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Helping Our ADHD Son Make Friends
"It's been a year since we moved, and our painfully shy 13-year-old still doesn't have any friends. He says he's 'invisible' to his classmates. How can we help him break the ice?"
Shyness is often misread as a lack of interest, and it may be that other children aren't so much rejecting your son as feeling rejected themselves.
Ask one of your son's teachers if she's noticed any good matches in her class for your son. Odds are, hooking him up with other kids who have a shared interest in an after-school club or volunteer activity (a teen hotline, Habitat for Humanity, and so on) will work. If not, look into a social-skills group run by the school or a community center. If none is available, a teen or college student could act as a mentor.
If you feel that your son's isolation is evidence of clinical depression, consult a psychiatrist.
Dr. Carol Brady is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She is also a specialist in school psychology and a well-regarded speaker in the areas of ADHD, children, and families in trauma and Tourette's Syndrome.
She received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and she is currently on the scientific advisory board for the Tourette's Syndrome Association and is an adjunct faculty at Baylor University and the University of Texas. Dr. Brady hopes to help children and families who deal with neurological/developmental disorders by serving as a regular columnist for ADDitude magazine.