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How Do I Help My Fourth-Grader Cope With Teasing About His ADHD?


My son suffers from ADHD and mild depression. He has trouble with social skills at school and has very few friends. One boy in particular is always bothering him and when my son retaliates, he usually gets into trouble. He is very close to getting suspended. Can you suggest any words or actions that my son can take so that he does not end up getting in a fight and getting suspended?


We're glad you contacted us about your son. Parenting is never easy and when you add ADHD to the mix, it makes things even more difficult. You are right to help your son learn social skills, but this can be difficult, and you need support in the process.

It is common for children with ADHD to have trouble making friends. If you’re not already, start working with the school and your son’s therapist on ways to help your son. The best treatment approach for a child with ADHD is to get the school, therapist, doctor, and parents involved in his learning and therapy.

A therapist can help with things like following instructions, impulse control, accepting decisions and communicating honestly. If he's not already working with a therapist, we encourage you to start. This will benefit the whole family.

Work on friendship skills together at home. Practice and role-play different scenarios and teach him how he should respond. Set up a pretend situation where you are the "bully." Before you practice, tell your son exactly what you want him to do. It might sound like this: "We are on the playground, and I am going to come up and push you. I want you to stand up, walk away and tell the teacher." Practice and if he does exactly what you tell him to do, praise him! It may seem very basic, but this is probably what he needs.

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