Ideas to stop no-stop talking


New Member
Hoping for a good suggestion to stop talking. I have been a Special Education teacher and consultant for almost 20 years but I am a bit stumped for an idea. Maybe I am stumped from sheer exhaustion of living with my son 24/7. I have written more BIPs(Behavior Intervention Plans) than I can even count.

My son has been rage free for about 4 months since starting lithium. YEAH! We are currently trying to slowly raise strattera to help ADHD symptoms. Now at 36mg a day and seeing a little bit of help.

Here's the thing though... HE NEVER EVER stops talking and it is like Chinese water torture. He does not seem manic and he makes total sense but he NEVER stops. Whereever we go he talks to whom ever is there. Right now he is non-stop talking about the sea show he is watching on animal planet. He is telling me about it, explaining the creatures, telling me additoinal information that he knows about the creatures etc. AAAHHHH SHUT-UP!!!!
He talks over us when we are talking. And we must respond to him. I have had to send him away from the dinner table in order to talk to my husband. We have explained to him that it is rude, that it is disrespectful, annoying, and is driving us CRAZY! I said rage free but he can be very angry and irritable when we are asking him to hush.

His teacher said he is doing well in school but talks all the time. He has SOOOO much to say about ever topic and in his words "it's important".

I am trying to think of a way to implement a behavior plan that focuses on talking. It is not as easy as behaviors that you want to go away all together (obviously he needs to talk) or behaviors that are easy to tally such as raising a hand in class.

Maybe if he would STOP TALKING to me I could come up with a plan of earning/losing tokens. He just got a new ATV that he loves. I would like him to be able to use it or lose it depending on the talking factor.

Any ideas? We are thinking of buying a muzzle:) Only kidding, don't call social services.

bugsy's mom


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I have no clue... sorry!!! Just wanted to let you know that my 3 yo N is like that. So far not at school. But at home, doesn't stop. When she is not talking she is humming. She gets SO upset if she is not heard, "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me!" It was cute in the beginning.. everything is important, even the Knock-knock jokes that do not make sense!!!
She talks just to talk and is now making up these huge long dramatic stories just to talk!!! Can't stop even when I am reading to her.

I am sorry... yeah a muzzle sounds good some days.


New Member
duct tape?

I know, I really am kidding.

NL goes through this occasionally. And if he's not talking he's whistling, humming, clearing his throat, what have you - it's like he just HAS to make some kind of noise. And he really is not conscious of doing it. I've tried refocusing him, sometimes it works, but often times he just does whatever in addition to the talking, humming, etc.

I don't know how to stop it either. I've explained to him that sometimes, I really just NEED to not hear him, so can he please go outside or go to his room? And when he's not in this "phase" he understands why I ask that of him.

He also has this habit of trying to figure out songs on the piano or recorder. He's actually a quite good musician, but again, after the 400th time of going through some part of a song, it does get to me!

Good luck - and when you find the answer, tell me!!!
OMG Bugsy, hugs...

If you or anyone get the answer, let me know. Tink never shuts up. It is CONSTANT. I often grab the remote, point it at her, and say "off!" She says "but mom I can't help it." I have witnessed her, she thinks that she absolutely has to finish a sentence once she starts one. The trick is to get her to not start one, hmm...

Today she asked me how she could earn this particular toy. I told her if she stopped talking she could earn it. (LOL!) She said "For how many seconds?" I said "Seconds? HA!! Try 3 DAYS..."

And that went over like a lead zeppelin.

If I tell her to play outside, she gives me the "poor me" look and says "I know, you are just trying to get RID of me so I will stop TALKING because you don't even CARE!" Then, I pull out the violin...


trying to survive....
One suggestion is to tell your difficult child that you need some quiet time so that you can think and do what you need to do. You can also tell him you need time to talk with Dad. I'd tell him that you need your quiet time 3x per day or'll go crazy. Set up a timer and tell that he needs to find something to do for ten minutes. I'd set up some type of chart and reward him just after a few times. And if he can acutally do it, it will help him with his need to play independently. I'm sure you're thinking charts don't really work etc....but just give it a chance. Maybe set up the chart on big paper and let him know about this new program. Say it matter of fact and then within an hour or so, let him know it's your time for quiet and see what happens. It may actually work--

Clearly this isn't a new idea or strategy but it just may work because it's simple and new.

