How does ADHD affect a child's social development?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can affect a child's ability to make friends and have successful relationships with other children and adults. Some children are shy. Others are very active and aggressive. Children with the disorder are also at higher risk for substance abuse.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Children with ADHD have inappropriate inattention so may have social difficulties. Many may be hyper, or have trouble listening well, or following social rules, which can be tough on the playground or in the classroom when social rules are the lay of the land.
As a result, some may act either shy and withdrawn, or very aggressive.

Fortunately, many benefit from social skills training, where they can work with therapists and peers to learn appropriate ways to act and communicate and kids will laugh with them for the right reasons.
Unfortunately, kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) sometimes have difficulties in social situations. Kids with ADHD may be hyperactive, have trouble listening to others, or find it difficult to follow social rules. As a result, they may feel outcast at times. Anxiety and depression are difficult feelings that often go hand in hand with ADHD. Kids with ADHD may act shy and withdrawn or very aggressive, which can be a turn-off to other children.

If your child has ADHD and seems to have trouble making and keeping friends, get involved. Consider a social-skills training group for your child. In these groups, children work together with their peers to learn appropriate ways to act and communicate. Trained therapists are there to provide structure and support for your child.
The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nor does the contents of this website constitute the establishment of a physician patient or therapeutic relationship. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.