im upset i cant even stomach it

so my mom works at pre-school style program run by an occupational therapy clinic for young kids with ADHD and/or Autism who are either unable to attend or have gotten kicked out of “normal” pre-school. the aim of the program is to teach them simple self-regulation behaviors so that they can return to a school environment, be it special-ed or with all the other students. having both of those disorders, i sometimes am able to help them tweak the program to be more affective and yesterday I had a little idea thats honestly going to change everything, even for me.

TUMMY-CHECK

when children get upset, they learn to excuse themselves to go to the calm down corner until they can regulate themselves better. i came up with the idea that before they are allowed to go back to class they have to ask themselves three things:

  1. Am I hungry?
  2. Am I sick?/Does it hurt?
  3. Do I need to use the bathroom?

because honestly??? as a person with both ADHD and Autism, my body doesnt tell me that stuff. I have to actively think, “do I need this or am i that” because my body isn’t processing the internal sensory input of my stomach and bladder. it gets to a point where i get very angry and very upset and stand up to go storm off and then suddenly realize, im not upset, i just really need to pee. or even, im not angry at all, im just kinda hungry. I even mentioned this idea to my therapist today, who’s son has ADHD, and she’s going to implement it for him too, since he often wont notice until it’s too late.

anyway, if you or a child you’re looking after or whoever are upset and cant figure out why, try doing a tummy check, because sometimes the fix can be that simple and our bodies just don’t tell us that information until we ask <3