Monday, February 28, 2011

How do you Help to Diminish your Child with ADHD's Anxiety when a Grandparent is Dying?

Children with ADHD often have some anxiety as a paired disorder with their ADHD. Therefore, when a grandparent is ill and may be imminently dying, the child with ADHD may develop great anxiety. The child, if possible, should have advance notice of this sad event. If the passing of his grandparent comes as a surprise to him without any conversation about this event before it actually happens, the child, most likely, will become shocked, stunned and not understand what has occurred. The fact that he was not prepared for this event might increase his level of anxiety.

When I was 17 years old, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, and I was never told that his death could occur in a short period of a few months. During his final days, he was admitted to the hospital, and no one told me that he could die at any moment. I went to visit him one day and looked forward to visiting him the next day, as well. When I went to visit him the next day, he had already died. Trust me, therefore when I say that if possible, knowledge concerning an impending death is vital in terms of trying to understand it, internalize it and coming to terms with it, in some way.

The child’s anxiety may be based on the shock of the actual death of his grandparent, especially if he was not told about the possibility of his grandparent dying, or the fact that he will not see his grandparent anymore, among other reasons. He might be thinking about the impending death of his grandparent who has nurtured and loved him since he was a baby, someone who perhaps spoiled him and took him to interesting and wonderful places, or just simply, someone who frequently read him funny books.

As his grandparent’s health is deteriorating, if you can encourage the child to talk about his fears and his anxiety concerning the upcoming passing of his grandparent, that really is the best case scenario. If not, how can you help the child to diminish his anxiety?

It is important, as a way to allay his anxiety, to talk to him as all of the sadness is occurring, about all of the wonderful experiences that has had with his grandparent, and to keep talking about those experiences during his grandparent’s final days and onward. It is vital to keep those important and wonderful memories alive and present. If the child’s memories are vivid in his mind, then he can begin to remember the happy moments, instead of only this very sad moment.

It is also helpful, no matter the age of the child, to involve him in any way that you can in the preparations for whatever customary sequence of events follow the death of a family member in your family. The more involved the child feels, the less he will worry about all of the sadness that surrounds him. Additionally, he will feel ownership in the fact that he helped, which would have made his grandparent proud of him.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How You Can Be a Friendship Coach for Your Child with ADHD

How You Can Be a Friendship Coach for Your Child with ADHD

by Amori Yee Mikami, PhD

ImageMADISON HAS ADHD and her parents expend great efforts helping her to focus during homework time, to keep her backpack organized, and to remember to transport her materials to and from school. However, they are beginning to notice that while other children in their daughter’s third-grade class get together for playdates and birthday parties, these invitations don’t arrive for Madison. More concerning is the fact that Madison herself is suddenly realizing that she is left out. Madison’s mother says the child recently told her that she “wished she didn’t have to go to school anymore so that her best friends could just be her family.”

Many parents of children with ADHD are used to investing hard work into helping their children succeed academically. This is not surprising, given that most treatments focus on these children’s (very real) academic difficulties. Parents are less accustomed to handling their children’s social challenges, however, and there are fewer instructions available to them about how to help their children make friends. As in Madison’s family, many parents are not aware of the significance of their child’s social problems until some time after their child is diagnosed with ADHD. Yet, as is also illustrated by Madison’s situation, difficulties with peers can be hurtful and can reduce a child’s engagement in school, which ultimately hampers academic learning.

Common friendship problems in children with ADHD

Research suggests that the majority of elementary school-aged children with ADHD have nobody, or at most one other child, in their classroom who they would call a friend and who would similarly refer to the child with ADHD as a friend. Even when children with ADHD do have friends, the friendships tend to be less supportive and more conflict-filled than those of children without ADHD. Also, the friendships of children with ADHD are more likely to be “on again, off again” and marked by frequent declarations of “I’m not your friend anymore.”

Why do children with ADHD struggle with friendships? One reason is because the core symptoms of ADHD can interfere with these relationships. For example, what if the child with ADHD wants to play with toy cars but the peer is bored and would prefer to play something else? Because of inattention, a child with ADHD may not pick up on this social cue (the peer looks unenthused, starts looking around the room). A child with ADHD may also be unable to inhibit the overriding desire to play with the cars, even if he or she is aware that the peer is becoming bored.

