This is one of the reasons that we chose to keep him back a year. I would have continued to homeschool him except that at 6 years old he was playing well, fitting in with peers, and making friends.
I know that everyone has to make an individual choice based on what is best for their child and their family so don’t think I am judging the choices of others here. But I would not have sent my son to a regular classroom if he needed an aid. I would much prefer him to be in an Autism class/school.
My biggest concern regarding school choice was self-esteem. I was confident we could teach the academics in fact his reading and computation skills were well above age appropriate levels, but I wanted him to be socially ready to benefit from school and not fell less than the other children. He has done very well this year he turned a bully into a friend and dealt with a schoolboy crush (he found his future bride as he very much liked the sound of her voice).
As with any childhood disorder, we want to know what can protect the child from long-term negative outcomes. When it comes to ADHD, studies demonstrate all sorts of long-term problems that we would rather prevent, such as delinquency, depression, and anxiety.
As I mentioned in a recent editorial, data from the Multimodal Treatment Study of ADHD (MTA) revealed some surprising results about long-term outcomes for children with ADHD. Among the results include a finding that what we typically do to treat ADHD (medication and/or psychosocial treatment) does not significantly improve peer problems. And long-term peer difficulties can lead to a host of externalizing and internalizing problems that can last into the adult years.
A recent study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology looked at two different areas of peer relationships in children with ADHD: peer rejection and friendship. The authors predicted that children with ADHD that were rejected by peers and did not have friends would suffer poorer outcomes in adolescence. They further predicted that having friends would help lessen the impact of peer rejection and thereby lead to better outcomes. Their results revealed a surprising finding: friendships did not have the protective impact that they thought they would find.