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I am sorry to hear about the problems your friend is experiencing with his great granddaughter. It can certainly be quite frustrating to experience this type of behavior. It is possible that she may be exhibiting symptoms of ADD or ADHD.
Attention Deficit Disorder can be characterized by the following symptoms of inattention which are present for at least six months:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is also characterized by the following symptoms of hyperactivity which are present for at least six months:
Symptoms of impulsivity also include:
The best course of action if your friend believes that the girl may have many of these symptoms is to have her evaluated by a psychologist. The psychologist will be able to evaluate and suggest a course of treatment that may include medication as well as psychotherapy to help with the symptoms.
If she does not seem to fit the description above, then this talking could be attention seeking. It has been called the law of the soggy potato chip in that if a child thinks that he has a choice between a soggy potato chip or no chip at all, he will choose the soggy chip. If the girl feels that she has the choice between negative attention through excessive talking or no attention at all, she will choose the negative attention and so she will talk excessively and/or act out until she gets it. The only way for this pattern to stop is to begin to catch the good behaviors and reward them with attention, and to calmly and matter of factly give consequences for the negative behaviors with as little attention as possible. A very good book on this subject is Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A Family Peace Plan by Cynthia Whitham MSW. The more consistent this is implemented, the more secure the child will begin to feel and the more her behavior should improve. Keep in mind that any behavior that gets attention is likely to be repeated, so punishments should always be with as little attention as possible. I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.