As another example, what happens when the child with ADHD wins or loses a game? Because of poor impulse control, some children with ADHD will gloat with happiness upon winning or throw a tantrum out of frustration when losing. It can be difficult for children with ADHD to regulate their emotions and calm themselves down during times like these, but such behaviors can be extremely off-putting to peers.

Even if friendship difficulties begin with the behavior of the child with ADHD, the way peers respond can further the problem. The child with ADHD may develop a negative reputation among his or her classmates. Once this occurs, peers become disinclined to judge the child with ADHD objectively, so that even when he or she is behaving well, peers may never change their impressions. Children new to the classroom may hear negative things about the child with ADHD from peers, and this can make it tough for the child with ADHD ever to make friends.

Being excluded from social events such as playdates or birthday parties is also a common occurrence. Unfortunately, this can deprive the child with ADHD of opportunities to practice (and to get better at) social skills and to build friendships. The lack of social opportunities can compound the social-skill problems the child with ADHD had to begin with, which leads to the child with ADHD falling further behind peers in the friendship domain.

Become a friendship coach for your child

Does your elementary school-aged child with ADHD have social issues? Just as you can help your child succeed academically, you can help your child to make and keep friends. Here are some guidelines.

Build on a positive parent-child relationship. Children will be more likely to listen to constructive feedback and guidance about their friendship problems if they feel their parent is on their side. Think about the parallel with your own life: Do you want to improve your performance for a caring, positive boss, or for a critical boss who you can never please? In order to do this:

Spend special time with just you and your child alone, doing a fun activity without you directing, teaching, or criticizing your child.

Pick your battles wisely. If your child is doing ten things wrong, focus on the most crucial one or two first. Most adults and children can only handle working on one or two things at a time before they feel overwhelmed.

If your child is upset, try to be empathetic and listen to your child’s feelings first for ten minutes before you jump in and suggest what your child could do differently next time. If the problem is already in the past, then delaying ten minutes before you give constructive suggestions will not hurt anything.

Give friendship feedback. Try to keep the ratio of positive to negative feedback at about 4:1. Research has shown that this is a ratio that keeps adults happy with their marriages and jobs; children are no different. It is exceptionally hard to maintain this high ratio when parenting children with ADHD because of children’s behavior problems; most parents report they are nowhere near this ratio. In order to get there:

Start by praising for twenty-five percent correct. This actually encourages your child to try harder than if you wait around for your child to do something a hundred percent correct before you praise and your child never or rarely manages to do it.

Don’t spoil the praise by putting in a backhanded criticism, such as “You did a good job today, but why can’t you do this all the time?”

When your child has behaved badly and you do need to address the problem behavior:

Keep it specific to the behavior that needs to be changed and not about character.

Try to talk about the behavior that just occurred and not about what may have happened in the past.

If you feel yourself getting angry, it is okay to say to your child, “I am getting upset and I don’t want to say something I don’t mean. Let’s take a break to calm down.”

See the sidebar titled "Giving Your Child Friendship Feedback" for more tips about giving good friendship feedback.

Identify good potential friends. These should be same-age peers who seem already inclined to like your child (or at the least don’t dislike your child), share common interests with your child, and won’t be a bad or destructive influence. It’s more important to choose the right match for your child than to choose the most popular child in the class. Ideally you also want a peer who has a parent who can provide the supervision your child needs, and who will understand your child’s behavior.

Children with ADHD can be poor judges of who likes and does not like them. This may be because they miss social cues about liking from peers, or it may be because they want to have more friends than they truly do. You can help your child sort out who is a good potential friend by getting involved in your child’s activities to observe for yourself which peers seem to get along with your child or not. In order to identify good potential friends:

Ask your child who he or she likes to play with and why, and what they do together.

Ask the teacher (or group leader of an extracurricular activity) who in the class might be a good potential friend for your child.

Volunteer to help out in the classroom and in your child’s activities. Observe the children there to see who would be a good potential friend.

Hang out during activities and network with other parents. You will get to know them and they will be more likely to invite your child places.

If your child consistently wants to play with one peer who you think is a bad influence, make a pact with your child that the two of you will invite over someone else for two playdates first, and then if your child still wants to, you can invite over the peer that your child wants.

