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Don’t Be Trigger Happy

on July 15, 2013
Chemical Reaction

Chemical Reaction (Photo credit: lindes)

If someone yells at you, what is your reaction? If someone comes up behind you when you are intensively focused on a task without your knowledge grabbing your shoulders and correcting your approach on the task from behind, how would you respond? If someone rushes up to you and is within a few inches of your face speaking to you in a very fast pace while pointing various directions, how do you react? These are behaviors I see teachers, employers, and parents do when dealing with people diagnosed with ADHD. These behaviors trigger the impulsive reactions commonly seen with ADHD.

If you notice the behaviors of your child or others with such a diagnosis are often trying to avoid you or often are reacting causing frustrations and elevated crisis mode, then you might want to examine your approach. Often we are not aware that we are the triggers. There is nothing wrong with being a charismatic sort of person but such usually should tone down their tone and attitude to a calmer level to avoid excessive excitability and loudness when working with ADHD sorts.

The other day I observed a director approach an instructor with ADHD. I watched as the director came up behind the instructor grabbing her shoulders startling her. Then the director went on to interrupt the instructional time by criticizing  the instructor where the pupils could hear. This started a whirl wind of negative and over reacting on everyone’s part. It all could have waited until after the session. Timing should be considered when addressing employees and students. The tone and emotions should also be in check when correcting or altering plans. If you must interrupt, address the situation in a calm manner without causing fear or concern. There is a time and place for emergency intervention and it should be direct and swift but prioritize your interruptions and redirecting to make certain what is truly a crisis versus a personal preference.

Be professional when addressing others . A calm voice can deliver the worst of news without triggering a melt down or over reaction. Consider how you would like to receive the information you are to give. If you would not want to be yelled at, then do not yell at another. If you do not wish to be grabbed, then do not grab. If you do not wish to have someone inches from your face then make sure you do not do the same to another. Be aware of how you address others. The calmer you are the more receptive others will be. If you make your presence known instead of sneaking up on another then you will notice a more accepting manner in return. Be considerate.

Following a few guidelines when addressing people with ADHD can keep the workplace, classroom, and home a much calmer place. It also teaches others more appropriate ways to interact by increasing less stress and frustrations. Watch your tone, approach, and timing. Not only does it work with folks with ADHD, it works with everyone.

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