Have you ever noticed a child always isolated from their peer group? Have you made an effort to speak to them? Has there been a situation where a child is tagged as being troublesome or inattentive all the time? This can be quite frustrating for parents of such children and very irritating to their peers.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can cause children to be agitated, impulsive, and inattentive while growing up. Late diagnosis during childhood results in severe symptoms in their adulthood. The display of such behaviors causes the development of the social skills of these children to be challenging.
Related media: ADHD In Children : Nip In The Bud
Whence Cometh ADHD?
Humans are social beings that depend on social skills to interact and communicate every day. A child’s ability to interact, relate to, and connect with others helps them to handle social situations. This is crucial in making friends, starting conversations, being a good sport, and effectively dealing with bullies.
Children with ADHD always face challenges in understanding and implementing these social skills when around their peers. Therefore, hinders their ability to form relationships, and adjust to a new environment leading them to loneliness and behavioral issues as they grow.
Symptoms Of ADHD In Children
The emotional maturity level of children with ADHD is lower than their peers without this disorder. Children who have ADHD may find it challenging to listen, share, take turns, and pick up on social cues when they are in a social situation. They frequently get bored, preoccupied, or disinterested in the conversation. The ability to control one’s emotions during peer interactions may be difficult for students with ADHD. They are prone to becoming stressed, impatient, or frustrated.
Their impulsiveness causes these children to find it very challenging to make and keep friends. Their display of aggression and goofy behavior at inappropriate times makes it difficult to interact with them. They find it harder to read social situations and the body language of others. These children are avoided by their friends especially at school because they are viewed as not interested in having conversations and their hyper-activeness makes it difficult to keep up with them.
The isolation causes them to miss the opportunities to practice their social skills decreasing their confidence in social situations. Without a sense of belongingness, these children feel left out and tend to develop negative emotional reactions to social interactions and may avoid them.
Their inattentiveness also makes it difficult for them to achieve academic success due to their limited social skills. They are unable to collaborate and work on projects with their friends at school. They face difficulties staying on task in class and tend to interrupt others at inappropriate times.
How To Improve Their Social Skills
Although children suffering from this disorder may face difficulties managing their symptoms, parents can help their children manage their symptoms. Parents need to be consistent in their teaching so that their children can understand social cues in their environment.
Role Play With Your Child
Parents can role-play situations that their children may encounter or have encountered creating opportunities for the child to put to practice the skills they learn. Children can learn appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and may learn how to behave when they run into such situations.
Set Goals And Offer Praise For Good Work
You can set simple goals for them to improve their social skills and explain to them how it can help them. A goal can be to smile at their friends when they meet them. This can help them look welcoming and friendly to play with. Offer them praise when you witness them practicing the skills you teach them. This is an excellent way of encouraging the child to utilize their social skills.
Learning Through Participation
Letting your child participate in activities with their friends is the most effective way of helping them improve their social interaction skills. Children learn by listening to others speak and by mimicking their behaviors. Allowing your child to learn and grow by participating in activities with their peers places them in an environment where they can utilize their skills.
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Written by: Adwoa Afriyie Jantuah, Tue, Feb 07, 2023.