Arrange fun playdates. Playdates are the cornerstones to deepening friendships among elementary schoolchildren. Aim for one to two good, high-quality, supervised playdates per week for your child. If right now your child is having zero good playdates, however, it is more important to have one good playdate every month than to pack in two playdates per week where the quality suffers. See the sidebar below titled "Tips for Playdates" for tips on playdates.

Tips for supporting your teen socially

These friendship-coaching tips are best geared to parents of children with ADHD who are ages five through eleven. However, it is common for social problems to persist in adolescence. If you are the parent of a teenager, you can still help your son or daughter to make friends, but you must remember that it is normal for teenagers to not want their parents to be as involved in their social lives. So, as parents, you will have to find a nonintrusive way to remain helpful.

Try to develop a supportive relationship so that your teenager is willing to come to you for social advice. You can still foster social opportunities where your teenager can meet friends. This might not be through playdates, but rather through helping your teen to get involved in extracurricular activities or clubs.

As a parent, you can still give a teenager feedback about social skills, but it is important to include the teenager in this discussion collaboratively instead of just telling the teenager what needs to be changed. For example, you might ask in a nonjudgmental way how the teenager would like to be seen by his or her peers, and how the teenager thinks he or she is currently seen by peers. If there is a discrepancy between these two descriptions, you might state that you would like to help him or her to be perceived by peers in the way that he or she would like.

Take-home messages

Remind yourself that your child will have better and worse days as he or she is working on being a better friend. We all have ups and downs ourselves. Try not to get too discouraged with yourself or with your child when there are minor setbacks, so long your child’s friendship-making skills are improving overall.

Also, remember that your child does not need to be the most popular boy or girl in the class. In fact, sometimes children who are the most popular develop other problems. The goal is for your child to maintain a small group of close friends who truly like one another and can turn to each other for support. If you can invest in helping your child develop a few strong friendships, then this will set the stage for your child to become a happy and well-adjusted adult.

Giving Your Child Friendship Feedback

Here are some tips and examples of helpful and not-so-helpful comments from parents to children.

1. Keep it brief. It will be easier for your child to follow what you say.

Poor: In this last playdate you talked with your friend early on about who should go first, which your friend wanted to do, and I think that was helpful to lead to your friend feeling welcomed by you as a guest here.

Better: Nice job letting your friend go first.

2. Be specific. Your child needs to know exactly what behavior is expected.

Poor: Nobody likes it if you are a bad sport when you lose.

Better: If you lose you can say “good game” to the winner.

3. Stay in the present. This is especially important when you are giving negative feedback; the child can’t do anything about the past.

Poor: You always have to move your guest’s pieces in games. You did that today with your guest, you did it the last time we had a playdate too, and your teacher says this is a problem at school too.

Better: I think that your guest today wanted to move his own pieces in the game. Next time, you move your own when it’s your turn and let your guest move his own when it’s his turn.

4. Stay positive. Catch your child being good to encourage more of that behavior in the future.

Poor: You shared your dolls but then you really didn’t share your video games after that. You need to work harder on sharing the whole time.

Better: Awesome job sharing your dolls so well! Your friend really liked that.

ImageTips for Playdates


Choose the right friend to invite over (see the section on identifying good potential friends).

Have your child and the friend decide in advance what they would like to do during the playdate. Then, plan the activity with your child and don’t leave a lot of unstructured downtime.

Put away (with your child) any toys that your child doesn’t want the guest to touch.

Have snacks on hand in case there is a period of boredom. Then you can bring out snacks and revitalize the interaction.

If there are poor friendship behaviors that your child consistently shows, pick no more than one or two to talk to your child about in advance. Tell your child you’ll be watching out for him or her to do well in these areas and (if necessary) you will give your child a reward afterwards for behaving well. Remember to tell your child the positive behavior you would like to see and to pick a standard that is slightly above your child’s current performance, but not so far above that it is unattainable.

Make the first playdate last no longer than one hour. Make it a shorter amount of time if you are not sure your child can behave for one hour. The guest should leave on a good note.


If your child is showing minor behavior problems, calmly whisper a reminder in his ear.

If the behavior problems are more severe or if the reminder doesn’t work, ask to see your child in the other room and tell your child what behaviors need to be changed. If you do it privately with your child, it won’t make the guest feel awkward. If your child is behaving that poorly, the guest will have already noticed that, and will be relieved that you are doing something about it.

