Surviving the Social Scene: What Parents Can Do
- Teach conversation courtesy. ADDers often break into discussions to launch a topic of their own. Use dinnertime to practice the rules of conversation -- how to listen to what others are saying and politely join the group.
- Help your child walk in another person's shoes. Adolescents with ADD/ADHD find it hard to understand another's perspective. Without meaning to, they may do or say things that are hurtful or thoughtless, such as going through a friend's backpack. Use role-playing to have your child imagine how his friend might feel about the intrusion, and how to respond if he gets angry.
- Explain expressions. Students with language-based learning difficulties are often overly literal -- a child told that someone is "pulling his leg" is likely to be perplexed. Helping your child understand figures of speech will make social interactions less awkward.
- Discuss disagreements. ADDers are easily frustrated, and a disagreement among friends can lead to an angry outburst. Give your teen techniques for keeping cool, such as deep breathing and "counting to 10," and teach him the value of talking things out.
- Find a social skills group. These groups for children with ADD/ADHD use role-playing and rehearsal to practice social skills.
Step Five: How Teachers Can Help with Organizing