How Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria Can Affect Students Executive Functioning Skills

SSGC- How RSD Can Affect Students EF Skills (v1)

Why should I even try…

When it comes to growing up, children, teens, and young adults can feel as if they are constantly being told to do things better. Whether it is not keeping your room as clean as you should, not showing enough work on an assignment, or even that your chores aren’t being done properly, they can sometimes feel as if they can’t do anything right. However, for those with Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD), and especially those who are neurodivergent with RSD, they can take this much harder than those without these traits.

When being told that their assignments, chores, or overall daily tasks weren’t up to par, they can feel discouraged to do them at all in fear of being criticized once again. They may feel as if they would rather give up all together because of how much that feeling of rejection hurt them, and despite it sometimes just being constructive criticism, they can take it much more personally than those without RSD. One source explains how “It is very common for students with ADHD to already be experiencing the following in school: Many missing assignments, Teachers who think they are “lazy” and/or “unmotivated”… [and] When rejection sensitive dysphoria is added to this mix, the extreme emotional sensitivity can cause mental health conditions to worsen.” (McCormick, 2022). This intense fear of being rejected by their teachers, parents, or peers in a school or home environment can lead them to procrastinate or not complete tasks all together, as well as avoid anything that may trigger their RSD. This then causes them to fall behind, yet, if they can identify, regulate, and manage their RSD, they can avoid this, and the Support for Students Growth Center can help them learn how to do so.

At the Support for Students Growth Center, we provide the social, behavioral, educational, emotional, and executive functioning skills children, teens, young adults, and their families who may be Neurodivergent or not need for a happy and successful life in and out of school settings. Our team of professionals offers individualized and family coaching/counseling and social skills groups to help teach skills such as how to manage RSD to ensure parents do not have to worry that their kids will be unable to make and maintain a functioning independent life on their own. So, if your child is struggling with skills like the ones listed above and much more, the SSGC is equipped with the tools to help.

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Dr. Eric J. Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., A.S.D.C., is a Developmental and Behavioral Specialist who specializes in Autism, ADHD and related disorders. Dr. Nach is the founder of the Support for Students Growth Center and College Life Skills Program where he and his team of professional’s help develop the Emotional Maturity, Executive Functioning, Life Skill and Social Abilities of children, teens, young adults and college students and those high school students preparing for college.


McCormick, S. (2023, September 6). 6 signs your child has rejection-sensitive dysphoria. EF Specialists.,Self%2Dawareness