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Child Immature and Lacking in Social Skills
My daughter has ADHD and has been on medication since she was 5 (she will be 15 next week) she has a nice personality but is extremely immature socially. Alot of nice kids have asked her to do things, but she either won't reciprocate invitations unless I really make her, she will act real silly if she does go and I think it turns kids off? What can I do? Kathy
Many children with ADHD are emotionally immature and have difficulties socially. Many have told me that they have spent their lives feeling as if they do not fit in with their peers. Your daughter's silliness may be a defense mechanism she has and she may do it because she is so nervous or so afraid of not fitting in. My son was always worried about not ever being asked again. She might also not want to invite friends over for the same reasons, she may be afraid they will get there and then not like her.
Some experts say that emotionally, a child with ADD can be between 1 and 5 years below their chronological age in maturity. Although I am sure that this will not seem like much help right now, usually by the time they reach their 30s they will have caught up emotionally. Some believe that the area of the brain that controls emotional maturity actually works slower in individuals with ADHD and therefore it could take them 2 years to reach the same level others may reach in 1 year.
High school is a difficult time for any child, but can be even more so for children that do not feel they fit in with the other kids. Fitting in is so very important during the teen years. Finding out what interests your daughter will help. Her interest level might help her to focus more and help her to relate to others. Is she interested in art or music? Could she take lessons?
Keeping her busy with activities can also help. Maybe find some activities that include a wide range of ages, teen groups that include ages 13-17 might help. She may be better able to relate to teens that are a year or two below her age level.
You could also try contacting local psychologists to see if anyone in your area provides social skills training or support groups for teens.
Accept that your daughter will mature at her own speed, as painful as that may be right now. Time is on your side and she will eventually catch up with her age group.
I hope this helps