Learning and Sharing

Making and Keeping Friends is an Art

on September 29, 2013

Children with ADHD, ASD, and social thinking deficits often have little sense of how they are perceived by their peers.  In the Lunch Buddies groups our mantra is “thinking about you, thinking about me, and thinking about you thinking about me”.  We always want to keep others thinking good thoughts and feeling good feelings about us.

According to Karen Stephens, Director of Illinois State University Child Care Center, to make and keep friends, children must be able to:

  • Recognize shared interests
  • Gracefully join into play
  • Pay attention to non-verbal communication cues
  • Identify common goals
  • Listen to and respect feelings
  • Empathize with another person’s perspective
  • Practice compassion
  • Cooperate
  • Accept others
  • Include others
  • Extend a trust-worthy, helping hand

Here is one of the Ten Tips to Help Your Child Make and Keep Friends adapted from: It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend by Richard Lavoie. Published by Simon and Schuster, NY,NY.

  • Play games with your child to practice some of these important social skills:

negotiate:  model how to make deals, cooperate, discuss, and bargain

take turns

follow rules:  everyone has to do it this way, or it doesn’t work!

accept defeat

be gracious in victory


be patient:  give others time to make their  move

strategize:  think “out loud,” of ways to solve a puzzle


We read


I am a huge fan of Julia Cook.  Her books are so helpful in our social skills groups.  The recurring theme of this book is that “to have good friends, you need to be a good friend”.  Brown feels like he doesn’t fit in.  Each of the other crayons displays a positive friendship trait.  Brown learns from the others that he has everything inside him that he needs to be a good friend.


We also used Space Hero Social Skills created by CC at and available to purchase at

photo                                                 photo










The boys love these space heroes!  There is a social story, power card and a game.

BTW,  the story yoga adventure continued and we tried some group poses.


Thanks, Mrs. Rairden.  Yoga rocks!

My Best,



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