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Second-Grader Needs Social Skills
Q: Our second-grade boy has problems with interrupting the class by talking out loud. I see him with other kids his age, and it's like he doesn't know how to relate to them without being goofy and loud. The way he acts can be annoying, and I know this is keeping other kids from really getting close to him. Is there some way I can teach him the correct way to speak with others and just have a conversation? He has a very tender heart and has a lot to give.
A: Have you spoken with the school guidance counselor about this problem? At many schools, guidance counselors hold social-skills classes where kids have an opportunity to practice talking/sharing appropriately with others with an adult present to model and reinforce acceptable behaviors. There is an excellent video from Public Broadcasting by Rick Lavoie called Last One Picked, First One Picked On. See if it's available in your local library.
It's also possible that this behavior is a symptom of ADHD. You can contact the toll-free number of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders) and see if there is a professional they could recommend in your area to help you with this problem.
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For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.