Children naturally interrupt parents during daily activities, but when your child has special needs with impulsivity, interrupting conversation can impact their peer relationships with others, including family members. My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook is about a boy named Louis who describes his words as “an eruption”. Louis has a lot to say that is very important and he wants everyone to know that! When Louis has something on his mind, he wants to release the words immediately and let them out no matter where he is or who is talking with. This behavior causes frustration for his teachers, friends and especially family members.
One day it is Louis’ turn to be student star of the day and then he learns how it feels to be constantly interrupted. How does he feel when this occurs? He gets frustrated and feels that the other students are being rude. This helps him have perspective regarding his own behavior.
How does Louis learn to take his turn in conversation and in class? He learns coping strategies on how to hold his words until it’s his turn to talk. His mother tells him, “the next time your ‘important words’ are pushed into your teeth by your tongue, bite down hard and don’t let them out. Then take a deep breath and push your words out through your nose. Then when it is your turn to talk, take a deep breath and breathe them back into your mouth”.
For children with ADHD and/or other special needs, interrupting and talking constantly is typical. During certain situations it is normal to have this type of behavior, but when exhibited during inappropriate times and within the wrong context, it can difficult for both the child and conversation partner.
Are you a teacher? Check out this lesson plan created by an educator regarding calling out in class and answering questions appropriately without interrupting. Are you interested in downloading a lesson plan? Check out this free lesson plan on TPT here.For more tips by Scholastic on how to cope with students who interrupt, click here.
To check out my interview with Julia Cook, click here.
Check out Julia’s other books here:
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