Is It Common for a Child with ADHD to Have Meltdowns?


Asked by Kirsten Zell

Is It A Common For A Child With Adhd To Have Emotional Meltdowns (Crying Over Small Issues)?

My 8 year old son has been having major meltdown's at school. When he being disruptive in class the teacher will then give him a break. Recently he cannot handle that and it upsets him to the point of crying hysterically.

I have not read anything that relates to the symptoms of ADHD and wondering if this is common with children that have ADHD?

He has not been clinically diagnosed yet but we are certain that he has ADHD and we are now seeking help for him.



Thank you for your question and welcome to

I am not a medical professional and would not be able to give you medical advice. I do, however, have a son (now 25) with ADHD so I know first hand all the struggles and joys of raising a child with ADHD.

Emotional outbursts are not a symptom of ADHD but children (and adults) with ADHD often have a low frustration tolerance. They also can become overwhelmed in high stimulus activities, situations or places. Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated can lead to emotional meltdowns.

In addition, children with ADHD can be emotionally immature compared to their classmates, sometimes by several years. This doesn't make too much of a difference, say when someone is 30 or 35 but at 8, a few years difference in emotional maturity can mean a great deal. This would mean someone with the emotional maturity of being 5 or 6 is expected to deal with situations like an 8 year old. This just isn't always possible.

Treatment for ADHD can certainly help. I am glad you are seeking help. Having an accurate diagnosis is important to creating an effective treatment plan.

I am giving you some links to some additional information that may be helpful:

ADHD in Early Elementary Age Children

ADHD in Elementary School

The Out Of Control Child

Creating a Discipline Process at Home

How ADHD Impacts the Daily Life of a Child

Is Medication Right for Your Child?

Diagnosing ADHD in Children

I know this is a lot of information, but the more informed you are, the better you will be able to help your son. Please let me know how your doctor's appointment goes.


You should know: The answer above provides general health information that is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment recommendations from a qualified healthcare professional.