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  • Daniel Kupper

How Do You Keep the Impulses to a Minimum?



Children with ADHD have a sort of short circuit in their CNS (Central Nervous System); this is just like an electrical wire that overloads the system and blows a fuse.


Now, what will blow the fuse? The answer is an overload.


How does this apply? Think of sitting in your room reading a book. No stress. No demands. Now think of throwing a party. Lots of decisions, people, planning, food, music, presents, invitations. Lots of stress that you have to handle. Just imagine WHAT you feel: stress, frustration, anger, fear that the party will be a failure. Will everyone come or will it be a bust? You are able to contain that stress and hold it in. A child with ADHD simply cannot do this. It's hard enough for an adult. Imagine how much more difficult this is for a 10 year old child.


When you place a child with ADHD in a high stress environment with a lot of stimuli, they cannot handle the load of sensory input. Think of a birthday party with lots of kids talking to a an ADHD child: having to handle adults asking what he wants to eat, going along with the games even if he doesn’t like them, and having to ask to go to the bathroom without embarrassing himself. Once they reach a saturation point, all that energy (tension) requires an exit. That’s when the child loses control and his judgment goes south. He commits an error. He pushes some kid who is bothering him and feels the “last straw.” Disaster. Mom gets angry and child feels like he failed again.


Here's the ANSWER: Lower the stimulus and you lower the response. Avoid these situations or at least if necessary, limit his or her exposure to these high-sensory experiences. Before you go, talk to your child and plan an exit if he or she feels they are going to lose it. Keep close by so he does not have to search for you a long time. Set a time period where you will take him or her out of the situation to get him or her a short vacation from the event. Say every hour, seek him or her out and do a check-in. This helps the child to re-coup. Reward him or her if they come to you for help when they are about to lose it.


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