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ADHD in Boys

Socially "off"

My son (9) doesn’t have a lot of friends.  His teacher says he gets along with everyone in the class and they like him because he’s often funny and makes the other kids laugh. 
At the same time- he’s never been invited to a birthday party or to play or to a sleepover.  Ever.  I never noticed it much until his brother (age 7) was about 5.  He started getting invited to parties and play dates all the time. 

My son has started to make comments “I have no friends” and things like that.  It makes me so sad.  Then, the other day, his teacher called me to tell me she caught him “creeping” outside peeking into the art room window while some girls were in there (after school- they must have an art club or something) and she caught him and told him he needed to go home.  What he was doing was creeping and inappropriate.  He never told me, of course- so I found out when she called.  I’ve noticed he has done it at the park, too.  With older kids he doesn’t know, he kind of hides in the bushes and “watches” from afar.  I’ve tried to tell him “just go up and start playing with them, or ask them if you can play”  but he doesn’t want to. 

The teacher made me feel really bad- like he was some sort of pervert.  I tried to explain he’s done that before when at the park, etc. and she said “this was different, he knew the girl he has a crush on was in there.”
I don’t want him labeled at the school more than he likely already is. 
Anyone else have kids who are just socially awkward?

Replies

Lots of kids with ADHD have trouble making friends, They are usually not as mature as the kids their own age. You do have to watch out for the teachers. I had a similar problem. When my son was about 7 years old they put in his IEP records that he was looking under the stall at a boy. When I asked my son why did you look under the stall he said the boy was saying haha you cant see me. That’s why he looked. I had to make them add the explanation to the IEP records.  I felt they betrayed my sons innocence .My advise is to be his friend and be ready to stand up for him. Encourage him in all the things he is good at. Let him know how much he is loved at home and how proud you are that he is your son. Also let him know about all the famous people with ADHD

Posted by leslie 1 on Apr 25, 2014 at 6:19am

It just so happens that I’m currently reading a book by Fred Frankel, Phd called “Good Friends Are Hard To Find” Although I haven’t finished the book.  It’s already been so helpful.  Maybe your son holds back and watches because he’s trying to figure out how it all works.  There are certain ‘Rules of Etiquette which when followed help the child be more sucessful at being accepted and when not followed can cause the child to be alienated.  I wish I would have found out about this book three years ago when my son was 9.  Now he thinks this stuff is unhelpful and doesn’t think he needs any help.  I think you might be able to help your son by sharing with him and coaching him in these concepts.  Hope it helps.

Posted by happydays on Apr 26, 2014 at 5:23am

My now 13 year old son with ADHD also has social issues and as a result has not been to any friend’s houses or invited anyone over in several years as he can be annoying and a know it all.  He spends all his free time watching japenese anime videos. My husband and I have talked to him about joining a club, learning a new activity so he can meet kids his age, but because he has experienced rejection in the past, refuses to take that step forward. We have finally found a therapist who is building a relationship with my son and helping him.  Although he still isolates himself at home, he says he is getting along much better with the kids at school.  Maybe a therapist or mentor could help your son learn social cues and how to get along better with his peers. Good luck.

Posted by Ann534 on Apr 26, 2014 at 3:16pm

Have a meeting at the School. Listen and make notes of their concerns. How does he interact with others at lunch, gym, recess and free times? How does he play with his sibling? List social skills that he is lagging in? Are there services at School to help with social skills?
Are the children in his class laughing at him or with him? How is he funny in class? What are his strengths to build on? Role play or use puppets to practice how to join a play group.
Take all information to your Doctor and see what services are available to help.
Try not to be defensive as this will be a road block to helping your child. For some children, social skills need to be taught just like math and language. They need the scripts and practice often. Spying on people is not making him friends so this behaviour needs to be replaced.

Posted by Caring Counsellor on Apr 26, 2014 at 8:20pm

My son is just the same, mosT of his friends are younger than him by about 3 yrs or so. He complains that at school he doesnt get to play basketball with the rest of the 3rds graders. I try to explain that sometimes kids will not be nice but he shouldnt let it affect him. I know it does though. Sometimes i think im overreacting and kids will be kids but it seems consistant each year, the same complaint from him.

Posted by shrnsoto on May 03, 2014 at 2:32am

My son was (almost) never invited to birthday parties. He is now in 4th grade. I was probably more hurt than he was.

He has been doing sports for 2 years now and finding something he is good at made a huge difference. Other kids are impressed with his skills and for the first time it’s a positive reaction!

That said he still has awkward moments and I am still ‘teaching’ him what is appropriate or not (repeating the same joke 20 times is not ok, answering your teammates ‘hello’ is a must, etc.) so other kids don’t get too frustrated with his behaviors.

I think Many kids with ADHD are extremely sensitive and can overreact to normal kid’s behaviors, which ultimately isolate them more. It’s very important to continue helping them/coaching them because it really doesn’t come naturally to them.

Posted by MomForEver2U on May 20, 2014 at 5:52am

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