There are kids and teens that have a very difficult time reading and responding to social cues and feedback. This is frequently an inability to tune in to non-verbal body language, but can also be a challenge deciphering verbal feedback and tone of voice.
For example, we were having somewhat of a tense interaction between some of our teen boys last week that I and my co-coach were trying to process and work through when another teen came up to us and started randomly talking about something way out-of-the-realm of what was going on around him. And when we reflected with him on it, he really was completely clueless. He has a weak social antenna.
There are kids whose antenna is weakened by the static and interference that is going on in their amazing and fast-moving brains. Because they mostly operate in their internal world, they miss a good deal of what’s going on in their external world. For kids or teens with ADHD, this is the symptom we call inattentiveness. They are attentive, but not to their environment.
You will discover that you need to ask them to hit the pause button and take a look around (literally) and tell you what is going on. Then, ask them if there is anything important in the external world that they should be noticing. Some kids and teens use medical interventions to help boost their antenna’s reception. Other’s may need to rely on us assisting them with prompts to tune in more carefully. This acronym that I created may be helpful to teach your child or teen. Be AWARE:
A: Adjust and
R: Respond to your