ADHD Temper Tantrums From the Child’s Point of View – A New Parenting Perspective

I believe that one of the most difficult things for parents of Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD (ADHD-HI) children to learn is to take the things that these kids say to you, no matter how hurtful, with a huge pound of salt. One of the hallmarks of ADHD-HI is impulsive speech. These kids often blurt out the first thing that comes to their minds.

Temper tantrums can be a daily occurrence in the household of children with ADHD. Hyperactive/Impulsive children are often more prone to Impulsive negative thoughts and emotions which will often result in full blown frustration, anger and despair. It can be very disruptive to a household when the first thing that comes to your mind is really dark, really angry, and really vengeful. Many Hyperactive/Impulsive children cannot control those ‘home wrecker’ thoughts and the tantrums are mostly out of their control as well. These children often feel so out of control and frustrated that they find it impossible to shake off a constant irritability that they live with.

It is almost like they have this terrible thing that is stuck to their brain, a crown of thorns, filled with negative thoughts, sadness, anger, despair. They blurt out that they hate you, that you are the worst parent in the world, and that they wish that you were dead, when what they really mean to say is;

“Mommy, the pain in my head is unbearable. I am so sad, so frustrated, and so angry that I cannot control the things that I say. I am trying my best, Mommy, so how can this possibly be my fault? Please help me Mommy, I am a child and children should not have to bear a brain that is so out of control and so difficult.”

ADHD medication can often control much of the irritability and impulsiveness that causes these negative thought but there is a parenting tool that is perhaps more important. We must, as parents, learn to hear the words above instead of the words that the Hyperactive/Impulsive child is screaming at you when they are in the midst of a tantrum. This skill takes practice and patience but I believe that if a parent can master it, they may well be giving their child an ADHD treatment that is more effective and more valuable than money can buy.

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A Sample Letter for Appealing an Identification or Placement Decision

School Boards are required to establish committees for the purpose of Identification and appropriate Placement of students with special needs. These committees are called IPRCs (Identification, Placement and Review Committee). Any student has a right to an IPRC, even if the student is in Kindergarten. Once the child is enrolled, an initial IPRC meeting or a Review can be requested by either the parent or the principal of the school.

What does Identification mean?

Special needs students can be formally identified under one or more of the Categories of Exceptionality. There are 5 categories under the Education Act: Behaviour, Communication, Intellectual, Physical, and Multiple. Specific diagnoses are included under these categories. For example Autism, Learning Disability, Deaf, and Speech Impairment fall under the Communication category. Under the Intellectual category, falls Gifted, Mild Intellectual Disability, and Developmental Disability.

What are the Placement options?

School boards must provide a range of placement options to meet the needs of all their students. Examples are: Regular class, Regular class with indirect support, Regular class with Resource assistance, Regular class with withdrawal assistance, Special Education Class with partial integration, Special Education Class full-time, Provincial and Demonstration schools, Care and Treatment facilities.

What’s the next step if the Parent Agrees or Disagrees?

Parents have the right to participate in the meeting and must state their agreement or disagreement of the decision within 30 days following the meeting. If the parent agrees with the IPRCs decision, he/she should sign the form indicating agreement. The Identification and/or Placement will then be implemented or continued as the case may be. But what if the parent disagrees with either the Identification or the Placement decision or both? He/she must file a Notice of Appeal with the Director of Education stating which decision they disagree with and why.

Below is a sample of such a letter.

Mr. John Brown, Director of Education

My District School Board

1 First Avenue

Your Town, Ontario

X7Y 8Z9

Dear Mr. Brown;

Re: Adam Jones; Date of Birth: 2008/08/08


I would like to appeal the decision of the Identification, Placement and Review Committee regarding my son, Adam. The committee originally met on April 5, 2013 at ABC Public School, and at my request, was reconvened on April 16, 2013. The meeting notes for both meetings are attached for your review.

  • I disagree with the IPRC’s recommendation for placement which is “Regular Class with indirect support”. This placement is inadequate to meet Adam’s educational needs as set out in the Statement of Needs document (attached).
  • I agree that Adam’s identification is Exceptional Communication – Autism

My representative for the Special Education Appeal Board is Mary Smith. She can be reached at 905-555-6789. For Adam’s benefit, I expect that this appeal will proceed within the timelines as set out in Ontario Regulation 181/98.


Janet Jones

100 Main Street

My Town, Ontario

A1B 2C3

Phone: 905-555-1234


  • My School Board, IPRC Decision/Parental Consent Form, April 5, 2013
  • Adam Jones – Statement of Needs, IPRC Meeting, April 5, 2013
  • Adam Jones – IPRC Meeting Notes, April 5, 2013 & April 16, 2013

What Does ABA Therapy Do?

