Behaviour management advice

Parents of children who are impulsive often benefit from professional advice about ways of helping their child. The doctor who makes the diagnosis will either provide you with this advice, or be able to refer you to someone who will. A professional will help you to monitor behaviour and advise on appropriate techniques for encouraging good behaviour and discouraging unwanted behaviour. He or she will be able to help you identify things that tend to provoke difficult behaviour and also those things that seem to work best at avoiding it.


The diet promoted by Dr Ben Feingold has received much publicity from the media and parent groups. It involves the exclusion of foods containing certain artificial colouring agents, as well as some naturally occurring substances present in fruits and other foods.

Many controlled trials have been performed and there is evidence that the diet may cause some reduction in overactivity, impulsivity, task impersistence, and distractability in a small proportion of children.

The diet is difficult to keep to in its strict form, but is nutritionally sound provided that care is taken to ensure there is an adequate intake of vitamin C. Many parents report that the diet does help, although fewer feel that it cures the problem. If you feel that your child improves on the diet, there’s no reason why you should not keep him on it.

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