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Angry

Angry (or annoyed, out of control, having meltdowns)

Please take a moment to read the previous page explaining a bit about the brain process your child would have gone through to create stress and anxiety, as these behaviours including anger are the more extreme extension, when control is lost.

Calm Things Down

Very little can be achieved with an angry child. Whatever this situation is, they need to be calmed.

Think about your child's brain, it is flooding their body with chemicals - you need to help your child remove control from their primeval fight or flight reflex, and get back to their calm and controlled emotional brain (their round table, from the previous page).

To do that, first look to remove any stimulants in the environment that are going to add to mental processing challenges, for example reduce noise, try to go somewhere calm and quiet. We know that is not always possible. Give your child some space and time.

Later, when things have cooled down, try to think what might have triggered the anger, and look beyond the obvious. For example an angry outburst could have been caused by the Wi-Fi in your home glitching, meaning your child could not connect with their friends.

Beyond the glitching Wi-Fi - why was that so important to cause what seemed like an over-reaction and angry outburst? Maybe your child enjoys socialising with friends over social media because they find face to face communications difficult, and this is a really important time for them. And here you learn a bit more about them, their life and difficulties, and with that knowledge you can help them.

If your child has developed regular anger issues, then these can take time to understand and resolve. Encourage pressing the pause button in their mind.

Your child won't get angry without a reason, but they can get angry because of a misunderstanding. If there are regular misunderstandings, this can make your child regularly become angry. A child who regularly responds with anger, can start to anticipate a situation and respond with anger, which can look like they are angry for no reason. It is a chain of cause and effect, often because of misunderstandings, because they live with an invisible disability.

Home Time

When you are both calm, talk about what was so upsetting.

Together, try to work out how to avoid getting upset next time. Reassure your child that you will always want to help them where you can, but be honest. You are not super-human and can't do everything. If the Wi-Fi network is down, you can't help that, but if something is important, and you discuss it, then maybe you can help, like both going to a cafe with free Wi-Fi.

Sleep
Anything that means fight or flight reflex is regularly activated, as is the case here, can leave your child feeling physically very tired, possibly a bit lethargic. They then need rest and sleep.

Further Reading
CVI Meltdown

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At CVI Scotland we are devoted to helping people understand cerebral visual impairments, and together working towards developing the understanding of this complex condition.