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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Socialization for ADD/Aspergers/Autistic kids

We just got back from the Homeschooling conference in Indianapolis, where HUMom presented a workshop entitled "When Socialization IS an Issue." Kids with ADD, Aspergers, Autism, learning disabilities or just plain quirkiness often have difficulties relating to others on a social level. This can cause tremendous stress on the family and frustration to the parents as well as the kids.

HUMom suggested many ideas for helping to train social skills, such as role playing, identification of non-verbal communication, recognizing emotional cues, teaching through literature, rehearsal, using photos & videos to study social situations, games that work on social skills (Moods, Express Yourself, the Ungame, etc.) and social stories written together by parent & child. It was well received and there were many questions and good discussion afterwards.

Has anyone else discovered effective ways of training social skills?


Anonymous said...

One theory, I have had is that since ADHD is an accepted diagnosis, it is freely given even when it is not the problem.

My son has ADHD to me there is no question. However I have seen kids that have different issues that were given the label because it is an "accepted label."

I have also seen it used when parents or teachers can not deal with a child. My best friend is being told her daughter needs to be evaluated for ADHD. The only place that she has problems is in school. She is good in scouts, at home and at Church. In school she is bored and easily distracted. In the other places she stays on task as long as you could expect a child of her age to.

Her mother is being assured that her daughter has ADHD and she will get a diagnosis and that she needs medication. I assured her mother that if her daughter had ADHD she would see problems more then just at school. My son has problems in all the fore mentioned settings. They vary based on his intrest level but he still struggles to stay focused.

So while there is no question in my mind that ADHD is real, I wonder how many times it is a scape goat when it is not the issue. My son's Dr has suggested the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I am in total agreement. My younger son was hyperactive even before birth. I first felt him at 12 weeks into my pregnancy. As this was not my first pregnancy I was already familiar with the distinction between indigestion and your baby moving inside you. He didn't sleep til he was 4 years old. He didn't know the word "walk". He ran everywhere. This included at school, at home, playing in the garden and wherever else we took him. He's now 21 and has settled completely. We gave him Ritalin for just 6 months due to massive headaches it caused him. He really benefitted from the medication and was able to concentrate at school better, but he was taking so many painkillers he decided with discussion with our clinical psychologist and schoolteachers and ourselves that the headaches were too unbearable even compared to the advantages of Ritalin.
If a child has ADHD, they have it EVERYWHERE. If a child is able to settle in one place and be unsettled in another, then reasons other than ADHD need to be examined.