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Posted Apr 09 2010 12:00am

My ADHD/LD son is 13.  I recently decided, against my better judgment, to get him a cell phone and allow him to text.  I set limits of usage, allowing only 200 texts per month with our data plan.

I soon realized that his life started to revolve around his new found freedom.  He felt powerless without his phone.  It was an ever-present accessory that I soon began to despise.

I randomly checked his texts to make sure he was sending and receiving age appropriate messages.  I was shocked at what I found.  His "friends" had began bullying him via text. 

We successfully addressed and eliminated the bullying issue at school and on the bus during the first month of school.  Now, it has crept back into his life.

My husband and I discussed the bullying texts with him.  He confided in us that he felt so much pressure to "fit in" and text like everyone else does.  Having ADHD and LD, he has always had a problem "fitting in" and relating to his peers. This seemed magnified now that he was attempting to text.  He frequently misspelled words and didn't understand when the kids texting him were joking or being serious. This is a common symptom of ADHD... inadequate social skills. 

We mutually decided to allow him to keep the phone but that there would be no more texting.  To my surprise, my son was relieved.  He said he instantly felt better knowing the "pressure" was now gone.  I told him to use me as the scapegoat.  I have no problem with him telling his buddies that his "mean mom" took his texting privileges away.

I explained that kids generally text things that they would never have the nerve to say face-to-face.  He agreed.  I'm encouraging him to actually use his phone for it's intended purpose.... to CALL his friends and actually SPEAK with them.  He's so much happier now and his hands, especially his thumbs, are beginning to straighten out.

Do you allow your ADHD/LD child to text?  Has he/she encountered text bullying?  What have you done to stop it?

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