Making Friends

Friendship Groups for Kids

Does your child with ADHD have difficulty making friends? Forming a friendship group may help.

Kids with ADHD learn how to make friends on the playground by sharing the cargo net
Kids with ADHD learn how to make friends on the playground by sharing the cargo net

Friendship groups can help some children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) learn social skills. In general, kids should participate in a group before middle school, when social pressures really intensify. Fourth- and fifth-graders are especially likely to benefit.

Friendship groups are typically led by a psychologist or social worker. The group leader uses role-playing, games, and other techniques to teach empathy and social skills.

Experts caution parents not to try to run a group themselves; in addition to lacking counseling skills, parents tend to be too emotionally involved. But they may want to observe the group in action so they can help their child transfer the skills he learns to the other parts of his life.

If your child’s school doesn’t offer a weekly friendship or social skills group, suggest one. Or you may be able to find a nearby therapist who does.

Watch out: Private groups can be expensive. You may wish to incorporate some form of group participation into your child’s IEP or 504 plan.

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