Whenever you look into ABA therapy, you will find that it is incredibly complex. There are certainly training courses that can help parents learn to offer the training at home, which can be amazingly effective, but if you are just looking into the therapy for the first time, it can certainly seem overwhelming. So what exactly is ABA therapy, and how does it work? To put it simply, it is a training and therapy program that helps children with autism spectrum disorders learn new ideas, behaviors, and actions. Of course, it is really much more than this.

ABA therapy is the most effective form of treatment and symptom management available for children with autism. It offers discrete trial teaching, which in a nutshell means breaking down concepts and behaviors (such as brushing teeth) into the most basic possible steps. These steps are then taught through repetition, with prompts given at first to help a child learn to mimic the behavior and with the prompts gradually taken away until it can be completed without them. While many parents write this off as memorization rather than actual learning of a concept, this is a misconception.

While children with autism spectrum disorders are taught certain behaviors and verbalizations through ABA therapy, it is much more than just memorization. Initial behaviors are the result of memorizing, but over time, the therapy helps kids learn how to take in new concepts and behaviors on their own. This is because the therapy helps to create new pathways within the brain that make it possible for children with autism spectrum disorders to start learning in the same manner as their peers. The treatment is actually incredibly effective and is the closest thing that we have to a cure for autism.

There is no doubt that ABA therapy is not a cure for autism spectrum disorder, but it offers incredible symptom reduction. It can help children learn behavior skills, learn to adapt to a classroom setting, and learn to verbalize. It also helps teach the basic activities associated with daily living. Understanding ABA therapy without watching a lesson can be difficult, but when you understand the result, it can help you understand why it is such an important part of caring for children with autism. ABA classes can be incredibly effective for teaching parents how to apply the therapy, and with DVD programs available, they are now accessible to many more parents than ever before.

Do You Understand a Child With Down Syndrome?

Cathy Morgan, a mother of a child with Down syndrome, recalls when she received the initial diagnosis of Down syndrome from the doctor: “Her message was ‘Legally, you have 24 weeks to terminate the pregnancy and you should do it sooner rather than later because it will be more difficult on you if you wait,’ and you’re sort of taken aback.”

She said that she was scared, nervous and disappointed at first but abortion was never an option for her. Now that she has three-year-old Eddie, she couldn’t imagine life without him. Raising any child is not any easy job, whether they have 46 chromosomes or 47.

At home, your attitude is critical to your child’s development. Here are some Down syndrome facts. While acceptance and social normalcy are a reality now more than ever, your child will still face hurdles with cruel children at school.

A Down child is also susceptible to depression, so your love and acceptance is very important. Many parents attend support group meetings through the National Down Syndrome Society to learn how to better care for their Down syndrome child and to address any negative emotions.

Patience is more than just a virtue here; it is an absolute necessity. While your child may learn to breast feed, roll over, walk and talk later than his or her peers, you will still find these achievements just as significant.

Set aside time each day to practice daily skills like getting dressed, using silverware or helping with chores. Being organized with a routine, as well as a system of lists, behavior contracts and rewards is the best way to encourage your child against the effects of Down syndrome.

As your child with Down syndrome gets older, grooming, hygiene and sexuality become very important issues. There are many books you can get that will help you explain these awkward topics to disabled children in ways they understand. Ensuring that your child attends school well-groomed and properly cared for will have a strong impact on how other adolescents perceive him or her, so this area cannot be ignored.

Boys must learn that erections are natural, and what to do when one arises. They must also learn that public masturbation is against the law, as well as socially unacceptable. Girls must learn about the changes their bodies go through as well and must understand how to use pads, as well as how to have respect for their bodies. Like any other teens, Down syndrome children will want to date, socialize and develop intimacy, so be sure to address these issues.

Know the health risks of your child with Down syndrome. Find a good medical practitioner who specializes in Down syndrome obstacles. Heart defects, visual impairments, hearing problems and difficulty breathing are all common ailments children with Down syndrome may face. Diet is also very important for the disabled. Be aware that obesity can be a problem, and that high-sugar/additives/preservatives may be upsetting.

Try a natural diet with alpha-ketoglutaric acid supplements. You may also need to limit dairy if your child is prone to ear infections. Additionally, a Down syndrome child may sleep poorly, with frequent awakenings and interrupted REM sleep. This could lead to more difficulty focusing and learning, research suggests. Discuss treatment options with your health care practitioner if you suspect this condition may be prevalent.