View Full Version : Social issues: Difficulty making and keeping friends


AmyJH
08-29-13, 09:54 PM
Hello. My daughter is 7 and just started 2nd grade. Severe ADHD, a bee in a jar, even on meds. She is struggling so hard to make and keep friends. She is extremely social, but seems to quickly alienate friends with her behavioral issues. She gets singled out and teased and ends up playing alone and feeling isolated. Seems only adults adore her. It pains me when she cries about how lonely she is - and being an only child means no brothers and sisters to lean on. Does anyone have tips to share on what has worked for your kids with social skills and friendships? Feeling ill equipped to help her. Thanks in advance.

LynneC
08-30-13, 08:26 AM
Hello. My daughter is 7 and just started 2nd grade. Severe ADHD, a bee in a jar, even on meds. She is struggling so hard to make and keep friends. She is extremely social, but seems to quickly alienate friends with her behavioral issues. She gets singled out and teased and ends up playing alone and feeling isolated. Seems only adults adore her. It pains me when she cries about how lonely she is - and being an only child means no brothers and sisters to lean on. Does anyone have tips to share on what has worked for your kids with social skills and friendships? Feeling ill equipped to help her. Thanks in advance.
Hi and welcome... :)

At that age, and even now at the age of 11, my son did better when interacting one on one with another child. He still struggles somewhat with group dynamics.

Keep play dates short, and if your dd is very active, maybe you could choose outside places like playgrounds, etc, to play.

Are there kids in your neighborhood that she is friendly with?

What are her interests?

AmyJH
08-30-13, 07:40 PM
Unfortunately we don't really live in a neighborhood, we live on a busy street too so most friends are made at school or after school program. Problem is she can't seem to keep friends to do a lot of play dates. I work full time (single mom), so weekends seem to be the only time for her to meet and play. I have taken her to park/playground and she meets kids, but she can be a little intense and either scares them off or it ends poorly because she wants to control everything - like what they play, how they play, etc.
I am definitely open to suggestions though. Thank you.

LynneC
09-01-13, 05:59 PM
Is her pediatrician handling her medication, etc., or does she see a specialist? There may be resources in your area that offer social interaction 'training' that will help her to interact positively with other kids. Ask the medical professional who diagnosed her if there is a such a group in your area.
If you are seeking a specialist for her you may want to consider finding a developmental pediatrician. They would be well-versed in the social issues that typically accompany ADHD and might have some good resources to share with you.

Good luck and keep us posted... :)

zette93
09-02-13, 09:53 AM
Some speech therapists run "Friends Club" groups that helps kids understand expected behavior and teaches them how to get long better with other kids. The best one I've seen used games like freeze tag and red light/green light and then had the kids give each other feedback like "I noticed it made Suzy mad when you never gave her a turn." Or "You did a great job not getting mad at Fred when he bumped into you."

ginniebean
09-02-13, 01:45 PM
Medication can really help with this.

tripleE
09-03-13, 12:06 PM
Things that have helped us at times (my DD is now 10):

-indirectly supervised one on one playdates at home and we work on one social skill at a time. Like the first one was "ask what your friend would like to play, they are the guest" and we worked on that for a few playdates

-active playdates - trampolining, kids play place, bowling, etc

-finding another "odd" kid, make contact with the Mom, being honest that you are looking for a friend, think they might be a good fit etc. My DD has had a BFF for years who is just as anxious, if not more, than she is, and they are a good comfort to each other. Just one good friend can buffer a lot of crummy experiences at school.

-finding a social circle outside of school. With other adult friends with kids the same ages (this has worked for us). Or something more formal/structured like girl guides, etc. (we have not tried this but I hear it recommended a lot)


Good luck.

AmyJH
09-05-13, 08:41 AM
Thanks all for suggestions. She goes to a behavioral therapist once a week and sees a psychiatrist every 4-6 weeks for med check. She did have one friend she knew since she was a baby and they were yin and yang but it worked. However, she just moved away to another state. They were in different schools though and only got together a few times a year. We have tried lots of meds, but none of them have seemed to help with social issues. We continue to work with behavioral therapist, but concepts don't seem to 'stick'. She is very social and makes friends pretty well, but doesn't seem to keep them because of incidents, being too intense or kids not wanting to be around her because of her getting in trouble a lot. She does get teased a lot and with her being super sensitive, she either cries or lashes out. Would anyone be willing to share what medicines have worked for their kids?

zette93
09-05-13, 02:13 PM
The reason I suggest a social skills group instead of (or in addition to) a behavioral therapist is that there are other same-age children in the group to practice with and potentially arrange play dates with outside the group. Have you tried anything like Girl Scouts or religious youth groups?

tripleE
09-06-13, 03:32 PM
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--> AmyJH I hope this is helps to answer your question. When medication is working for my daughter, it allows her to pay attention to what is happening around her. So she can notice the subtle social stuff around her and respond to it. Her social abilities off medication are very different, she appears very self-centered, she finds herself in situations where she has no idea what or how things are happening. She is older – age 10. Her first birthday party invite from grade 2 onwards came at the end of grade 4 – when she started medication.

When you say concepts don’t seem to stick – my daughter has classic ADHD in that way – she can understand concepts perfectly, but performing them, or applying them, is at best inconsistent, unless she is on medication.

We have tried a bunch of different meds. She appears to be a slow metabolizer, and the time-release meds gave her side effects. What we have settled for is plain old Dexedrine – 5 mg tablets. Lasts her until the last little bit of the school day and we give breaks on the weekends.


<!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]-->

Mo2kds
09-19-13, 09:58 AM
This is a big issue that we are currently dealing with. My 9 yr old DS has predominately Inattentive ADHD with some social anxiety. He yearns to have lots of friends (he is very social), but doesn't quite understand how to go about it. I think he misses social cues and his expectations/perceptions are off.

Things that have help him:
-Counseling
-Books/workbooks on how to make friends, for kids with ADHD
-Giving him examples of how I make friends/what to say/how to keep the friendship going
-I try to monitor play dates, and "bud in" when I see problems & address them right away
-Building up his self esteem

He is on Daytrana, but we have an appointment with a psychiatrist to see if we can address the anxiety and inattentiveness.

Good Luck!