Scaffolding what a successful get-together looks like with a 5th grader - ADHD Dude -Ryan Wexelblatt

ryan-wexelblatt-adhd-dude-hanging-out-scaffoldingWhen you have a narrow specialization as I do you see certain patterns, if you know what questions to ask.
One of the patterns I've seen over the years is that some boys do not want to invite friends over because it feels like too much pressure to have to entertain someone. This is not social anxiety, it's their difficulty with executive functioning-understanding how to structure get-togethers at home.
I've also seen many boys who (due to their difficulty with perspective-taking) will appear inconsiderate when a friend comes over. What that looks like is they have their own agenda and will not ask their friend what they want to do or do what's expected to help their guest feel comfortable. Some may even completely disengage while their friend is over to play video games on their one. Sadly, what this creates is a lot of one-time get-togethers that are not repeated.---------------------------------------------------------------------
Below, is an example of what I did with a 5th grader last week who was having a get-together at his house.
  • The first thing we do is create a "friend file" so there's a frame of reference to think about what their friend likes as that will help with making a "future plan for hanging out".
  • The next step is to create some scaffolding to help create a visual image of what we should do to be a good host.
  • The last thing I always discuss is about when you show your friend(s) that you're thinking about their thoughts you're helping them to feel comfortable at your house it will make it more likely that they'll want to get together again or reciprocate the get-together.
Here's what would not be helpful to this situation (keep in mind this contradicts what many professionals would tell you):
  • You directing the get together by creating a schedule/directing things.
  • "Hovering" during the get-together because you want to be able to correct your son and see/hear everything he is saying/doing.
  • Not giving them space or allowing them to work things out on their own if there's a disagreement.
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