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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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2.13 Strategies for Impulsive and Hyperactive Behaviors

Impaired ability for inhibition (being able to resist impulses and stop and think before acting) causes many difficulties for children and teens with ADHD. It is important to remember that the impulsive and hyperactive behaviors common in children with ADHD are not deliberate but a result of a lack in brain-based self-regulation and self-control weaknesses. Problems commonly stem from poor ability to delay gratification, stop long enough to consider past and future consequences before acting, and control emotions, impulses, and the urge to move.

Ways Parents and Teachers Can Help Children and Teens with ADHD

Management Tips

  • Be explicit about your expectations and remind the child about positive and negative consequences.
  • Post rules and schedules so they are clearly displayed and referred to frequently. Provide a desk copy of the rules and schedule as well. Refer to them frequently.
  • Review and rehearse behavioral expectations right before entering into activities or situations in which self-control is required. For example, remind them of appropriate hallway behavior while standing in line waiting to be dismissed to the next class or review what the rules are (and consequences) right before going to the auditorium for an assembly or taking your child with you shopping.
  • Provide visual cues such as a small picture card taped to their desk of a stop sign or of a raised hand or a child sitting appropriately in a chair that you ...

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