When your child has ADHD, they may experience intense emotions from time to time. It could make them dizzy or rowdy, or do inappropriate things.
“I hear a lot of stories about being silly and funny, the classy clown type. But not all children have tantrums and tantrums, ”says Max Wiznitzer, MD, pediatrician neurologist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH.
Wiznitzer treats children with ADHD, and he says several things can play a role in amplifying a child’s emotions. For some children, the disorder causes symptoms that make them hyper and impulsive. But it’s more than that, he says. A child’s environment can also influence their behavior. Plus, ADHD can affect thinking skills called executive functions, making it harder for someone to be “behaviorally flexible” and go with the flow, Wiznitzer says.
Children with ADHD who have temper tantrums or fits may also have another Mental Health state, like anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, he says. They may also be mistreated or intimidated.
If your toddler acts a lot, a good first step is to talk to him about his feelings. “If they can name what they are feeling, then we can think about why this is happening,” says Wiznitzer. “Once you have those two pieces of information… it’s a lot easier to stake out what you’re going to do. “
For example, if he says, “I am stressed,” you can ask him, “What is stressing you? Maybe they’ll tell you that they have trouble in school, that they have trouble keeping up with a class that is too advanced. In that case, you can talk to his teacher about things that might help him, such as assistive technology or switching to a more self-paced class.
Figuring out how your child is feeling and why can also help their doctor make treatment decisions, says Wiznitzer. Your child may benefit advice, a higher dose of the drug, treatment for a mood disorder, or a change of environment in places like home or school. Call the doctor or a psychologist any time you notice your child has a change in mood that is affecting them negatively, Wiznitzer says.