In this section
Sometimes, after a brain
injury, a child or young person may act without thinking about the possible consequences of their actions or the effects of their behaviour. This is
called impulsive behaviour.
While it is challenging to manage, it is important to remember that often your child will not be aware that their
behaviour is impulsive. There are general ways to help manage
impulsive behaviour and, if needed, a clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist can
develop individual strategies for each individual child.
Children with a brain injury may be more impulsive than they were before their
injury. This is because they can have difficulty controlling and
checking their behaviour. An impulsive child acts quickly on an
urge without considering the consequences of their
Impulsivity is challenging
to manage as the child's urge to act is sudden and strong. It is
important to remember that often your child is not aware that their
behaviour is impulsive.
If impulsive behaviour is
happening often and is affecting your child's safety, it may be
helpful to get a referral to a clinical psychologist. The clinical
psychologist can develop individual ways to modify and cope with
your child's impulsivity. A program usually involves ways to
develop alternative responses as well as consequences for problem
Developed by The Royal Children's
Hospital Paediatric Rehabilitation Service based on information from the Brain
Injury Service at Westmead Children’s Hospital. We acknowledge the input of RCH
consumers and carers.
Reviewed September 2020.
Kids Health Info is supported by
The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit www.rchfoundation.org.au.
This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.