Reply To: Finding Your Tribe…Long Post

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I’m so sorry for the struggle that you and your son are going through. The elementary grades were a nightmare for my son, who is also twice exceptional. Medication, maturity and outside help all helped and things improved as he got older.

In addition to my experiences as a parent, I’ve also been an elementary school counselor for 25 years. Several things stand out in what you have shared. First, it is bullying for a student to encourage other students to exclude or stay away from a particular student. I don’t know how that is dealt with in your school, but in my district, both the principal and I would be involved in stopping the bullying and helping the target if it was reported.

Second, most boys who aren’t into sports (including those who do not have ADHD) struggle with friendships–especially during recess. Since that included my son, we worked hard to find things that he liked that were popular with boys at school. For my son, it was video games, but for other kids I’ve seen it be Pokemon cards, Star Wars, Minecraft, Harry Potter, etc.

Third, I’ve seen a number of students whose behavior earned them a reputation, move past the “bad boy” (or girl) image they developed and make friends and be socially accepted–even in a small school. The key has been that whether through meds, therapy or something else, their behavior has become well regulated and they are no longer showing the kind of behaviors that put them in the spotlight to begin with. So there is hope.

You didn’t say what kind of feedback you’ve gotten about your son’s behavior since starting meds. I’m guessing that his focus has improved, but what about his hyperactivity and frustration tolerance? If those are still issues, you might want to share your concerns with the doctor you are working with. I had to be persistent with our doctor to get her to address my son’s frustration– but once she heard me, meds gave my son back to me and made his life so much better.