Ask the Experts

Q: How Can My Son Repair His Social Reputation?

Your child has been excluded and treated like a social pariah due to challenges in the past. Now that he’s making improvements, how to you get classmates to give him another chance? And what about those classmates’ parents?

Listen to “The Social Lives of Boys with ADHD”

Q: “My 10 year old has had a rough time socially due to his inflexibility and strong reactions to situations in the class and playground since preschool. Due to this, he has become somewhat of a social pariah in his current school. He has calmed down immensely and learned to handle his frustration in a much more mature and socially acceptable manner – especially in the past 2 years. He easily makes friends in camps and soccer league as the kids do not have any prior history with him. He is known there as a kind and friendly guy. So, what can I tell him about why he has no friends at school? How do we go about repairing his social reputation? Both peers and their parents are wary of him due to his past behavior and the gossip mill has worked extensively in this community. I do not want the school social scene to undermine the great progress he has made.”

A: “Explain to him that, when you have a social history with kids, it takes a while for them to change their thoughts about you. And it sometimes takes their parents even longer because, let’s face it, often it’s the adults who are really inflexible — not the kids. It’s important to tell your son that…”


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.

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