How do I deal with my child's intense emotional outbursts that come with ADHD?

People with ADHD can go from 0 to 100 on the emotional scale, whether that be anger, frustration, sadness or joy in a split second.   When intense emotions take over the brain, we call it an amygdala hijack.  The amygdala is the emotional center in the brain and when overloaded,  can trigger an irrational, emotive response.  Fight or flight hormones are secreted, the body tenses, heart rates escalate, etc.   It is a full SIX SECONDS before the rational side of our brain kicks in.

The challenge is to find a way to help your child wait those 6 seconds so that they can respond more appropriately.   I have two techniques that have worked at my house.   The first one is for younger children and the second one is for older children and teens.   

The one for younger children is a more effective version of the simple counting to 10 that you may have already tried.    When I tried teaching my son to count to 10, he  would count...

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