Inappropriate emotional outbursts — The Bump
Special Needs

Inappropriate emotional outbursts

aforstaforst member
Ninth Anniversary 250 Answers 2500 Comments 500 Love Its
edited November 2014 in Special Needs
DS1 was diagnosed with moderate combined ADHD last month.  Right now we are working with his school to help find ways to make him more successful in the classroom.  This consists of a behavior chart, movement breaks, sitting with positive peers, etc.   I can't say that it seems to be helping much at this point.  We have decided to hold off until after the first of the year before discussing medication.

Lately, we have noticed that he will sometimes have these completely inappropriate emotional outbursts over very small things.  Yesterday in class, they were making a turkey place mat. His teacher showed them how to fold the paper and then asked if anyone had questions.  No one did.  He started getting really upset and sat with his head down on his desk.  She tried to ask him if he needed help and he wouldn't respond to her.  His classmates tried to help and other adults tried to help.  Eventually he was kicking his desk and crying.  According to him, this was all because he didn't know how to fold the paper.  He got over it and completed the project while the other kids had free time. 

There have been other situations where he's just had very extreme reactions to something that seems so minor.  We have asked why he wouldn't just let his teacher help him.  All he can say is he doesn't know. 

We are struggling with not only how to help him, but how DH and I should react to these incidents. 

He has a behavioral psychologist that evaluated and diagnosed him, but nothing more has been scheduled with her.  Do those of you who have children with ADHD continue to see the psychologist for any type of therapy?  Are our only options to just work with the school or medicate him if that doesn't work?
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Re: Inappropriate emotional outbursts

  • Emotional immaturity combined with poor executive function (both common with ADHD) can cause these type of issues. Its probably becoming more apparent now as his stressors increas with increased expectations at school. My guess is he was embarassed to be the only kid to need help and didn't have the emotional maturity to handle it or the executive function to think control his response ince he was upset. Best plan is to talk with him and help him plan out what he can do if a similar situation arises again and role play them so they are natural. That way he will have a better chance of thinking of them in the moment when he is stressed and hopefully head off upsets.
    POF DE gave us our Miracle
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    aforst
  • My son is ADHD (and ASD/Anxiety) and he is currently receiving one:one individuals skills therapy with a mental health practitioner. He does this same thing throughout the day- he is easily overwhelmed with tasks such as cutting paper (fine motor delay) or spelling tests, so his response is to cry or outright refuse. If I ask him about it later, he'll just shrug and say he doesn't know or that he simply "can't" do certain things like the spelling test. They are working with him on zones of emotional regulation and strategies to calm himself or to ask for help, although to be frank, after meeting with a skilled psychiatrist, we agreed that he's not going to be able to access these strategies until his medications are regulated and monitored. We're almost a week in and I see glimmers of hope. Last night he actually completed about 5 of 10 of his spelling words without assistance, where before he would have done none or spent the whole time trying to get me to give him hints.
    aforst
  • Oh and I would absolutely get him continued visits with the psychologist to work on things like this and other behavior mods outside of school in a less pressured environment so he can learn them when he is in a good frame of mind.
    that will assist in him being able to use them at school when the pressure is on.
    POF DE gave us our Miracle
    April '09 BFN
    Sept. '09 Fet BFN
    Dec. 11 '09 FET... hpt 12/18
    Beta 12/21 151 Beta 2 12/23 284
    U/S 1/6/10 1 healthy baby w/ Heartbeat
    August 24, 2010 Sweetpea is born!

    [IMG]http://i51.tinypic.com/67p4t4.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i38.tinypic.com/2ly1xz5.jpg[/IMG]
    aforst
  • @-auntie- ; Thank you for your responses!

    "This is inappropriate behavior in first. Sometimes kids with ADHD have other stuff going on- do you feel like ADHD makes sense around the poor self regulation or could there be learning differences, anxiety, SPD or difficulty processing auditory information so they can follow along. Knowing why he's so reactive could help him be supported in meaningful ways rather than the one-sizes-fits-all (and seldom makes a difference options like preferential seating and movement breaks) accommodations."

    I'm not sure if I think this is related to the ADHD or not.  From what I have read, some people think this behavior is linked with ADHD and some think it could be separate.

     He can just be very emotional and oversensitive at times.  Not always though.  I would say 90% of the time, he has appropriate emotional reactions to situations.  Every once in a while, we'll have an incident where he completely melts down and it's always over something that seems, at least to us, very trivial.  I mean, we discussed last night that this was a fun project they were doing.  It makes no sense that you would essentially throw a temper tantrum over not knowing how to fold a paper.  The other incident that is coming to mind is he flipped out at after school care last week b/c a kid didn't follow a rule in dodge ball. Like screaming, crying, etc. 

    I can totally agree that the modifications they are making for his ADHD in the classroom would be likely to have very little impact on this issue.  I also don't know how to try to cut him off at the pass b/c we never seem to know what is going to trigger this. 

    I think we will definitely reach out to his behavioral psychologist to see if she would like to meet with him to help him find ways to cope with this and better handle himself when he gets upset like that.  I know if I had been there I could have talked him out of it, but I'm not there so he's got to  learn to do it on his own. 

    I will definitely take a look at that alert program.
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  • DD1 (ADHD, SPD) had a number of outbursts in kindy last year. So far this year she hasn't had any at school (knock on wood). For her, there's an anxiety component, but I also don't think DH and I were handling them in the best way when they happened at home. Now instead of trying to avoid situations that will ramp up her anxiety, I let them happen, and I try to stay calm. I don't help her until she calms down. I think DH and I were trying to manage them too much before. 

    Also, I do a lot of deliberate sabotage, like this morning we only had one clean "pretty" plate, and she and her sister both wanted it. I gave it to DD2. DD1 said "hey!" But then she took a deep breath and the complaint didn't go any further than that. 


    [Deleted User]hopecounts
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