Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Steps to Prevent your Child from being Bullied

These are some, among many steps to help to prevent your child from being bullied:

1. Explain to the child who is being bullied or teased (in a sensitive way) exactly why the other child is teasing him.
2. Explain to the child that he is showing the bullies that the teasing is bothering and upsetting him.
3.Help the child to have a definite plan in order to stop the other child’s teasing.
(If the child has a plan, he will more than likely not only stick to it, but be so involved in building strategies to stop the teasing, that he will no longer appear vulnerable to the teaser.)
4.Help the child to make a list of the comments that the teaser is making.(If the child has a list such as this, he then has “ammunition” with which to diffuse those remarks, and therefore, the teasing.)
5.Practice with the child as to how to respond if the teaser “strikes again.” The teacher should coach the child and help him to decide on the method that the child will use to stop the teasing.
6. Greet the teaser by bringing at least one friend with you. Use the teaser’s name.
7. Stay out of the environment where the teaser resides.
8. Use humor.
9. As a last resort, have the teacher/parent intercede and speak to the teaser. The only safe way to do this, however, in order to avoid further repercussions with the teaser, is for the teacher/parent to actually witness the teasing.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Are you worried that you child has been bullied? Are there signs that will tell you if your child is being bullied? YES!!

Usually, a change in your child's typical behavior will serve as a signal that he is being bullied.

Does he prefer to stay in the house instead of going out to play?

Does he resist going to school?

Has he become quieter and more insular?

Is he angrier than usual?

How can you prevent your child from being bullied? See my next post, please.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Answers to "What do I do now?"

I have received many questions recently that pertain to a multitude of problems that characterize your children. The only way to help to diminish your child's socially inappropriate behavior is to address one behavior at a time. How would you do so? Please write to me concerning a specific behavior that your child needs to diminish and I will be happy to help you to develop and implement methods to help your child to exhibit positive behavior. Some of these behaviors are as follows: blurting out answers in class; excessive talking; barging into their peers' interactions; touching children in order to gain their attention; among others. Ask away, please!

Friday, March 26, 2010

body language and eye contact

Children with ADHD often do not know the body language they have to adopt when they meet someone for the first time. For instance, suppose Johnny walked by Sam in the hall, looked down at the ground, and did not make eye contact. How would Sam know that Johnny wanted to make friends?

Making eye contact in an initial social interaction is a signal that says “I want to be friends.” When a child does not maintain eye contact, the message may be “I do not want to make friends.”

Before you teach "Maintaining Eye Contact," investigate the way that you child learns optimally. For instance, is he an auditory, visual, tactile-kinesthetic learner, or a combination of all three? Let me know what your thoughts are and get back to me with questions.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What is my hierarchy of social skills that teachers and parents need to teach children with ADHD?

I promised in my last post that I would list my hierarchy of social skills. I am including two separate groups of social skills that are incorporated into my social skills training.

The first list includes some of the social skills created by
Elliott and Gresham (1991) and included in their Social Skills
Intervention Guide. These social skills are necessary for children
with ADHD to have in their repertoire if they are going to experience
successful social interactions.

Social Skill 1: Maintaining Eye Contact
Social Skill 2: Greeting Others Nonverbally
Social Skill 3: Greeting Others Verbally
Social Skill 4: Introducing Oneself
Social Skill 5: Initiating Conversations
Social Skill 6: Joining Ongoing Activities
Social Skill 7: Volunteering to Help Peers
Social Skill 8: Inviting Others to Join Activities
Social Skill 9: Asking an Adult for Help
Social Skill 10: Answering the Telephone
Social Skill 11: Asking Permission to Use Property
Social Skill 12: Reporting Accidents to Appropriate Persons
Social Skill 13: Questioning Rules That May Be Unfair
Social Skill 14: Giving a Compliment
Social Skill 15: Responding to a Compliment
Social Skill 16: Telling Adults When Something Is Appreciated
Social Skill 17: Accepting People Who Are Different
Social Skill 18: Accepting Peer Suggestions for Activities
Social Skill 19: Cooperating with Peers
Social Skill 20: Compromising by Reaching Agreement
Social Skill 21: Responding to Teasing Appropriately
Social Skill 22: Receiving Criticism Well
Social Skill 23: Controlling Temper in Conflicts with Adults
Social Skill 24: Responding Appropriately When Pushed or
Social Skill 25: Controlling Temper When in Conflict with

The second list includes social skills that I created from my
field research upon observing parents teaching children with
ADHD. Children with ADHD arguably need to develop these
social skills in order to have successful social experiences.

