+ Seven Tips for ADHD Meltdowns

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Michele Nixon published these tips on ADDitudeMag.com:

  1. Agree on a plan:  whether you’re going to the supermarket, shopping, to the doctor or to the beach, ask your ADHD child what would calm him down if he get upset.  Then if he melts, you have a plan, and it’s one he delivered to you.  He has ownership and may be more likely to cooperate.
  2. Acknowledge his or her anguish:  Let her know you understand what she’s going through by telling her in a calm voice “I know you’re disappointed we didn’t find the toy you wanted” or “I know you’re angry because your friends didn’t ask you to play.”  Ask her to rate her disappointment or anger on a scale of 1 to 10.  This gives you an idea of the severity of the problem without having to repeat or nag.
  3. Set the bar:  Explain to him that the clock is running by saying, for example, “Let’s see how fast you can calm yourself down so we can get on with our day,” or “Even though you’re upset, you need to calm down so we can get on with our shopping.”
  4. Snuff out the emotion:  ask her to imaging there is a candle painted on her palm.  She can face her palm and and “blow out” that imaginary flame.  Deep breathing also settles some children; alternatively, keep some balloons in your bag and have her blow one or two of them up.
  5. Get punchy:  if you’re at home when this happens he can punch some pillows or perhaps have a pillow fight.  Ripping up newspapers or squeezing a ball are other options.
  6. Press the right button:  have her pretend she’s holding a remote control in her hand.  Ask her to press the volume control to bring it down.
  7. Ask for help:  if your child has frequent meltdowns and isn’t responsive to suggestions, don’t wait till things seem beyond repair; work with an ADHD professional to improve chances of avoiding such events.

Thanks to Forest Alliance Coaching for finding this information.

Orton-Gillingham tutoring in Columbus OH:  Adrienne Edwards 614-579-6021 or email aedwardstutor@columbus.rr.com

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