By Kristy Baxter, Understood.org
There are many possible reasons why kids with learning and attention issues might talk too much or say things at the wrong time. For example, your child might have ADHD. If so, he may be worried that if he doesn’t say what is on his mind right away, he’ll forget what he wants to say.
If your child has issues with impulse control, it may be tough for him to stop and think before speaking. His words may seem to spill out all at once, especially when he’s excited.
Impulsivity may cause your child to speak before realizing that it might not be the best time. He may offend or annoy others by saying the first thing that pops into his head. Or he may speak out of turn and monopolize the conversation.
Another possible reason for the nonstop talking is that your child may have trouble picking up on nonverbal cues. He might not notice the facial expressions or body language that indicate other people are not so interested in what he’s saying. It’s not unusual for kids with learning and attention issues to have difficulty with this.
Excessive talking can also be a sign of weak listening skills. If your child is too distracted to pause and listen to others, it will be difficult for him to determine what to say, when to say it and when to stop speaking. You can help your child work on his listening skills by asking him questions about what he has heard.
There are other ways you can help your child figure out how much to say and when. You can work together to develop a “secret code” that will let your child know he’s hogging a conversation. You can use secret signals to let him know he needs to stop interrupting people or to let him know he’s going off topic. It’s also a good idea to practice using an appropriate tone of voice and volume control.
Be sure to praise your child when he has a conversation that goes smoothly. The more specific you can be with your praise, the more likely he’ll be to repeat those positive behaviors.
[panel style=”panel-default”][panel-header]About the Author[/panel-header][panel-content]Kristy Baxter
Kristy Baxter, M.A., is a former head of the Churchill School in New York City and cofounder of Camp Northwood, a sleepaway camp for children with learning disabilities in Remsen, New York.
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