Unless the problems are so severe that someone is in danger, don’t send the guest home. The guest shouldn’t be punished for your child’s misbehavior. Plus, your child loses the opportunity to socialize. Give your child a different punishment afterwards. Then, ask yourself what you could do differently next time before the playdate to reduce the likelihood that this will happen again.


If true, tell the other parent that the children had a good time and you hope they can get together again.

Use the principles of effective feedback to tell your child specifically what was and was not good friendship-making. Remember the 4:1 ratio and to praise for even twenty-five percent correct.

If you had a contract with your child about how to behave, then give your child the rewards that you promised if your child showed these target behaviors.

When ADHD Runs in Families

Sometimes parents of children with ADHD have ADHD symptoms, too. This can make being a friendship coach for the child easier in some ways and more challenging in others. Here are some tips to remember:

Empathize with your child.

Having ADHD yourself can make you more patient and understanding when dealing with your child’s friendship difficulties. This has the positive benefit of building a good parent-child relationship so that your child trusts you to be on his side and help him as a friendship coach. Also, having ADHD may help you better anticipate your child’s social behaviors and needs.

Take things one step at a time.

Some parents with ADHD struggle with providing the level of structured, organized playdate that is recommended here. Just pick one friendship-coaching tip from this article that is realistic to try with your child first, and focus on doing that one tip well. It might help to write on your calendar which friendship-coaching tip you have chosen so that you are reminded about your goal. Once you practice the tip it will get easier, and then you can work on adding another friendship coaching tip later.

Work together as a team.

Some parents with ADHD have difficulty networking with other parents, similar to the difficulties that their child with ADHD has in relating to the other children. You and your child might both set a goal that, during soccer practice, both of you will talk to other adults and children to each think about one potential friend to invite for a playdate. Remember to celebrate your successes as a team afterward, too.


Amori Yee Mikami, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. She is licensed as a clinical psychologist in the state of Virginia. Focused on youth with ADHD, her research aims to understand why some children have difficulties with peer relationships, and what might be the consequences of these social problems. Mikami received CHADD’s 2006 Young Scientist Award.

This article originally appeared in the February 2011 issue of Attention magazine. Copyright © 2011 by Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). All rights reserved.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

How to Teach your Child with ADHD to Behave when you are Upset

We all cannot be in a happy and relaxed mood each and every day. You may have experienced this situation. Perhaps you came home from a day at work and you were very upset because your boss criticized and embarrassed you in front of the other employees. You are clearly worried about your job performance, and therefore, your job security. Upon arriving home, you collapse into the recliner, close your eyes and are visibly upset.

Your child sees your body language, and typically in relation to a child with ADHD, he does not pick up on your social cues. You do not tell him anything as to what happened to you and why you are sitting with your eyes closed in the chair. He comes right up to you and begins to talk excessively, as many children with ADHD arguably do. You become quickly annoyed and say to him, such as, “Calm down. What is your problem? I just got home. Can’t you go and do something?”

What should you say to your child when you are upset, as in this example, so that you can help him to be sensitive to your emotional state? I do not think that it is necessary, and in fact, may add more worry than necessary, to tell a child all of the details as to what happened to you at work. However, what you can say is that you did not have a good day at work and that you are very exhausted. In that way, he does not think that you are upset with him and with a little guidance from you, he will learn to wait until you are ready to talk with him.

Here is an example of what you can say to him:

“Jimmy, I did not have a great day at work today and I am very tired. I will rest for a little while and then we can talk, okay?” In that way, the child knows that you will talk to him later, but for now, you need some time to relax.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Children with ADHD, Bullying, Social Skills Training and Individualized Education Plans (IEPS)

Recently, there have been increased conversations about the incidence of bullying in relation to children with special needs, which of course, includes children with ADHD. Children with ADHD are bullies as well as bully other children. Are you surprised? Oftentimes, a child with ADHD has low self-esteem and appears to be vulnerable, which serves as a signal to bullies that they can abuse them either verbally or physically. The child with ADHD, in turn, feeling frustrated and angry, even though he may not express these feelings, finds a child who is equally vulnerable and bullies him. 

This bullying may take subtle forms, such as hand signals, a shove in the hallway, or a sequence of nasty looks that evolve later on into verbal and/or physical abuse. These bullying incidences often go unnoticed because bullies are very adept at taking advantage of situations when adults are not around. That being said, many children in schools throughout the United States are quick targets for being bullied on a daily basis, remain unnoticed, and are unable to reach out for help due to the fear of reprisal. 

