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ADHD and impulsivity

Some suggestions on how to support a pupil with ADHD to manage impulsivity

Children with ADHD may act before they think which can create disruption in the classroom. They may appear to be “out of control” or aggressive. There are four ways you can support a child in your class to manage their impulsivity.

  1. Behaviour plan - Develop a behaviour plan in partnership with the child and their parents/ carers ensuring the parents/ carers have a copy too. The behaviour plan should be accessible to the child at school and presented in an accessible way for them.

  2. Consequences to actions - Explain to the child that there are consequences to actions and ensure consequences immediately follow misbehaviour. When speaking to your student after the misbehaviour, be very clear on what they did, how they misbehaved, wat is going to happen and give a timeframe.

  3. Praise – When your student shows good behaviour ensure you recognise this out loud and your student knows what they did correctly.

  4. Supporting the child to feel in control of their day – Create a schedule for the day. This can prove helpful for all students so display it where all the class can see it. Ensure you have a way of showing when each task is completed such as turning over the card, crossing it out. Children with ADHD often feel calmer when they know what to expect.

You can offer students additional support by offering a “Chill out” area in the classroom where they can go to and take 5. The area should be painted in calm colours, give the child access to somewhere to sit with soft furnishings such as pillows, books, fidget type toys and have tips/ support strategies that can enable them to regain control and then return to the class activity. You can add posters to the area with helpful tips such as (It always works well to add pictures to illustrate what you are trying to say):


  • I can calm myself down

  • Take a deep breath

  • Count to ten

  • Think about what I am trying to say

  • Keep hands and feet to myself