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Improving Social Skills for ADHD Children

Students with Attention Deficit Disorder often lack social skills. Their impulsive comments or lack of empathy often makes it hard to keep friends. This is not true for all students with ADHD, as there are different types of ADHD but it is true for many students with attention deficit disorder. Students with attention deficit disorder experience many difficulties in the social area, especially with peer relationships.

1. ADHD students tend to experience great difficulty picking up other's social cues, and often act impulsively.

2. Attention deficit students are often unaware of their effect on others.

3. They are likely to over-personalise other's actions as being criticism. o They tend not to recognise or respond well to positive feedback. In fact, ADHD may be directly related to a deficit in recognising rewards.

4. Students with Attention Deficit Disorder tend to get along better with younger or older students when their roles are clearly defined.

5. ADHD students tend to repeat self-defeating social behaviour patterns and rarely learn from experience.

6. In conversations ADHD students often ramble and say embarrassing things to peers.

7. Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder tend to get into the most trouble during times with little structure or little supervision.

8. Enlisting the support of peers in the classroom can greatly enhance the ADHD student's self esteem. Students with good social awareness and who like to be helpful can be paired with the attention deficit student. This pairing can take the form of being a "study buddy" while doing activities or projects.

9. Cross-age tutoring with older or younger students can also have social benefits. Most successful pairing is done with adequate preparation of the paired student, planning meetings with the pair to set expectations, and with parental permission. Pairing expectations and time-commitments should be fairly limited in scope to increase the opportunity for success and lessen the constraints on the paired students.

10. Students with ADHD tend to do well in the cooperative group instructional format. Small student groupings of three to five members, in which the students "sink or swim" together to complete assignments/projects, encourage students to share organisational ideas and responsibilities, and gives an ideal setting for processing interpersonal skills on a regular basis.

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