Glad to hear the year started off well--


New Member
All my difficult children are like this, although my oldest and youngest are way worse than my middle. Can he write/read already? What I've set in place is a spiral notebook that my difficult children keep with them at all times, one for the car, one for the house and one for school. The one at school was just for my oldest difficult child last year, but if the new teachers need it, we'll start it for them. If they want to talk to me and I'm talking or someone else is talking, they write it down. At first I was very insistant on this and explained that if they didn't use it, it would change their color, because interrupting is rude. Now that they've gotten use to this, I don't have to use a color chart. I still have problems when I'm on the phone, my oldest and youngest difficult child literally do not see the phone at my ear. So I will put my hand up, as to say "stop" and then I point to the phone. Then they either go away or they write it down. Oldest difficult child has a problem arguing when he is sure he is right. What I explained is that sometimes, if you wait to talk about it, then its not really arguing. That you need to give people time to cool off and think about it. So he uses his spiral to write down his thoughts about disagreements. Then later he asks to speak to his teacher. It really helped last school year, we haven't started it up again this year yet.

Sara PA

New Member
Rapid and excessive talking are considered to be symptoms of mania/hypomania. Is it worse since adding the Strattera? Gradually getting worse? Antidepressant induced mania/hypomania? Another tip off is the grandiosity -- he believes what he has to say is so important he can't not say it.

I suspect that a behavior plan won't work. If it is Strattera caused or fed, it's an uncontrollable compulsion. No matter how much he might want to stop, he won't be able to for any extended period of least not until he crashes.


call 911
clothespins for him, earplugs (seriously) for you.

I had a little chatterbox for a while, but evil Adderal was not helping. And the fact that he is narcassistic and belived what HE had to say was more important than breathing. I swear I thought the kid inhaled air rectally. Seemed he NEVER took a breath.

Try setting up times for him when he has "THE STAGE". Hang sheets from the ceiling, and let him "come out" on stage to hear what you and husband are going to listen to for 15 minutes a night. Let him prepare "THE NEWS" and you and husband promise to not answer the phone, or door and give him 100% cooperation and attention during HIS news cast. Take notes too if it helps. Tell him what he has to say is interesting and maybe record it, then get a rewritable DVD and let him watch himself after his broadcast. BUT......

Tell him the rest of the things he wants to talk about MUST be and SHOULD be saved for his broadcast, and a good reporter doesn't give the story away aht aht can't hear this right now, you're waiting for his "NEWS CAST" tonight between 7:00-7:15. Encourage him to be artistic and do charts with his report and drawings...should keep him busy. If he wants to do a report on animal planet and whales....get a book. give him crayones and markers...have him draw the whale. While he's doing this he's in his room, NOT talking to you. EVERY NIGHT is a production.

Maybe if he HAD to start pulling his thoughts together and you hand him a notebook during the day and playfully do the aht aht spoiling your broadcast.....he gets the feeling that a.) HE HAS CENTER STAGE b.) what he has to say will NOT be interrupted c.) REWARDS will be the DVD recorded of HIM or more time to report for every time he doesn't talk out of turn during the day or over talk you and husband. When he does, each time? HIS broadcast is cut by one minute. You could put up 15 clothespins every day....and each time he interrupts or talk out of turn you could take a clothespin - remaining clothespins determine the length of his broadcast.

And you thought I meant the clothespins were for his lips. And the earplugs?
Well..if he backslides, you pull out the earplugs and say "OH I'm it 7:00 yet? NO.....and then put the plugs back in your ears making sure he knows he CAN come to you if there is an the hamster is on fire or a tree fell on the house, or the toilet overflowed. VERY IMPORTANT to know those things....the rest? Plug it out.

After a week or so....he may get tired of putting on his productions but encourage him and explain that what he has to say is important, he just has to know when it's appropriate. Maybe he'll be a newscaster or maybe he'll get so bored with himself (doubtful) he'll just stop talking.

I dunno - I'm just a board Auntie with 1/2 a brain left. ya know Ya know Ya know? Ya know....MOmmmmmm do you hear me? Ya know? Ya know....?

ya know?


New Member
Star, you crack me up every time. :rofl: You even got a laugh out of my husband.

