Q: My Son Pushes Teasing and Joking Too Far
Children with ADHD often lack perspective-taking skills — that is, seeing things from another person’s point of view and adjusting their behavior accordingly. This makes humor and joking a perilous activity. Here, learn what to do if your child pushes teasing and ribbing too far.
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Q: “My son does not pick up on social cues to stop teasing. He doesn’t see when the joking is going too far. He really crosses lines sometimes and hurts feelings or ticks off people.”
A: “What you’re seeing is your son’s difficulty with perspective taking. He’s not thinking about others’ thoughts or feelings before he makes a joke or tries to be funny, and he might not be interpreting correctly how others are perceiving what he does or what he says. So what we want to do is help him develop better perspective-taking skills around using humor, and this is a really complicated concept because humor is so nuanced. To begin, I tell kids that humor is all about audience; if you aren’t thinking about others when you tell a joke, it’s probably going to backfire…”
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ADHD and Humor: Next Steps
Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Ryan specializes in working with males (ages 5-22) who present with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, and learning differences; he is the one professional in the United States who specializes in teaching social cognitive skills to boys from a male perspective.
Updated on March 26, 2020