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Old 08-04-2010, 09:00 AM
 
48 posts, read 224,958 times
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I'm looking for suggestions from other parents of children with ADHD. My daughter just turned 8. She has ADHD which manifests itself (in her case) with hyperactivity, difficulty focusing, impulsiveness, and immaturity. While she seems to get along okay with her schoolmates, she really doesn't have any close friends. She generally isn't invited to playdates and most of our invitations are ignored by parents even though the children asked me for a playdate. I think that happens because the other girls are more mature than she is. I also think that the other parents prefer other playmates for their kids. We do not share the fact that our daughter has ADHD and that is why her behavior is a little different. I consider that private information. I think some of the parents are critical of my husband and I because they see that she is different and they think we are too lax in discipline.

I don't want to give a skewed impression. While my daughter is different, she's not unruly, mainly just immature and impulsive. However, we live in an area known for having one of the nation's best public school systems and most parents are very competitive about how their children our performing in school. The other children tend to stop playing around age 6 and tend to focus their free time on reading books. Our daughter still likes to play more than read. Honestly, I can understand that because she's still a kid.

My daughter does well at playdates most of the time. But if she is teased a little too much, she will respond with a statement like "I hate you." I tend to think that that is not too far out of the realm of typically response, but one or two parents disagreed. Another situation that doesn't end well is when a playmate insists on taking a particular doll because they are the guest. It's hard for her to back down, in part because she feels like she is always getting blamed by other kids for stuff even when they are partially to blame.

This is a long post and I apologize. I thought some background was necessary. My questions are these: How can I help her make a close friend or two? How can I deal with the parents who prefer for the children to play with more mature kids? What can I do to help make the playdates successful?

Last edited by Southern_Transplant; 08-04-2010 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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Your description reminds me of the little girl who was on my daughter's baseball team this year. At first, parents had a similar reaction to the one you're describing. However, after the little girl's mom explained to us the severity of her ADHD and talked a little about their struggles, the other moms and the other girls responded by looking out for this little girl. She quickly became a favorite.

My advice it to tell the other parents about your daughter's ADHD. I think you'll find that they'll be compassionate and welcoming.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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That's encouraging. I am a little scared to open up to other parents right now because I told my two best friends that live out of the area and they were not very supportive at all.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Boerne area
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Make opportunities for her to meet other kids - sports, gymnastics, karate, etc. Widen her circle of potential playmates. This might also allow her to meet slightly younger kids, and maybe find a friend there.

Practice with her what to do if a guest wants to play w/ a toy, etc. Role play - have her be the friend and you be in her role. Help her figure out how to react ahead of time.

Does your school counselor have a social skills group?
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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I tutored a 2nd grader who behaved exactly like your daughter a long time ago before people used labels for kids. She used to crawl under and over the desks at school, couldn't sit still for anything, was a general disruption in class. I used to sit her down, hold her hands in front of her and have her look me in the eye when I gave her instructions. She usually sat and worked very hard after starting each day like that.

Her best time was on the playground. She played with a lot of energy and had a great time, but that was also before adults monitored every waking moment of kids' lives. The only time anyone interfered was if she or someone else started a fight. Those who wanted to play with her did, those who didn't, didn't. I don't recall her ever having a friend problem.

No suggestions except maybe to let her find her own way with other kids. When the right ones come along, she will bond on her own without your help.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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One thing that a friend told me is that she didn`t let her child have sugary foods anymore and that helped tremindously.
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:35 AM
 
48 posts, read 224,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 88txaggie View Post
Make opportunities for her to meet other kids - sports, gymnastics, karate, etc. Widen her circle of potential playmates. This might also allow her to meet slightly younger kids, and maybe find a friend there.

Practice with her what to do if a guest wants to play w/ a toy, etc. Role play - have her be the friend and you be in her role. Help her figure out how to react ahead of time.

Does your school counselor have a social skills group?
She's reluctant to pursue any afterschool activities, perhaps because it's so hard for her to find someone interested in playing with her. She behaves well in class. Most of the girls in her class read at about two levels above grade level and they tend to look down on my daughter because she's barely at grade level. It's treated as a status thing especially among their parents.

I recently started role playing with her which has been helpful. Plus, she has done extremely well playing with her younger sibling.

The school doesn't have a social skills group unfortunately. I did meet with the counselor a few times because one of my daughter's classmates repeatedly told the other girls in the class not to talk or play with my daughter for the whole week. No reason...just to be mean. Apparently, this girl does this regularly and my daughter is her favorite target.

I cut out all sweets when she was two which was certainly helpful.

Last edited by Southern_Transplant; 08-04-2010 at 11:39 AM.. Reason: To add a response to cl723
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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Even if you talk to just one mom and make a playdate with just one kid (your house, the first time), your daughter will have an ally.

It's funny that you mention the bullying (and yes, exclusion is bullying, although I know some of you will disagree) because that's exactly how the girls on the team first reacted to little Amy. One of the other girls came up to my daughter and said, "Don't play with her." I overheard and gave my daughter the *you'd better not* look. Then I went up to the coach and said, "They're excluding Amy. Do you want to deal with it, or do you want me to?" The coach handled it, then Amy's mom talked to her and the other moms, the moms talked to their daughters, and that was the end of it. Once the other girls realized that Amy couldn't help her behavior, they were better with her. By the end of the season, the whole team just adored Amy because they took the time to know her. Sometimes, adult interference is necessary.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:22 PM
 
2,857 posts, read 5,978,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl723 View Post
One thing that a friend told me is that she didn`t let her child have sugary foods anymore and that helped tremindously.
Responses like this are so annoying. It's right up there with "there's nothing wrong with your kid, it's poor parenting." ADHD is a real ailment. Dealing with an ADHD child can be difficult enough without monitoring everything that the eat or drink, preparing special diets, etc., especially considering that there is no scientific evidence that any of this is effective.
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Old 08-04-2010, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Oxford, Connecticut
524 posts, read 857,420 times
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My son has a boy who is both Autistic and ADHD in his karate class. I've spoken with the mother and she is so thankful she enrolled him in karate. She says that while he has issues interacting with others at school, during karate he is happy and feels accepted. I think it is because the karate school is like a family. Everyone is aware of this boy's stuation and but he isn't treated any differently than anyone else. I would think other types of sports where you are part of a team would have a similar effect.
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