I love the broadcast idea. If the clothespins don't work to keep him in check, then you can always use them for what we were ALL thinking to begin with. It's a WIN/WIN right? :smile:


New Member
Star, that was great. we often are amazed that he is notlacking oxygen but I think you nailed it on the head or should I say the butt (breathing rectally). You made us chuckle!
I don't know if he could pulloff the broadcast but Ithink I could come up with a creative way to adapt it for him. thanks!

As for the Strattera, I don't think it is worse since starting it but I am not sure. We think that now that he is not raging and violent this is what is more noticable and on the surface. I certainly don't want raging back but I would like to keep my sanity.

By the way, the suggestion that mommy needs quiet time and so on.
Well last week I was exhausted and not well. I laid down in my bed (never happens with difficult child at home) and said mommy is sick and I need to rest.
So difficult child was very loving and bounced back and forth talking non-stop and repeatedly went under my bed on one side and coming out the other side, continuing to talk the whole time.

Big news though... He actually did a 50 piece floor puzzle on his own without talking and worked on it for about 30 minutes, TWICE today.
I will buy every puzzle produced on this earth if this keeps up. Heck, I will make the puzzles if it means quiet.

thanks again,
bugsy's mom


Well-Known Member
The ***only*** thing that has been consistently successful for me has been to re-direct who she is speaking to. Play dates, extended family, neighbors. I've even hired an older girl as a mother's helper to take the brunt of Duckie's incessant talking. I know this doesn't address the underlying issue, but it does prevent me from having a horrible headache after listening to her all day.


Well-Known Member
All I can think of is something to do with his hands. It's not as easy for a boy because for a girl I would think of needle work or knitting or something. Something where he has to plan and count or track. Building type things? Something where he has to keep his mind as occupied as his fingers.


Active Member
Whether this is Strattera or not, this IS compulsive and you can't discipline it in any way. But you CAN work on training it.

Star's suggestions are great. It's one really good way to help the kids.

I always say, you get the best answers when you can get into the kids' heads. The problems as I can work them out -

* they feel a desperate urge to communicate in order to feel connected. What if you were not in the room? Do they still talk? Often they do, but often they talk less. It's because you are not there. But to still talk at all - this is only part of the reason.

* they are afraid of not saying everything that needs to be said. "If I don't say it now, I'll lose it. I'll forget it."
And you can tell them over and over, "if it's important, you'll remember," but they won't accept this, because FOR THEM it simply doesn't work that way. There is also an anxiety component in this - what if they fail to tell you something really important?

* but what is important? The third reason is, these kids have trouble discriminating between thoughts. For them, ALL thoughts are equally important and equally deserving of being shared. You'll get this in autism, and in ADD. The difficulty in making value judgements would benefit from the regular rehearsal which Star's method brings in. The fixed time of the day for this is fabulous - a lot of these kids follow a timetable much better than anything else. And for a short while, they can comply, especially if they know there is going to be a chance to be heard exclusively, for a little while. Being heard for sure, for fifteen minutes, is a lot better than being shushed all day.

* sometimes these kids CAN talk, AND listen at the same time, and their extreme egocentricity demands, "Why can't you do what I can do?"
Bright kids especially are a real headache with this one.
A good exercise for this one - get your child to watch a TV program (documentary) and then to tell you everything they learned. Then get your child to spend the same time reading a book, or information leaflet. Get the child again to tell you what was in the book/leaflet. Then do it again - documentary watch and read a book AT THE SAME TIME.
Now, kid - tell me what you learned, first from the documentary, and then
the book.
You then explain - our brains are designed to take input from only one source at a time. We can do best when we only have one conversation at a time. That conversation can be with another person; it can be with a book; it can be with our own thoughts. If you interrupt a conversation, you need to allow time for the person's attention to fully come to you, or they will miss the beginning of what you have to say.
A person on the phone is having a conversation, even if you can't hear anything. You cannot fill in the silences YOU hear, because the other person is not hearing silences, they are hearing information from another source.

We then used this with difficult child 3 to teach him that when he's rushing into a room to talk to us,. he has to wait for three seconds and assess the room - is he likely to be interrupting? And if he starts talking and IS interrupting, he has to stop when he sees t he hand held up in 'stop' fashion. He also has to feel sure that when there is a logical break, he WILL be heard.
This is taking time to work on because it is partly training, and a lot of it is simply the way his brain is wired.

