Try This Tuesday #27: Teaching Impulse Control

Try This Tuesday

Wow, what a great response last week to the topic of getting a pet. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences on the subject – it was really helpful to me and to others as well, I’m sure!

Topic Suggestion for this Week: Teaching Impulse Control

This topic was requested via the comments a couple of weeks ago, and I think it is a valuable one to consider. According to Tony Attwood in The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, difficulty with impulse control is one of the main signs of impaired executive function, and even a child who is able to think before they act or speak may be impulsive when they are under stress or are confused.

I have to admit that our daily schedule is definitely influenced by the amount of energy I have to deal with what “could happen” when we go out in public, and that I have allowed ourselves to become restricted by concerns about how my son will handle a particular place or a turn of events that doesn’t go as he thinks it should. So the need to address this issue hits very close to home for me.

Although I am definitely not an expert, I have found a few good resources on the topic:

Helping Children Develop “Impulse Control”: This tip sheet from the Illinois Early Learning Project is geared towards parents and teachers of typical children from birth to age 5, but it helps clarify what our goals are and includes several resources that could be used with children who are at a preschool level cognitively or emotionally.

Teaching Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: This article from Children’s Disabilities Information provides an overview with several good lists of information, especially the sections on “Establishing the Proper Learning Environment” and “Modifying Behavior and Enhancing Self-Esteem.”

One of the best books I have seen by far on how parents can deal with impulsive control and related behavior issues is The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Dr. Ross W. Greene. I can’t recommend it enough for anyone who is faced with noncompliance, meltdowns or aggression.

I’m curious, how significant do you find problems with impulsivity to be in your child? Have you found things that work with your child to help teach self-control in this area? How do you see this issue affecting children with different disabilities?

Please join in and share the creative solutions YOU have found to your own challenges, or feel free to post your own challenge for input from others. For more details on how to participate, read the welcome post.

Topic Suggestion for Next Week: Book Recommendations – what book or books have you found most helpful since finding out your child has special needs?

Trish can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Friday in addition to hosting Try This Tuesday. You can also find Trish blogging at Another Piece of the Puzzle and Autism Interrupted.

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