer or xbox.

My story to be continued…

Posted by pricemama on Apr 26, 2014 at 6:01pm

Yes, this is what today’s teenagers do.  The kids on the other computers are doing the same thing. Right?  So yes, unplug the computer if necessary and Yes make meals a pleasure, not a punishment.  What’s his favorite dessert? What’s going on in his life?  You know.  Like that.

Posted by NoraMaureen on Apr 26, 2014 at 7:08pm

...story continued from before

I try to involve my son’s friend in activities like hiking or bowling or simply going to get lunch and going to the park so they can play football or something.

As far as social interaction goes, I have read several articles on introverts and extroverts and that has helped me understand why ‘G’ may not want to be around other people very much. (I’m the same way).  ‘G’ also does not like a lot of extra noise in his head.  If we can find things to do that are quiet, that is what he likes the most.  He LOVES being outside in nature, looking for bugs/searching in the streams for crawdads and frogs/ etc. 

Do you belong to a support group of any kind?  We were part of a group and met every other week so the kids could get together and us parents (mostly moms) could talk.  We met at the park when it was nice and met at the coordinators house when it was cold out.  What did the kids do when we were at the house?  You guessed it-played video games but they had fun seeing each other.

Keep trying new things and make it a fun adventure!
P.S.-Going to garage sales are always a fun thing.

Posted by pricemama on Apr 26, 2014 at 9:27pm

Ditto to many of the ideas price mama shared. One non-negotiable in our house has always been that the computers, phones, etc. stay in the “public” areas of the house. Which means a lot gets done in the dining room on the laptop!
My son, B, is a freshman in college studying game design and development now & he loves it. Maybe your son would do well going to game design camps in the summer; they often organize activities to get the kids outside & they have a blast. B did IDTech camps (only did sleep away camp in between jr & sr years) and they helped nurture that interest in designing games HE enjoyed making and playing, as well as testing it out on sibling & cousins.
We do activities outdoors together, camping & beach trips. These help improve moods, too.
Good luck finding your balance; always listen to your own gut instincts, too.

Posted by AW1492 on Apr 26, 2014 at 10:54pm

Our son is 15 and gifted. Has a few friends at school. Sees them outside school once in a while. Plays games online daily with them or alone only in out kitchen/family room only. No xbox in our house. We eat together always. He does homework first then he can play games. You have to be more strict about the games. If his grades drop, no games or phone till they come back up. He’s rarely in his room but to sleep.

Posted by Pink ginger on Apr 27, 2014 at 7:58am

Hi Raaa,

‘Laying down the law’ could work though I suspect that you’ve tried that. I recommend you try the opposite of what has not worked. And, if there is no tension in your home around this issue it is more likely that he will spent more time with you.

Also I notice that you have an intelligent, well adjusted son who is a success in school and seems to enjoy the on line company of his friends. You have a lot to be thankful for.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Apr 27, 2014 at 5:06pm

My 16 year old daughter was born legally blind (recent surgeries changed that) and was the victim of bullying that traumatized her.  She doesn’t pay attention or track conversations well. aand repeats herself a lot.  Social networking is her hyperfocus, and she is different.  It doesn’t help personal contact and lonliness.  Any suggestions?

Posted by concmart on May 01, 2014 at 10:09pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions