Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often present concerns interacting with peers and maintaining appropriate social relationships. These children often present appropriate social skill sets; however, issues with inattention and impulsiveness directly impact their ability to execute these skills on a regular basis.
Below are five strategies to help improve the social interaction of these children:
- Keep social situations limited to one or two peers as opposed to having them interact with a large group in which the child will likely become easily distracted.
- Try to modify the environment in which the social interaction is going to happen. Situations in which there are many distractions will likely set the child up for an uncomfortable situation.
- If the parent or teacher is in close proximity of the interaction, attempt to actively intervene in situations in which the child is not engaging with peers appropriately.
- Before the social interaction occurs, remind the child about the importance of taking turns, eye contact, personal space, etc.
- If the interaction occurred at a friend’s house, follow-up with the other parent afterwards and discuss the interaction. Use the feedback as a means of providing insight to the child about what was positive about the interaction and what he or she will need to improve upon in the future.
Many children with attention and impulsive behaviors exhibit social interaction issues. They have a difficult time regulating personal space and picking up nuances in social interactions. Above are some basic tips that parents and teachers should implement in order to help improve their child’s social relations. If the child continues to struggle with social interaction, it is recommended that he or she work with a behaviorally-trained social worker as an individual or in a group format to help develop the child’s social skills.