Do your children have a lot of friends??

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Do your children have a lot of friends??
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 2:41pm
Hi all,

I am still trying to do some research on this whole ADD thing. My son has a ton of friends, kids are swarming over him all the time. Like today he went on a field trip with the kids from class and my dh said that there are always kids around him. That's why I feel so strongly about this ADD thing his teacher keeps bringing up. I know there are different forms and severities of it. But most of the time, when talking with parents of ADD children, their children are sometimes alienated because of his behavior or because of ADD. What has been your experiences in the friendship department? I would love to hear good and bad.



Amy -

Avatar for mjaye2002
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 5:25pm
Hi Amy! (I just posted to you on the Problems at School Board!!) I have a 12ds who is "barely" ADD and has dyslexia. My son has tons of friends, but as I said, he just barely went over the mark of ADD. He just simply could not focus in class and the reading disability didn't help matters. He is not obnoxious, although he can talk your ear off, and he "plays well with others"! He is VERY active, but he is not HYPER-active.

The longer I am around this board the more I realize just how big the range is with these things (ADD, ADHD, ODD, etc).



Avatar for keke0116
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 8:00pm
My ADHD/ODD child doesn't have a TON of friends, but I think that has more to do with (1) the fact that there are no kids in our neighborhood and (2) he's shy. He has a close circle of friends, and kids generally like him. He gets along with kids on his baseball team and karate class. He's invited to parties. The girls are starting to 'notice' him and get all giggly when he's around. His best friend is the most popular kid in his class, so there has to be something 'good' there if the 'cool kids' like him, right?

I have a friend who has TWO ADHD kids ... the older one is really quiet, pretty introverted, and doesn't have a lot of friend. Those he has are 'close' and loyal, but he's not outgoing. The younger of the two (who is like 9) is immensely popular ... he's very vocal, very outgoing ... he's the first one to get on stage at karaoke night, etc. It's almost like his hyperactivity and impulsivity actually draw kids to him. (Heck, I called his mom the other night, and he was on the phone ... on a conference call with 2 of his 'girlfriends.')

I guess my point is that having a circle of friends does not necessarily have anything to do with an ADHD diagnosis because I know ADHD kids on both sides of that spectrum.



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Registered: 08-26-2000
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 8:56pm
My 2 are different personalities - kind of like the 2 boys that Nancy described.

My oldest is an intravert. He's got 2 real good buddies this year, and a few other friends that he sometimes talks about. He seems to be generally well-liked by the kids in his Cub Scout group and on his baseball and soccer teams, though. My biggest concern about him is that he's an easy target for bullies - pretty naive and trusting. But I keep my eyes and ears open when I'm around him where there's other kids and I haven't seen any of that. He gets invited to parties, and I've had other parents tell me how sweet he is. Last year, though, he didn't seem to have anyone that he was particularly close to - I'd hear about 1 other kid occasionally, and that didn't seem to bother him too much.

My youngest is an extrovert. He's a life of the party type personality and always wants to have people around. He gets along pretty well with other kids, and wants to be sure that EVERY ONE knows who he is. He also has the kind of personality that if you don't want to do things HIS way, then oh well, too can just go somewhere else.

We don't live in a neighborhood, so we don't have "kids in the neighborhood" issues.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 1:37am
I have to disagree with the stereotypes or labels that are put on children with ADD/ADHD. I have twin daughters with ADD and they are daylight and dark. One has lots of friends and the other just has a select few. I think this has more to do with their personalities than whether or not they are ADD. This is only my experience with my children. I could be wrong when it comes to other children. I just dont think any two children are alike. I wish you luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 10:41am
Yet another kid who blows the stereotype out of the water: My nearly-seven YO son is ADD-inattentive (no hyperactivity component)/ODD, whose "issues" are mostly manifest at home. He is one of the friendliest, nicest kids you could imagine with his peers and with other adults (and even with his parents now and again, LOL!). He is actually a little bit on the shy side when he first meets someone, but after a very short "taking them in" period he is friendly and open. I would characterize him as pretty "popular" and well-liked at school and in the activities in which he participates, ADD/ODD notwithstanding. (Girls are even starting to think he's cute -- eek!!) He is finishing up first grade, so his friendships have kind of "morphed" over the past couple of years (less driven now by whose mom I happen to be friendly with, and more driven by common interests and personalities, but that seems to be the pattern for this age overall). His "best" friends are two boys who is very similar personality-wise to ds (though not ADD or ODD) - gifted academically, very active, very verbal, and very nice, very funny kids. He has been friendly with one of these boys for about three years (remember, he is only 7!) and with the other one for about 1-1/2 years. He has also made several good friends this year in school and through activities such as soccer and cub scouts. So, he is also definitely capable of both making *and* sustaining friendships.

