New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Impulsivity at school

Our 13 yr old son is ADHD and gifted. He has the hardest time with managing impulsivity at school. This shows up in the way he talks with friends during class, constantly fidgets and calls out answers before being called on in class. He is on Vyvanse and there is a noticeable improvement than when he’s not on medication.
We have implemented a point system at school and at home where he earns points for demonstrating group appropriate behavior.
I’m hoping this group might have suggestions on what else might work. I think he sometimes acts out because he’s ahead of the class and bored, but that doesn’t excuse inappropriate behavior and we’re worried that he’s just not improving and high school is just a year away, when group appropriate behavior becomes even more important.
I’m hoping folks in this group may have suggestions on approaches/therapies that might help!


Does he have 504 accommodations or an IEP? It is so helpful to have teachers, counselors, etc at school to help educate, assist and support with these issues with or without a 504 or IEP.

Posted by mcat on May 05, 2014 at 7:38am

For the fidgeting, get him fidgets to choose from and rotate.  But he may not be interested.

Ask the md about increased dose of meds to control impulsivity. Or if anxiety is the accelerator for this, maybe he could beork on breathing and mindfulness. I think some overt teaching by someone other than the parent about social skills and practicing waiting and not interrupting, blurting out would be good. Stop and think before you barge in. This is often a social blunder for adhd kids in elementary school. They don’t pay attention to what’s going on before the join or add. People feel interrupted and intruded on and have a negative response.

Finally, he/she could be put on a quota for comments in class and rewarded intrinsically or extrinsically for that.

He/ she could have to write thoughts as a way of expressing rather than verbalizing. 

Good luck!

Posted by marymartin on May 05, 2014 at 8:07am

It suspect your observation about boredom is right. And if it is it will be very difficult to use externally applied means to still the inner shrill voice begging for something engaging.
If the school is willing it would be good to work with them to discover what he does best, what interests him, what ways of organizing the class would be ok for others and would work best for him and what he can do to help the teacher and his classmates. I don’t mean be quiet but rather some useful functional role.
If the school is not at all willing then you can talk to him to work out strategies which he thinks might work providing, of course, that he can see the problem in a way that matters to him.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on May 05, 2014 at 12:43pm

Our youngest likes to talk a lot!  He can’t sit still in class and is always moving around. He is very smart.  He also loves electronics.  We signed him up for a STEM(science, technology,engineering and math) school next year with the hopes that his attention will be captured by this amazing opportunity!  We also have our son take a natural tablet called, A+ Attention, he says it helps him. (

If something doesn’t work for us, we change ‘whatever’, until the something works for us.  We need to help our kids to do the same. 

I also agree with John Tucker, PhD,ACG.

Posted by pricemama on May 05, 2014 at 7:11pm

Read my posting on impulsivity a couple of weeks ago.

Posted by Dr.Showraki on May 06, 2014 at 6:20pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions