For many, February is the month of love. We focus on the people we care about and find ways to express our feelings. Perhaps you are in a relationship as an adult with ADHD. Or you are in a relationship with someone who has ADHD. You may even be a parent trying to help your ADHD child with friendships. All of these situations can be very challenging.
Children with attention challenges generally struggle with keeping friends. They are not always able to pick up social cues that allow them to have successful friendships. For instance, your child with ADHD may say something to hurt another childs feelings, but lacks the attention to see the sadness on the other childs face. Therefore your child has no idea he has offended someone. No learning takes place and this behavior continues. Before you know it, your child is coming home complaining that he does not have any friends. And he has no idea why or how to fix it. He simply thinks everyone is against him.
Play Attention, a cognitive feedback based program, has an activity that directly addresses teaching social skills. Through a series of attention enhanced activities, a child or an adult can start simply by focusing on a blank card. Once the student is fully attentive, the card will be completely exposed. If the student loses attention, the card begins to disappear. Once the student is fully attentive, the expression on a persons face is seen. The student must match the feeling associated with the expression. For example, the picture may be of a little girl smiling with three word choices: happy, sad, angry. The steps get incrementally more challenging and will eventually teach the student how to respond if a person has a certain expression on his/her face.
While simplistic at the onset, teaching social skills takes foundational practice. Teaching an ADHD child to slow down long enough to actually see the expression on anothers face is the start.
What happens to those of us who were not taught social skills as a child? Many struggle with relationships as an adult as a result. Whether you are the person with ADHD, or you're in a relationship with someone with ADHD, you are bound to face many challenges.
Attitude Magazine recently ran an article, 10+ ADD Relationship Tools for Lasting Love, which explores the tools needed to have a loving relationship with someone struggling with attention issues. In this article author, Jonathan Halverstadt, states that in the beginning there are strong and wonderful feelings but you need much more to make an ADD relationship last.Instead of falling into an all you need is love scenario, Halverstadt offers suggestions for your relationship tool box.
One of the first things that he explores is managing the symptoms. In the relationship, the ADHD person must take ownership of the symptoms and actively manage them. Many of the skills he talks about are addressed with the Play Attention program.
If you are a parent, or an adult, or love someone who struggles with attention, I encourage you to attend an informational webinar. The webinar is FREE and your questions and concerns about ADHD relationships will be addressed.