Should Your Child Tell His Friends He Has ADHD?

Many children with ADHD and even parents struggle with whether to tell friends they have the disorder. Some believe it is better that friends understand what they are going through so they can be more understanding and flexible when their ADHD symptoms flare up. Others worry that telling friends they have ADHD will scare them away or cause friends to start treating them with kid gloves.

According to experts, there's really no one answer. In many cases, the right decision may be based on the severity of your child's symptoms, and/or the closeness of the particular relationship.

When Symptoms Are Mild

If your child's symptoms are mild and he's able to manage or disguise most of them with medication and therapy, there may be no reason to tell friends or even teachers he has ADHD unless you and your child feel that telling them would strengthen his friendships and relationships with them.

If your child decides to share his condition with friends, encourage him to help friends better understand ADHD symptoms by suggesting good books and websites for them to read or by explaining how they can assist him or avoid being the target of his emotions when his symptoms flare up.

When Symptoms Are Severe

On the other hand, if your child's symptoms are more severe and/ or frequently disrupt her life and the lives of others, telling friends and teachers she has the condition is probably essential. It will help friends be more understanding, forgiving, and flexible when your child's symptoms flare, and it will ensure your child receives the special services and accommodations he requires in the classroom setting.

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