How can we help children with ADHD and other special needs to learn social skills so that they will increase their self-esteem and self-confidence? In addition to developing school-wide programs to diminish bullying, children with special needs, including those children with ADHD, need to have social skills training written into their individualized education plans (IEPs). In that way, those children who have been bullied can develop positive social skills that will enable them to stop bullies from harassing them. Additionally, they will develop better self-esteem as well as better self-confidence.

Here is the caveat, however: The social skills training needs to be facilitated by individuals who are specifically trained in teaching social skills, and not done by individuals who have a general knowledge of behavior. Many school psychologists and social workers may encourage conversations with children regarding difficulties on a day to day basis, but they are not specifically trained in teaching social skills.

 I know that particularly in terms of President Obama’s campaign for the Race to the Top, schools are undergoing pressure to raise their students’ test scores. However, arguably, if children are not able to attend school in a safe environment, they will find it very difficult to learn academic skills.

Do parents know that their children have been bullied or bully?  Some do. “Daniel’s” mom knew that he had been bullied and began to focus on the subject of bullying. However, she did not know how to start, as she told me later. “‘Daniel’ always appeared to be confident and vulnerable at the same time. His confidence came in the form of jokes. His vulnerability came in the form of telling people about friendships that were either never made or made and never continued.”

Daniel’s vulnerability often led to his being bullied, as he explained here by Daniel:

“This one kid tried to steal my bike. He jumped on the back pegs and started taking it from me, and whenever I’m coming home from school, I have to be careful a lot because I’m riding my bike. I was just walking my bike because they’re just too many kids. I can’t ride around them, just walk it. And he jumped on the pegs. I held a firm grip. He tried, like, yanking it out of my
hand. I ended up falling, and he fell along with the bike on top of me, pressed it up against my chest. I couldn’t breathe.”

Another Mom told me that “…A boy, he has often mistreated Larry here; he says you’re a baby; they ganged up on him… Well, Larry he would come in and he would be crying. They would like tackle him way too hard.”

Children also, however, become afraid of children whom they see abuse others, whether or not that child has ADHD.  One Mom said, “People, kids get scared of him, because he’ll do , he’ll beat, he’ll hit them, he’ll poke them, he’ll quickly become upset,  and run away,  and so he’s very unpredictable in other kids’ eyes, and they don’t like that.

It is very difficult for children with ADHD to make friends, due to their vulnerability, as well as the socially inappropriate behavior that they exhibit. Social skills training, arguably, is the key that will unlock the door of children with ADHD having few if any friends.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The New Research on Bullying: The Actual Article

This is the actual article about the new bullying research, FYI:

Bullying: New Research

New research has found that when they "...examine aggression from a social network

perspective, arguing that social network centrality, our primary measure of peer status,

increases the capacity for aggression and that competition to gain or maintain status motivates its use" (Faris and Felmlee, 2011, p. 48). Here is the article from the New York Times that discusses this research. What do you think?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Worth Reading: An Op-Ed in the New York Times by a Parent who has ADHD about her Child who has ADHD

Did anyone read the op-ed article in the New York Times this past Saturday by Katherine Ellison entitled, The Parent Trapped? Here is the link in case you missed it...worth reading...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Preschoolers' Social Skills

Here is the link to a good article about preschoolers' social skills from the January 11, 2011 issue of the journal Young Children. After you copy and paste the link, find the title of the article, which is entitled, Preschoolers' Social Skills Steer Life Success.

Here is the link:

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Question and Answer Session?

Is anyone interested in a question and answer session tomorrow, Saturday or next Saturday? You could write questions to my blog as a comment and I would answer your question immediately. I could run this session from 1:00 to 3:00 tomorrow or next Saturday.

You can write me here or to the email address on my website,


What Skills does your Child with ADHD Need to Learn in Order to Make an Easy Transition to High School

Where did the time go? One day, your child comes home with a booklet that he is supposed to look at with you in order to select courses for high school. High school!!!!!! For many children with ADHD, this is a “wake up” call. Other children with ADHD may develop anxiety. However, let us remember that according to definitive research that was done at the National Institute of Health, children with ADHD actually behave as a child who is three years younger than his actual age. Therefore, a child who is 14 actually behaves as an 11 year old.

