Social Problems Often Associated with Attention Deficit Disorder

Some children with Attention Deficit Disorder experience significant problems socializing with peers and cooperating with authority figures.Some children with Attention Deficit Disorder experience significant problems socializing with peers and cooperating with authority figures. This is because when children have difficulty maintaining attention during an interaction with an adult, they may miss important parts of the conversation. This can result in the child not being able to follow directions and so called "memory problems" due to not listening in the first place. In this case, the child is not being disobedient or "strong willed" though they may be labeled as such. When giving directions to Attention Deficit Disorder children it is important to have them repeat the directions to make sure they have correctly received them. For younger children with Attention Deficit Disorder, the directions should consist of only one or two step instructions. For older children more complicated directions should be stated in writing. For more help with discipline check out the Parenting Skills section of the ADD Focus Store.

Children with poor attention and concentration often miss important aspects of social interaction with their peers. When this happens, they have a difficulty time "fitting in." They need to focus in on how other the children are playing with each other and then attempt to behave similarly. Attention Deficit Disorder kids often enter a group play situation like the proverbial "bull in the china closet" and upset the play session. As they improve their ability to attend and concentrate, Attention Deficit Disorder children can be coached on how to play appropriately with other children.

Attention Deficit Disorder children may have poor impulse control. This can result in several different problems during play time. First, they may have difficulty stopping a behavior once they have started. They may also carry the behavior to a level of intensity that is too much for the average child. This can even happen when the child is engaged in "horse play" with an adult. They often get "carried away" and don't know when to stop. This can result in negative feelings among those playing and make the others involved not want to play with the Attention Deficit Disorder child.

Sometimes an Attention Deficit Disorder kid will complain that when he gets into trouble at school that "all the other kids were doing the same thing and I was the only one that got in trouble." When you understand how an Attention Deficit Disorder child functions, it's possible to see how that may actually be close to the truth. Imagine that the teacher has left the room for a few moments. The class decides to take advantage of the situation and "mess around." When the teacher returns, the class sees her and they immediately stop what they are doing. On the other hand the Attention Deficit Disorder child may not immediately see the teacher enter the room and when he does is not able to immediately stop the inappropriate behavior. The teacher then reprimands him for not stopping. The Attention Deficit Disorder child feels singled out and picked on by the teacher and feels he is being treated unfairly.

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 25). Social Problems Often Associated with Attention Deficit Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: February 13, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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