posted by admin on Jun 7

ADHD can play a very detrimental role in a child’s ability to make and keep friends. And as ADHD children grow older, the situation becomes even more complicated.All very young children are impulsive and active, so in nursery school there is less reflection regarding others who behave differently. But in elementary school, children begin to observe and compare each other. The normal child is better able to delay gratification, to delay impulse, to sit and listen, and to model his behavior according to group norms. But in a child with ADHD, those abilities are impaired on many different levels. They may be more hyperactive than the other children and unable to delay their response to stimuli. This may mean talking too much, not completing classroom assignments, and running around rather than sitting still.In addition, ADHD children of school age are not as well equipped to make interpersonal judgments. They don’t understand what’s transpiring emotionally in others or how to read the expressions in other people’s faces. Consequently, they have to work much harder than normal youngsters to evaluate what’s going on socially and to find their own place in it. This can be a serious struggle because they already have so many other problems. They can’t concentrate, they’re easily distracted, and nothing they do seems right. It’s a tremendous uphill battle for many of these children.By the first grade, children start to observe and make comments about each other. They notice right away that an ADHD child’s behavior is different, and they react to him. They may not want to play with him, for example, or they may call him names, which only compounds the situation by lowering his self-esteem even further.We know that ADHD children have a great amount of trouble tolerating uncomfortable internal emotions because, as infants, they didn’t have the learning experiences that teach them how to cope. They don’t know how to find significant people within the environment to help them cope either. Consequently, the only thing they can do is react in the same way as the screaming infant does. They may throw screaming tantrums, be overtly aggressive, pick fights, and even lose control of their urine or bowels.This was a problem of Peter’s. His severe encopresis recurred at times of stress even as he grew older and advanced through grade school, causing him enormous humiliation among his peers. This was an older child’s version of the uncontrolled bodily outbursts he had as an infant.Once school-age children develop the most telling symptoms of ADHD, they may become social pariahs. Classmates refuse to play with them and often tease them unmercifully because of their strange behavior. Not surprisingly, this can severely hamper any possibility of academic success, which is already difficult for the ADHD child.*23\173\2*

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