We do “social fakes” all the time, often with our kids. A social fake is when you fake that you’re interested in what somebody was saying or in a conversation so others have good thoughts and feel comfortable around you.
Many boys with ADHD are “black or white thinkers”. As a result, they often do not understand the need to fake an interest in others or in a conversation that’s happening. This is compounded by their difficulty with perspective taking, or understanding other thoughts & feelings about them, based on the context of the situation.
I had this 9th grader (age 15) write what doing a social fake looks like because he has the propensity to be an extreme “information informer”.
I explain to the guys I work with – doing a social fake is a requirement, its not something you just do to be nice. I explained to them that others (peers included) have always done social fakes with them, thus it’s expected to do it for others.
I’m very direct with kids and teach them that if they choose not to do social fakes then they’re going to have an extremely difficult time making themselves enduring and relatable to similar-age peers.
When it comes to teaching social I don’t believe in “sugar coating” things for kids. As they get older social expectations increase and their similar-age peers are not going to be as direct with them, rather, they may just avoid them if they find them to be unrelatable.