What really cheeses me off - he will walk in and interrupt (usually my on the computer, mid-sentence) and say something totally unimportant, such as, "When playing Spacebrother, you need to turn left first when you go through the portal."
He then leaves the room, for up to 30 seconds, then comes back. "Because if you don't, the space monster will jump out at you."
He leaves again. Thirty seconds later, he's back. "But you can always try to divert the Spacemonster by clicking left, sideways, and thereby jumping out of the way."
By now I'm ready to strangle him, but he's just left the room again.

We're having limited success dealing with this, but what seems to be working is to say to him, "Is there anything more you need to say about this? Because when you leave the room, I will consider the topic to be finished."
Another thing we try to say is, "Can you tell me why I need to know this?"

We patiently explain, we make sure he has opportunity to feel heard - and we grit our teeth.



New Member
OMG! Same problem here! NEVER SHUTS UP!! that is the biggest complaint from teachers at school. Everyone knows my difficult child - oh, he never stops talking. He DOES have interesting things to say - but GOSH! SHUT UP!

We have tried the timer thing - LOL - never worked. He couldn't last ONE MINUTE!

difficult child has also talked during SLEEP!! EVERY NIGHT!! He wakes us up constantly - just chattering away.......

He comes in the house/room shouting "MOM! DAD!" and begins his spill.... no matter what else is going on. He DOES get angry when we tell him he talks too much, or he needs to be quiet. We can't watch TV either if he is around.

I know exxactly what you are going through - let me know if someone can help...

good lluck!


difficult child even talks in her sleep. I'm not kidding. Before she was even 2, easy child asked me if she ever shuts up. Then the cluttering in her speech started in the second grade...when she really gets going, it's much more pronounced and she gets very angry when I can't understand her and she has to repeat herself.

I've recently discovered the garage (see thread on watercooler).


New Member
You know, the puzzles REALLY ARE a great distraction tool, that's what we finally did for our 5 year old, it keeps her busy for quite a while, because she is Obsessive-Compulsive (not diagnosed, just VERY apparent.....) and simply cannot stop until it is finished once she starts it... once your difficult child has tackled the 50 pieces, get some fun cartoony 100 piece ones for a "big break" lol.... :smile:

She loves it, too because once she is done with the puzzle, we can use the glue and keep it together and then we put newspaper on the back and hang them on her wall and use them as decorations for her bedroom. She likes to do "themes" where she will do bunny rabbits all at once and use them all in her room and then take them down and put up all cats or dogs... besides that, they really aren't that expensive if you go to toys r us, they usually have several on sale and they have some really cool glow in the dark ones that make great wall decorations.


Roll With It
Doyou ever play the "Quiet Game" with him? We used to play it in the car with difficult child. Whoever talks first loses. My difficult child hated hated hated losing. He also talked nonstop until he was 8. Even talked all night, every night in his sleep. NOTHING really worked to make him stop talking. The Quiet Game did give us some breaks and some giggles.

Big Hugs,



New Member
I'm feeling your pain Bugsy. Really. My difficult child will not stop talking either. I have noticed too--and I'm not sure if it's racing thoughts or stuttering or what it is, but he tends to start a sentance the repeate the first couple of words four or five times. I've even sat and counted how many times he repeates something. For example, the other day he wanted something and he said "Mommy, I want" five times before he got out "mommy, I want a drink" It's like he's not sure what he wants or knows what he wants but can't get it out. Does that make sense? I've contimplated muzzles, duct tape and even a sound proof room :smile: Just kidding. Let me know what you can find out!


Here we go again!
When my difficult child 2 was sort of manic/hypomanic in May/June this year he was doing the same thing. At the time, he was on Daytrana and Tenex and did not yet have the mood disorder diagnosis he has now. He barely came up for air, the talking was incessant. It was driving his siblings up the wall and they were constantly telling him to shut up. Ugh. Chinese water torture -- yup, that about sums it up.

Now he is on Depakote and Daytrana and doing much better. He does still tend to talk during TV shows (especially something like Discovery channel, Animal Planet, etc.) or movies -- more so when the stims are out of his system.

Not sure if or how this info could help you, but just thought I'd toss our 2 cents in the ring. :smile: