Using the Internal Pause Button for ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of  digitalart/

Image courtesy of digitalart/

For those of us with ADD and ADHD, we all have those moments when we say or do the wrong thing and wish we could have that moment back. In my case, I wish I could literally pull back the words into my mouth or grab my actions as these occur. To help minimize these moment, I’ve come up with the Internal Pause Button.

What does this mean? It’s the ability to recognize a bad situation and stop yourself before saying or doing something you may regret.  Taking that split second and thinking about our actions will save us some real problems both in the moment and in the future.

There’s three steps to this process…

  1. Think about how your words/actions will be received.
  2. Is there a better way of saying/handling the situation?
  3. Are you still comfortable with your decision?

There’s times where we don’t have a choice. Something needs to be said and done and the consequences are irrelevant. However, for those moments we can control, following these three steps can defuse bad situations. If you have someone you can really trust, I’d advise practicing with another person. He or she can provide immediate feedback.  It takes practice and work, but you’ll see better results the more you do it.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.


  1. […] my younger clients (and this also applies to older ones as well), I like to incorporate the pause button.  How does this work? I create scenarios with my clients and ask he or she how that person will […]

  2. […] strongly recommend not immediately reacting to the situation. In an earlier piece, I discussed the pause button. I would strongly suggest working on this […]

  3. […] thing, or even better, nothing at all? In response to this issue, I work with my clients on the Internal Pause Button. It is thinking through something before speaking or acting upon […]

  4. […] common sense, for someone with ADD/ADHD, it is not as easy as it seems. That is why I recommend the Internal Pause Button. It helps us to think through something before […]

  5. […] some of my other entries, I’ve mentioned things like The Internal Pause Button as a way of controlling one’s behavior. But what if we don’t even know what things […]

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