Children with ADHD can have up to a 3-year emotional delay.

This means that your 9 your old with ADHD’s disappointment will feel much more like a first grader’s emotional reaction than the peers in his class.

Therefore, it is important to get ahead of these emotional storms and to teach your child the coping skills that will support him even when you are not there to help him regulate. 
Build in time to help your child release their built-up emotions. In play therapy we do an activity called Cleaning out your emotional backpack where after school while having a snack the child talks through the good things and the hard things that happened that day (drawing or journaling also works great). We also recommend giving your child some physical release before switching to getting homework done or after school activities. 
We also use the window of tolerance to help children identify their level of emotional regulation and what they might need to move from a place of dysregulation (yellow, orange, red) back to a place of regulation and calm (green).
This can be used at school and the child may need to use a fidget or the opportunity to leave the classroom and walk in the hall for a few minutes to return to calm after something difficult has happened. These can be written into the child’s IEP (Individual Education Plan). The therapist can help the parent prepare for the ARD and what to ask for from the school. The therapist will also work with the parents to create a plan to support the child and the family to make things function well.
 Written by: Kate Miller, LPC