How to Stop a Child with ADHD from suffering Bullying

Bullying causes intense difficulty and misery for many children, both boys and girls, and can occur in a wide variety of ways. All schools have to have a policy on bullying, so make sure that you are familiar with your school’s policy.

It’s important to find out if there was a specific trigger for the bullying, such as the loss of a best friend or a one-off specific incident. Bullying tends to be a recurrent problem with children with ADHD and if this is the case, going back to basics and reassessing the overall approach to the child’s ADHD can be useful. Consider whether social skills support might be necessary, if there is a particular clash with a teacher, if the child’s learning difficulties are worse than had been anticipated, or if there might be specific issues at home.

Children with ADHD will often bully others not only because of their innate aggression but also because of their impulsiveness and the fact that they want to be seen as part of a gang due to their social skills difficulties. They may be easily led and sometimes are set up to do the bullying by other children who will later run for cover. Many children with ADHD are adept at spotting weaknesses in another child, and know exactly how to exacerbate a situation, but they may be unaware of the consequences of their actions or may have completely misread the situation. They are sometimes surprised at what all the fuss is about.

Alternatively, a child on the receiving end of persistent bullying may well have low self-esteem, social skills difficulties or other issues relating to the more inattentive forms of ADHD.

So, it is well worthwhile thinking about ADHD in both the bully and the bullied. Discussion with the SENCO or behaviour support team would be useful, as well as initiation of appropriate action through the school’s bullying policy.

If the child with ADHD is on the receiving end of persistent bullying, aim to use the school’s bullying policy as a way of introducing structure, home-school reporting, an action programme, or whatever other action seems appropriate.

If you suspect that your pupil with ADHD is involved in bullying but this is denied, it is important to liaise with the family and to have regular contact with the pupil involved. Bullying involving internet chat rooms and mobile phones is becoming increasingly common and such forms of bullying can be quite insidious and difficult to detect. Showing support and understanding for the pupil will help to sort things out.

Filed Under: Lifestyle & Personality


About the Author: Alan Kennon lives a very happy life with two kids and a lovely wife. He likes to share his life time experiences with others about how they can improve their lifestyle and personality.

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