Social Skill 26: Diffusing Negative Behavior When Someone
Is Annoying
Social Skill 27: Taking Something with Permission
Social Skill 28: Social Skills Taught through Curriculum
Social Skill 29: Social Skills Taught through Conversations
with the Child
Social Skill 30: Sitting Quietly When Being Taught by
Teacher or Parent
Social Skill 31: Pulling Hair Back When Preparing Food
Social Skill 32: Not Touching Your Hair When Preparing
Social Skill 33: Being Polite or Asking Teacher or Parent
Politely to Hand Him Needed Items
Social Skill 34: Learning to All Instructions Given by
Teacher or Parent without Interrupting
Social Skill 35: Not Burping Out Loud
Social Skill 36: Not Exhibiting Distractible Behaviors
Social Skill 37: Learning Socially Appropriate Behavior
from Others
Social Skill 38: Learning Social Skills Taught through Interactions
with Siblings
Social Skill 39: Learning Social Skills Taught through Temper
Social Skill 40: Learning Social Skills When Academically
Social Skill 41: Staying on Task and Not Leaving Room
When Academically Frustrated
Social Skill 42: Learning Social Skills Taught through Modeling
Teacher’s or Parents’ Behavior
Social Skill 43: Conversing with Children or Adults
Social Skill 44: Respecting Elders
Social Skill 45: Following Instruction Given by Teachers
and Parents
Social Skill 46: Having Good Manners
Social Skill 47: Being Responsible
Social Skill 48: Interacting through Teacher or Parental
Social Skill 49: Keeping Promises
Social Skill 50: Learning Social Skills
Social Skill 51: Having Good Character
Social Skill 52: Behave Properly in Public


Saturday, March 20, 2010

How do I begin teaching my child social skills?

You cannot begin to teach your child social skills unless you clearly have an idea of which social skills you want to teach him. (I use the word him here for ease of communication. Clearly, there are many girls with ADHD, as you see on the cover of my book!)How do you find out which social skills your child needs to learn first? As you spend time with your child, keep a running list of behaviors that he exhibits that you deem inappropriate. Then, have a conversation with him to see if he realizes that he is exhibiting behaviors that others find annoying. If he realizes that this behavior is percieved by others to be annoying, you are on your way.

If he does not understand the ramifications of his behavior, please write me back and I will give you some suggestions on how to help him to understand the impact of his inappropriate behavior on others.

You must somehow get your child on board and agreeable to learning positive social skills so that the social skills interventions that you implement will be successful. Look for the next entry where I list a hierarchy of social skills that your child needs to learn.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Why didn't my child with ADHD learn social skills?

Children without ADHD typically learn social skills from their parents. BUT...children with ADHD typically are distractible so how can they pay attention to their parents' teaching? The answer is that oftentimes they cannot pay attention to their parents' modeling of social skills. If children with ADHD cannot pay attention to their parents' teaching of social skills, they cannot learn socially appropriate skills.

What else prevents children from ADHD from learning social skills? Temper tantrums, anxiety and depression, among others can also interfere with children learning of social skills that their parents are trying to teach them.

Have you been frustrated in your attempts to teach your child social skills such as respecting others, listening to others without interrupting,taking something without permission, among others? Stick around and we will find answers to how to teach social skills to all children.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome to my blog where you can ask questions and get some quick answers to questions about how to help children with ADHD perform better in school and enjoy more successful social interactions. These questions can pertain to these children’s difficulties with social skills and/or with executive function. You can check out excerpts from my book, ADHD and Social Skills: A Step-by-Step Guide for Teacher and Parents published by Rowman and Littlefield. You can also complain, commiserate, and join in with lively discussions on topics such as getting services for children with ADHD; helping others to understand that ADHD is REAL; learning how to embed social skills training into your everyday lives; and creating a calmer home environment, among other topics. This blog IS the PLACE for ANSWERS, so ask away!!