Your ADHD Education Guide: Social Skills & Bullying

Experts and parents answer questions about sharpening your child’s social skills, encouraging friendship, and confronting bullies.

Help your child with ADHD make friends at school.
Dear ADDitude: Part 9
Our readers ask: How can I improve social skills and help my child make — and keep — friends?



Question 1:

“My 8-year-old is happy and friendly, but he doesn’t play with anyone at recess and doesn’t like to work in groups. Should I worry about this? It doesn’t seem to bother him.” Read the answer.


Question 2:

“My son says he is being bullied in school. I talked to the principal, who said my son was getting bullied because of his ‘weird’ behavior. What is my next step?” Read the answer.


Question 3:

“There are a few boys at school who have been picking on my son and saying they are going to beat him up, which a teacher overheard. I’m very concerned that the principal, after questioning them, sent the boys back to class without calling me. First, what is an appropriate response from the school? Second, am I overreacting? I’m so upset over this and can’t think clearly.” Read the answer.


Question 4:

“At the mere mention of school, my son has an anxiety attack. He feels his life is not worth living because of how he is treated. He is also falling behind in his subjects due to anxiety and inattention.” Read the answer.


Question 5:

My daughter is immature for her age and doesn’t seem to fully understand what it means to be a responsible student and follow the rules in school. How can we put these important lessons into terms she’ll grasp?” Read the answer.


Question 6:

“At lunch, my 8th grader sits alone and is bullied by boys who make racial comments. He is reluctant to say anything for fear of retaliation, but recently fought back with words and got two days of in-school suspension. The bullies got far less punishment. What can we do?” Read the answer.


Question 7:

“What do you do when all your child wants in the world are the things you can’t give them? Not to be different… Real friends… Acceptance?Read the answer.