1. Symptoms of Irlen Syndrome
  2. Behavioral Symptoms
  3. Impulsivity and hyperactivity

Impulsivity and Hyperactivity: An Overview

This article covers the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome associated with impulsivity and hyperactivity, including causes, treatments, and strategies for managing these symptoms.

Impulsivity and Hyperactivity: An Overview

Impulsivity and hyperactivity are two closely linked terms that often appear together in discussions of mental health issues. They can be symptoms of a range of different disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder, as well as other conditions that can affect how an individual processes and responds to stimuli. Understanding impulsivity and hyperactivity and how they interact with each other is essential for accurately diagnosing and treating these conditions. In this article, we will provide an overview of impulsivity and hyperactivity, including what they are, how they manifest, and their possible treatments.

What Is Impulsivity and Hyperactivity?

Impulsivity and hyperactivity are two distinct behavioral symptoms that are commonly associated with Irlen Syndrome.

Impulsivity is characterized by a lack of control over impulses and behaviors, resulting in acting without considering the consequences or thinking before acting. Hyperactivity, on the other hand, is characterized by an increase in physical activity and restlessness that can often interfere with daily activities. Signs and symptoms of impulsivity include impulsive decisions, difficulty waiting for one's turn, blurting out answers, difficulty sustaining attention, and difficulty following instructions. Signs and symptoms of hyperactivity include excessive talking, difficulty staying seated, difficulty engaging in quiet activities, fidgeting, and difficulty completing tasks. It is important to note that while impulsivity and hyperactivity are two distinct behavioral symptoms, they can often overlap. Therefore, it is important to be aware of both when attempting to identify and manage them.

Strategies for Managing Impulsivity and Hyperactivity

Managing impulsivity and hyperactivity can be difficult, but there are some strategies that can be employed to help those with Irlen Syndrome. Creating routines is one way to help manage these symptoms. Having a routine helps provide structure and stability, which can be beneficial for those who suffer from impulsivity and hyperactivity. Setting limits is also important, as this can help provide guidelines for behavior and allow the individual to understand what is expected of them.

Positive reinforcement is another way to manage these symptoms. Providing rewards for positive behavior or success in tasks can help motivate the individual and reinforce desired behavior. Finally, problem-solving skills can be developed and used to help manage impulsivity and hyperactivity. Teaching the individual strategies for dealing with challenging situations or tasks can help them manage their symptoms in a more effective manner.

What Causes Impulsivity and Hyperactivity?

Impulsivity and hyperactivity are two of the most common behavioral symptoms associated with Irlen Syndrome.

Understanding what causes these symptoms can help individuals and their carers better manage and treat them. The exact cause of impulsivity and hyperactivity is not known; however, it is believed to be a combination of factors such as genetics, environment, and medical conditions.


Genetic factors are thought to play a role in the development of impulsivity and hyperactivity. Studies have found that some individuals are more likely to develop these symptoms due to a family history of similar behaviors.


The environment in which a person is raised can also contribute to the development of impulsivity and hyperactivity. Environmental factors such as a chaotic home life, lack of structure, or other stressors can increase the likelihood of developing these behaviors.

Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions can also lead to impulsivity and hyperactivity.

For example, individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may exhibit these symptoms.

How Is Impulsivity and Hyperactivity Treated?

Impulsivity and hyperactivity are common behavioral symptoms of Irlen Syndrome that can be addressed through a variety of treatments. Medications, therapy, lifestyle changes, and educational interventions have all been used to treat these symptoms. Medications are the most common form of treatment for impulsivity and hyperactivity. Stimulant medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Adderall) are the most commonly prescribed drugs for managing these symptoms.

Non-stimulant medications such as atomoxetine (Strattera) and guanfacine (Intuniv) may also be recommended to help manage impulsivity and hyperactivity. Therapy is another way to treat impulsivity and hyperactivity. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help individuals learn to recognize and manage their own behavior, while social skills training can help them learn how to better interact with others. Other forms of therapy, such as family therapy, can help strengthen family bonds and promote better communication. Making lifestyle changes can also help manage impulsivity and hyperactivity.

Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can help reduce symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity. Reducing stress and avoiding triggers can also be helpful in managing these symptoms. Educational interventions are also used to treat impulsivity and hyperactivity. Accommodations such as additional time on tests, breaks during long assignments, or changes in the learning environment may be recommended to help individuals with Irlen Syndrome manage their symptoms.