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Helping My ADHD Child Make Friends
"My nine-year-old doesn't seem to be aware that he has poor social skills. How can I explain that he'll be seeing a therapist to help with this?"
The rules that govern social interactions are subtle, so it's not surprising that your son is unaware that he's missing some cues. Explain that many youngsters with ADD report that they make more and better friends thanks to a little help from an expert. Tell him that you want him to try it out to see whether some new ideas will work for him. Point out that, when your computer isn't running, you consult an expert rather than trying to fix it on your own.
Remember that getting a therapist is a first step. You'll have to follow up at home with any strategies she suggests to reinforce what your child is learning - perhaps by redirecting your son if an interaction sours - or by analyzing each playdate that he goes on. Your son will be reassured to know that you will be helping him.
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.