A child who is 11 years old is not even thinking about going to high school. That being said, that 14 year old must begin high school in September. Arguably, the child’s high school teachers will not lower their expectations for this child, just because research has found that children who have ADHD oftentimes do not behave in age-appropriate ways.

Children with ADHD should be taught from a very young age to self-regulate their behavior as well as how to organize their schoolwork in order to complete it on time. If your child or the child whom you teach has not been taught these skills, here are some suggestions as to what he has to learn before he begins high school in September:

 How to shower themselves without parental help

 How to choose what clothes to wear for school

 How to get out the door quickly in the morning, in order to arrive at school in a timely manner

 How to come home and decide when to do his homework, work on it and complete it

 How to organize his homework assignments as well as their due dates on a color-coded chart

 How to type his assignments on a computer

 How to build time management skills

 How to set long-term goals

 How to complete all of his assignments

 How to develop good note-taking skills

 How to develop good study skills

 How to become aware of his interests so that he can develop them in high school

Please write to me if you would like suggestions as to how to help your child with ADHD to facilitate these skills.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Compliments Jar: A Method for Teaching Children with ADHD to Give Compliments to other Children

I have been familiar in the past with this great method for encouraging children to give compliments, but was reminded about it by one of my Fordham students last Thursday evening. Teachers can try this method with an entire class, and/or parents can try this method with an individual child. Feel free to adapt it, however. Here we go…

Find a jar that is approximately the size of the sugar jar that diners used to hold sugar years ago. If you are not familiar with that type of jar, you can use a peanut butter jar, (empty, of course!) or a jelly or a preserves jar. The decision as to what size jar is directly related to how long you are going to facilitate this method.

Let me explain more… Each time a child says a compliment to another child, the teacher or parent puts either a piece of paper, a marble or a gum ball into the jar. (No one eats the gum balls, however. They are just used as a way to take up space!) The type of object that you put into the jar is also decided by the amount of time (a day, a week, etc.) that the child or the children will have to fill up the jar. If you are facilitating this method over one day’s time, I would use gum balls or marbles. If you are using this method over one week’s time, I would use paper.

If you want to use this method for one day, then you would use a small jar. If you want to use this method for one week, you would use a larger jar. You also have to decide what prize you will give to the children or the child if the jar is filled up. Do you want to give a pizza party to the whole class? Do you want to permit the one child to have a special lunch with you? Do you want to have everyone watch a fun movie? Do you want to give the individual child extra computer time?

There are some possible problems that might come up in terms of using the compliments jar with an entire class. If everyone gives a compliment except for a few children what do you do? Do you give the prize to the class anyway, or do you penalize the class because a few children did not cooperate. What I would do is to keep trying to get those children to give at least one compliment to someone if most of the class has given compliments. If you try the compliments jar, please let me know if it was effective.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Teach a Child with ADHD to Give a Compliment: Part 2

If the child with ADHD recognizes that the child with whom he is in an interaction has been helpful to him, then he can be taught to give a compliment. It is more important to teach this social skill if the child with ADHD does not understand how helpful the other child has been. In fact, it might facilitate the child with ADHD’s understanding of the other child’s behavior for the teacher to take a video of the other child (with the parents’ permission).

Show the video to the child with ADHD. Point out to the child with ADHD exactly what the child does that demonstrates that he is being helpful. This video can be a two- or three-minute video from any still digital camera to which the teacher has access.

  • How should a child give a compliment?

The teacher, the teacher’s assistant, the teacher's aide the paraprofessional, or the parent can serve as a coach to the child with ADHD and teach him to do the following:

  • If the child with ADHD is interacting with the other child in some way, then the natural thing would be to give a compliment while they are interacting. If they are playing at recess, the child with ADHD can say, “Jess, your outfit looks cool,” for example. Presumably, the other child will say “Thank you,” and then the child with ADHD can say, “You are welcome.” Or...

  •  “Those are delicious cookies that you made. Can you give me the recipe?”

  •  Or . . .

  • “What a great hit you made today at softball in recess. It helped us to win the game.”
These responses will not be automatic with the child with ADHD, however. You will have to practice faux scenarios and teach the child with ADHD to role play so he learns how to give a compliment.