Social skills training and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Social skills training helps the child or adult with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) be less aggressive and impulsive, manage anger, and behave in a more socially acceptable way. Techniques include:

  • Coaching.
  • Role-playing.
  • Watching videotapes of good behavior.
  • Practicing ways to settle conflicts.

Social skills training uses specific steps and goals, such as learning how to:

  • Listen and engage in conversation.
  • Enter new group situations.
  • Give and receive praise and criticism.
  • Cope with frustration.

Social skills training is an important part of managing ADHD. Individual sessions or small group settings are both appropriate environments for learning these skills. Many school districts now offer social skills classes for students with ADHD (and other conditions), using specialized curricula.

Social skills training appears to help children, teens, and adults learn appropriate behaviors. However, more study is needed, especially on the long-term effects of this type of training.

Last Updated: April 17, 2008

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