ADD/ADHD in Middle School: Surviving the Social Scene
Probably no one feels more socially vulnerable than a middle schooler. Preoccupied with fitting in, she faces peer pressure, new social groupings, the loss of a single, supportive teacher, and the physical changes of adolescence. The rules for acceptance can seem arbitrary, especially to ADDers, whose social skills often lag behind.
What Teachers Can Do
- Hold class meetings that focus on social skills -- how to give a compliment, accept feedback, be gracious when losing a game. Demonstrate the behaviors and have students role-play. Let them learn from each other through feedback and praise.
- Reinforce good manners and other social skills. To avoid embarrassing a sensitive student, offer praise with a discreet thumbs-up or a sticky note on her desk.
- Provide group experiences. Have students work in small groups, a natural forum for practicing social skills. Pair an ADD/ADHD student with classmates who will be good role models.