DS has always been VERY verbal, but he is also respectful and kind, so I guess the other kids consider him to be "good friend material". He *loves* pretty much everything about school (learning, his teachers, the other kids, even homework!), and he does really well at school both academically *and* socially. He also thrives on being outside and running around and playing with other kids. He seems to be able to "partner" well on school projects/assignments when necessary, and other kids are always happy to be his partner. I've watched him in other settings, as well (such as tennis class, cub scouts, and soccer), and there, too, the other kids seem to like him and want to hang out with him. So, on both "casual acquaintence" and "close friend" levels, he has no problems getting along.

Even though you didn't ask ... I think that, although parents should always listen to (and, usually, follow) our own gut instincts about our kids, it is also prudent to consider input from *respected* sources (teachers, doctors, genuine friends) who might not be so "close" to the situation. I know that I did a TON of excuse-making and justification in my own head -- I'm not saying YOU are doing this, just that we did -- for ds' behavior before I was ready to consider the possibility that his issues spanned outside the realm of "typical" for his age. (He was "tired". He was "hungry". He was "bored". You know the drill.) It was difficult to benefit from outside sources in our case, since the behaviors were so seldom manifest anywhere other than with dh and I (well, other than some issues with focus at school ... but ds was always able to easily do the work, so even that wasn't really perceived as an issue for a long time.) I really wish that we had picked our heads up out of the sand and sought some professional opinions sooner than we did. I was always so afraid of the implications of the labels involved, and, I guess on some level, I blamed myself for doing something wrong as a parent to cause his behavior, and for not producing a "perfect specimen". But, these issues are *medical* -- as much as I was adverse to even considering meds for ds, I had to stop and think: Would I withhold insulin from a diabetic child, or albuterol from one who is asthmatic? Obviously not. Would I have a child suspected of being diabetic or asthmatic evaluated by a medical professional, even if these diagnoses would be distressing? Absolutely!

Again, I'm not saying that any of this is true in your case, but for *me* and my family there came a point where we had to stop being afraid of labels and regrets, and move on to do what was best for our son -- not what was easiest or least painful for us. Even if a child *is* evaluated, there is nothing that will force a parent to medicate them or (assuming it is done privately) to even tell anyone else about the results.

Hope this rambling helped! Good luck to you! ~ ruth

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Registered: 04-04-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 4:03pm
My Dh is also ADHD and is VERY outgoing and has a ton of friends *th popular one in the neighborhood*. Before the Strattera while on the Aderrall he was still very impulsive and very easily influenced. On the Strattera he is still very popular however he seems to be thinking things out first and not acting just because someone tells him to do something.

I think that there are alot of unfair stereo types on kids with ADHD. My son is always smiling and although he has pushed the limits I would not change him for anything in the world.

Good Luck,

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 12:25pm
One of my kids is Joe Popular, and the other one is a loner, as I was when I was his age. He reminds me so much of myself it is scary - except that I never had ADHD. I think it is just a personality thing, completely separate from the ADHD. He marches to his own drummer, and gets along best with other "off-beat" kids. It's just his nature - he knows he is "different" from his brother, and he doesn't care. We try to encourage them to be their own person - variety is the spice of life, etc etc. I would imagine he would be an odd one even if he didn't have ADHD - just remembering my own childhood.

I think social problems have a relationship to ADHD, particularly if the child tends to impulsivity and has a hard time controlling him/herself. However, like everything else - it is not a hard and fast rule that every kid w/ ADHD has social problems, and/or every kids w/ social problems has ADHD.