Children With ADD Often Suffer Rejection – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

Children With ADD Often Suffer Rejection – Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari

The development and maintenance of healthy peer relationships is critical for the normal development of a child. The nature of peer relationships in children has been shown to be a critical element of a child’s psychological health, and an important predictor of positive adult adjustment and behavior. Difficulty in finding friends leads to feelings of low self-esteem and these feelings usually continue into adulthood. Children with poor socials skills are at risk for delinquency, poor academic achievement, and school drop out.

Approximately 70% of children with ADD (AD/HD) suffer from peer rejection; they are less likely to be chosen as best friends, activity and sports partners, or seat mates. What’s worse is that as these children grow older, the social problems seem to get worse. Their inappropriate behavior leads to further social rejection and heightens their inability to relate to others appropriately. Long term these children are more likely to have difficulty finding and maintaining successful careers. As social aptitude can make or break careers and relationships in the adult world, this is not surprising.

Causes of Rejection

There are several types of ADD symptoms (the symptoms of ADD vary between children), let’s take a look at how these can cause rejection.

Inattention Children who have difficulty sustaining attention become bored more easily than other children. As a result, they are more likely to become disruptive in the classroom, which can generate negative responses from the teacher and their peers. ADD children have difficulty in modulating their behavior as social situations change. Their inattention makes it likely that they will miss subtle interpersonal cues, such as tone of voice and facial expression, and therefore react inappropriately. Furthermore, they have apparent social-cognitive deficits that limit their ability to encode and recall rules of social conduct. Many children with ADD are aware that they are socially inept, are therefore anxious or fearful about peer relations, and withdraw from peer interactions. This only worsens the problem.

Hyperactivity-Impulsivity Children who are hyperactive, impulsive and/or aggressive are involved in more interrupting and fighting. They are more intense than others, and are more likely to yell, run around, and talk excessively or inappropriately (hyperactivity-impulsivity tends to be verbal in girls). They also tend to dominate play, engage in off-task behaviors, and in more teasing and physical jostling of peers. These behaviors set up a process of rejection. As other children with similar difficulties often find themselves rejected too, they often associate with each other, and this leads to further problems.


Helping children with ADD build close beneficial peer relationships is an important goal that is often overlooked. You as a parent have the ability to help your child accomplish this important social goal. However, many parents, often as a result of a fear of the unwanted side-effects and dependencies of drugs, choose to do nothing. There is, fortunately, an alternative to this scenario. Neurofeedback is a non-drug, painless, side-effect free procedure in which the child learns to retrain the attention mechanisms of the brain, alleviating the condition. Once treatment is complete, no further training is necessary.

To request information on the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, ADHD), Mild to Moderate Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Chronic Depression, Chronic Anxiety, and Peak Performance Training contact:

Dr. Stephen A. Ferrari
Alta Neuro-Imaging Neurofeedback
1075 Yorba Place
Suite 105
Placentia, CA 92870


Orange County ADHD Treatment & ADHD Symptom Expert