Sue Scheff: Parenting ADHD Children




Help Socially Immature Kids Make Friends and Succeed at School


How to help children with ADHD improve behavior and social skills to make friends and do well at school.


The problem: The social maturity of children with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD) may be a few years behind that of their peers. In addition, they have difficulty reading verbal and physical social cues, misinterpreting remarks, or not getting jokes or games. Thus, their responses and reactions are often inappropriate, and it may be difficult to make friends their own age.


The reason: ADHD is a developmental disorder in which brain maturation is delayed. The student’s development may also be uneven. Students may behave appropriately in some situations but not in others, leading some unenlightened adults to believe “they can behave when they want to.”


The obstacles: ADHD children are usually not aware of how immature or off-base they may seem to peers and adults. They cannot adequately read other people’s responses to their behavior. Desperate for positive attention, they may try behavior that is outrageous, funny, or negative, mistakenly believing it will gain them friends and respect. They may be ostracized by their peers and singled out by teachers, which hurts their self-esteem.



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