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ADHD Kids May Need Help in Recognizing Emotions in Others

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:07pm

Have you ever been in a situation in public where your ADHD child continues to annoy others (or you) with their inappropriate behavior, even though you’ve given them every cue that they should stop? A recent study* conducted by The University of Western Australia found that ADHD boys had a hard time correctly identifying the emotions of facial expressions in drawings they were shown.

So if you’re the parent of an ADHD kid, be aware of the fact that your child might not be picking up on a lot of non-verbal cues that most of us take for granted. He or she could be reading something entirely different into a facial expression–or perhaps not reading anything into it at all! One way to tackle this problem with your child is by using drawings and photos of people or characters. Ask your child what emotion the person is displaying in the photo, and talk about it together. This can be done while reading a picture book or magazine, or looking through a family photo album. Point out the expressions of the people you see, and ask your child how you think that person is feeling. There are other resources for this activity as well. For example, thepbskids.orgwebsite has agame in its “Arthur” sectionthat gives younger kids points for correctly identifying what emotion a character from the show is feeling.

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