Socially Akward Behavior: I have a... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Socially Akward Behavior


I have a sixteen year old (ADHD). Medication has done wonders for his focus and grades. But he often does odd things publicly (at school) which I believe truly affect how he is received (has no friends). He isn't doing anything wrong (for example: doing sit-ups by himself, during lunch time). But he doesn't understand that it draws attention to himself in an awkward way; and kids his age don't want to hang out with someone who may embarrass them. Am I the only one experiencing these concerns? How can I help him curb the awkward behavior?

11 Replies

In school do they have a speech therapist or special ed teacher of some sort? I’m thinking and tell him it’s only temporary but he should meet with the speech therapist etc., one period every week and the two of them can discuss what’s appropriate what’s not and examples like they can role play. What’s excellent about this is it’s private and it’s personalized for him. He and her can chat and he’s going to start understanding accepting social norms and participate with healthy kind guidance.

If he doesn’t nip it in the butt now it’s only going to be harder and more painful as an adult

I used to love doing push offs the bar and leg lunges behind the bar during downtime- not appropriate. I think it’s great he likes doing sits up. I bet it helps his motivation and focus though the day. The helper lady can give him suggestions how he can still do his sit ups at lunch but in a better location

RaquelMonique- Thanks for bring this to the group. Does he have an IEP (Individual Education Plan)? Also is he getting counseling? These two things need to address this type of behavior. If he has an IEP, then social goals should be written ( data collected and or monitored) to make sure someone at the school ( not usually a speech person) is working on this. It would really spill into group work and partner work, which is big in schools.

In addition to the schools working on it a counselor or therapist could work on role playing about appropriate behavior.

These will help address this and it should be stopped so he can gain friends and acceptance by peers.

Yes, my child does weird stuff, not sure if it is an impulse issue or lack of understand about what not to do.

Hope this helps

My daughter is 17. She has no real friends. Her best friend moved last year and other close friends have moved on to other friends thru the years. Other kids treat her like she’s “invisible”, she says. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve witnessed her acting differently, (a little less mature than the other girls, especially when she was younger), and by now, she’s resolved herself to thinking there just aren’t any nice people left in her school. I realize ADD kids can’t pick up on social cues that other kids can. I beat myself up all the time for not finding her a behavior therapist a long time ago. I’m wondering if it’s too late now.

My opinion is its never to late becuase this will impact her in a work or college setting if she chose that after high school. If were in your shoes, I would try to find a peer support group and do behavior training.

Good luck

D, I feel exactly the same. My son seems to have lost all faith in people because of the long history of rejection and isolation that he’s experienced. He’s such a good kid, it’s hard for me to sit back and watch. I beat myself up for not finding help sooner.

Wow! I can identify with your feelings regarding the awkward behavior of your kid. When I was a kid I too was ostracized by fellow students because I acted up. I'm an adult now and made it, but it was a tough slog. Meds and lots of trial and error got me through.

There is hope and help out there nowadays...thankfully.

My daughter has odd behaviors as well, and is socially awkward. I found a social skills group with kids of same age and needs. They meet once a week and are guided by and monitored by a behavioral therapist. They have a curriculum and address conversational skills, and other topics. It is for ADHD kids. You can check with a psychologist or counselor, or Google social skills or social thinking , in your area.


My son is 14 and is also always saying or doing awkward things in public. I am constantly trying to teach him things we don't talk about or do in public. I feel bad because I find myself saying "don't embarrass me" when we are out places. Luckily he does have 2 friends in school. I try to invite them over often to keep him socially active. I have an older son who also gets embarrassed by his behavior at times. It's very difficult and a constant struggle. Best of luck to you.

Social skills training seems to be helping my boy somewhat. We are mainly focusing on curbing annoying behavior to others. It is painful to watch his odd behavior during team sports which this year he wanted to do for the first time. He excels at individual sports where his odd behavior does not affect others.. track and field , horseback riding mountain biking write back if you want to know more about the social skills

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