I get hyperfocus at times too - awesome, isn't it? But not with a pad, which was probably my downfall. I did it a bit, along with some simple rudiments, but I just played along with records and learnt new songs. Very amateur approach.I get so-called hyperfocus when I practice something I'm really interested in. Some times it was just me and pad, sitting infront of the tv. Other times I would go through it without much thinking at all, which made it a bit easier. The ADD also doesn't affect me as much as it did at that age, even if it comes back now and then.
I don't think you can rely on hyperfocus with the student because you may have a naturally deeper love of playing than him.
So that brings you back to the theory in Arne's, Jeff's and Duncan's posts. I think using different sound sources and maybe even bringing in a pair of coloured sticks at some stage would have kept me more interested when I was young. Anything to keep things fresh. As Mary Poppins said, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down ...