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Behavior: Social Skills, Self Esteem

social skills


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Nov 03, 2001 at 11:04:18 PM
Subject: social skills

My son has mild ADD, he is 8 years old and in a small Catholic school with 40 children between two third grade classes. He has grown up with these kids and they know his behavior is a bit different. Overall they have accepted him despite his low anger tolerance and sometimes inappropriate behavior in social situations (ie, silliness, loud voice, etc.). Lately, he has trouble following the rules of the football games at recess and gets left out often. He can't seem to understand why the kids are changing their attitudes towards him. Perhaps the kids are getting less tolerant as they get older and want my son to "grow up" too. How can I help him get through this?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 04, 2001 7:36:44 AM

Are they changing their attitudes toward him or is he being left out of a football game? What other signs do you have that the kids are changing their attitudes toward him?

If this is the only one, the only thing you might need to do is review some of the rules for the game with him. Help him to learn the rules for their games in a more quiet time in your backyard so when he's at school he can play the game successfully.

If there are other signs that the kids are less tolerant of his special needs, this might be a good time to have a conversation with him about his low anger tolerance. People, including children, will keep their distance from those who blow their stacks easily. That's a hard truth but one he is going to have deal with. You could tell him it's not him they're backing off - it's his temper.

I don't think when we're talking about anger that it's a question of other children growing less tolerant. We are afraid of anger in our culture. Children too. When children know a child is easy to anger, they give him space and they avoid him because they fear his anger.

These days we are encouraged to tolerate many differences but we're never encouraged to tolerate anger. Anger is taken as a sign that the angry person wants us to go away and wants to be left alone. When children see a child crying, they ask what's wrong. When they see a child angry, they back off.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 04, 2001 11:03:00 AM

I think you're right, anger is a big problem with him. I have talks with him quite often about patience, tolerating others mistake, not lashing out, etc. I think it's time for another one. He gets invited less this year to other kids houses than he did last year. He still has friends and he works at it also. I guess I just see a difference this year in his social status but, the good thing is he does too and perhaps this will be helpful in helping him understand why and working on ways to help him with his friends.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 04, 2001 11:32:26 AM

In my experience with a daughter (now 11) with a different set of social skill issues, the peer situation really does begin to change at 3rd grade and up (wait till 6th!). Behaviors that younger kids tolerate (1st and 2nd graders) begin to be seem by 3rd and 4th graders as less appropriate -- others are learning, developmentally, to deal with anger in other ways, and won't understand why your son is different.

I highly recommend individual therapy or even better a boys group therapy where they will be dealing with issues like this, and your son can be helped to learn other ways of dealing with his feelings. Kids with ADHD (including my daughter) often are very clueless about how their behavior is perceived by/effects other people. They need to get a lot of direct feedback WITH skill teaching.

Hope this helps.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 05, 2001 10:21:30 AM

I agree with the above. Social skills can be taught and kids with LD's need to be taught appropriate, acceptable social behavior. They don't always pick up on cues from their peers. Group programs with various forms of role playing probably work better than individual therapy because the child gets to see, hear and experience in a controlled setting. Including nonLD kids in these programs wouldn't be a bad idea either. Teaches them tolerance and why some kids are different from them or learn differently from them. I think we'd see fewer unhappy LD kids.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 09, 2001 12:15:35 AM

One of the problems for some ADHD kids in situations like recess ballgames is that the rules are fluid and dynamic. The ADHD child goes out to play the game but the rules often are very changeable in children's play and they can vary from day to day and even moment by moment depending on who the leader is and the mix of kids playing. I can't tell you how many times as a recess monitor I've seen kids, usually ADHD kids, not be able to handle how rapidly the game rules can change. Other kids accept the give-and-take of this sort of game but there's a certain minority of kids who can't. What usually happens is that they quickly become frustrated because they don't understand and they lash out emotionally.

In organized sports like city leagues it's usually easier for these kids because there are adult coaches around to reinforce one set of rules. Kids' scrimmage-type games, on the other hand, are really valuable lessons for most children but for the ADHD child or any child who tends to think concretely or isn't so good at deciphering body language, these sorts of games are incredibly frustrating. In my experience it doesn't help to teach kids the rules of these sorts of games because the rules are fluid. The kids make them up as they go along.

The better way to handle it is through therapy. Your child might need to work with a therapist on reading people's body language and facial expressions as well as learning how to handle frustration constructively. I do think that 8 or 9 years old can begin a difficult period for some kids and it's best to get them some professional support right away.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 17, 2001 6:07:49 PM

I agree with the post from Barbara- Things get more difficult. I have a 13 yr old who has problems with reading cues. Constantly have to explain what is going on and he has had intermittent hterapy, but with the same therapits since 6 years old. " tune-ups) occur every 2 years or so. I am sure with puberty and a new school, we will be having a need to visit soon. It is ongoing. Good Luck!
CSB

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 25, 2001 9:59:56 PM

I have twin girls who have been classified since preschool for SLD, and have noticed the social isolation is getting really bad this year. Sometimes, no matter how much social skills training our children receive, if the other children don't have empathy or consideration for kids who are different, our kids will continue having social difficulties. I am now trying to work with our district to institute a social skills curriculum for the whole district. Maybe you should look into this, if your district does not have this in place already.

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