How to get children with ADHD to promote their social relationships


ADHD is known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in childhood behavior and the inappropriate appearance of excess motor activity, difficulties in inhibiting impulsive behavior and in maintaining attention, which are generalized in all contexts (family , school, social …).

These children, in general, not only have cognitive-behavioral problems, they also have difficulties in their social skills . In addition, 45% of children with ADHD have learning difficulties .

In general, research indicates that children with ADHD are characterized by having poor social interactions with their peers, by their difficulty in detecting and interpreting social signals, following conversations, recognizing emotional expressions, waiting their turn, make prosocial responses, memory of the conversation and follow social norms .

Rejection of other minors

As a result of these difficulties, the probability that they find themselves in situations of social isolation, as well as rejection by their peers, increases, since approximately 70-80% of children with ADHD are rejected by their equals .

Therefore, it is necessary to implement social educational practices mediated by professionals , both in the family environment and in the school center, in order to increase the inclusion of said students and make their social interactions more satisfactory.

The biggest learning difficulties

The learning difficulties are specific problems that often arise in the day – to – day children / as ADHD, generated by the same symptoms of the disorder, resulting in / the child / a significant academic delays, despite having a capacity and normal intelligence level.

The most characteristic that children with ADHD present are these:

  1. Problems planning the schedule.
  2. Difficulties organizing work and its material.
  3. Inhibition of relevant stimuli for the task to be developed.
  4. Rush at work.
  5. Incorrect memorization of texts.
  6. Lack of strategies to manage information.
  7. Difficulties in maintaining the level of care.
  8. “Daydreaming” and being out of place too often.

The school, the place to work social relations

The social competencies of children with ADHD can be enhanced both from the family and at school with the help of professionals. However, the best place is in the school because it is where they have more time and where they have more social interaction with their peers.

To work on social skills in these children from the family environment, with the help of professionals, the CADAH Foundation proposes the following techniques:

  • Modeling. It is about the role model being suitable for the training behaviors and exposing them appropriately to the child who is going to be trained.
  • Behavioral essay. It consists of practicing the behaviors in which children have problems and helping them to reinforce them.
  • Feedback and shaping. Try to give information to the child directly after he has performed a social skill on how he has performed the behavior.
  • Reinforcement. It consists of providing positive consequences to the child when they have carried out the appropriate behavior or that they want to strengthen.
  • Generalization of social skills. Make sure that the skills learned in training are applied.
  • Cognitive restructuring techniques. It is about helping them to know which thinking is irrational and helping them choose alternative thoughts.

You also have to educate your peers

In the school environment, programs such as the MOSAIC model ( Making Socially Accepting Inclusive Classrooms ) are proposed . It is based on the teacher guiding their students to have an inclusive and welcoming perspective towards their peers with ADHD.

For this, it is important that teachers apply behavior control techniques in children with ADHD, establish a warm atmosphere in the classroom and encourage positive interpersonal interactions with students .

In the same way, it is advisable to carry out activities to facilitate the formation of positive social ties, and to follow rules in the classroom. This program is not only beneficial for children with ADHD, but it is also optimal for all students in the classroom.

Cooperative learning

To enhance learning in children with ADHD who present difficulties in this area, different methods have been used, including peer work and cooperative learning . In addition, in recent decades new Information and Communication Techniques (ICT) have been incorporated, which have come to be considered Learning and Communication Technologies (TAC) , since they are used to improve learning in educational environments.

Different studies have shown that children improve their motivation towards academic tasks when TACs are used and that to improve the writing skills of students with learning difficulties it is better to use word processors.

Along these lines, it has been concluded that children with ADHD who use books in digital format from a computer improve academic performance . For this reason, programs such as “MeMotiva” help to improve reading comprehension and the cognitive tasks of writing and calculating.

Author Bio: Desirée Sánchez Chiva is Professor of Psychology at the International University of Valencia