Reply To: Meltdowns

Penny Williams

As @bookworm described, my son has in his IEP that he is allowed to go to a quiet space and be left alone when he’s overwhelmed by frustration or emotion. His coping mechanism has been to avoid school or to call me from school and beg me to come get him (and even make up lies to make me come get him). After a while, we realized 30 minutes or so at home alone, with zero prodding, he would come to me and say he feels better and could probably finish the school day. That’s when I asked for this accommodation to be added to his IEP. At first, school staff would prod him every 5 minutes to go back to class, and that only made everything worse. When I was finally able to get them to leave him totally alone, he would get back on track and go back to class eventually in most cases.

By sending your son home, the school is teaching him that that behavior will allow him to go home. Eventually, he’ll learn to use it to get out of being at school. It’s 110% the wrong approach.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism