This week, I set out to make a discovery.
I planned to take a poll among a large group of people with ADHD and ask them this:
“When you were a child, were you more or less willing to play alone than your peers?”
Or if I was talking to the parent of an ADHD child, I would ask them this:
“Is your child more or less willing to play alone than their peers?”
What I THOUGHT I would find out was that children with ADHD are more willing (in general) to play alone than their peers are. In a way, I sort of thought ADHD would override any introvert and/or extrovert qualities in a child’s brain, and simply leave them all living in “their own little worlds,” so to speak.
Why did I think that? I’m not really sure. Probably because the two kids I’m around the most who have ADHD are generally spaced out in their own worlds … but I have to remind myself that not all kids with ADHD are like that. Not all kids with ADHD are wired the same.
Some kids with ADHD have the inattentive type, whereas others have the hyperactive type, and others have the combined type (symptoms of both). When you factor in the variables that come along with each type of ADHD, you come up with drastically different results on the socialization scale.
Not to mention a lot of kids with ADHD also have other disorders like Sensory Processing Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Autism, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder (just to name a few). The list of co-occurring disorders is nearly endless. When you consider the impact those other disorders might have on a child’s personality or tendencies, the impact socialized impact ADHD has on a child will change.
Although socialization for each child with ADHD is different, I did find a few consistencies throughout my week of research. These are by no means scientific or conclusive, but they are interesting and might be insightful to someone who’s struggling to understand the ADHD child(ren) in their life.
Here’s what I found out:
Most of the kids who had Hyperactive or Combined ADHD, but had no other disorders, craved social time more than their peers.
Most of the kids who had Inattentive Type ADHD, but had no other disorders, avoided social time more than their peers.
Most of the kids who had ADHD (any type) plus at least one co-occurring disorder avoided social time more than their peers, or functioned at a higher level when alone.
Not all of the results fell into these categories, but 99% of them did! And I talked to A LOT of people with ADHD, or parents of children who had ADHD. It was kind of astounding how consistent the results were across the board.
And even more astounding that the results were not what I expected!
I loved getting to learn more about the ADHD community this week and look forward to hearing from all of you about your experiences. Did you have ADHD as a child? If so, which type did you have? Did you have any co-occurring disorders? Did you function at a higher level when in social settings or when alone?
Or do you have a child with ADHD? How do they function socially?
Tell me about your lives!