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Understanding Hyperactivity in Children

written by: Olive Estrella Coronado • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 3/31/2011

Ever experienced handling a kid who cannot sit still, always has a need to move about, and does not seem to run out of energy? Such hyperactivity in children is very common among those who are diagnosed with the behavioral condition attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

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    Hyperactivity in Children at Home

    How does hyperactivity manifest itself in children when they are at home? Most of the time, these children tend to talk, run, and jump excessively, sometimes without having the proper spatial awareness. Thus they always have a penchant for bumping into things and people as well as breaking objects in the house. In line with this, you will often catch them touching various items, pulling on curtains, repeatedly opening and closing doors, running up and down staircases, or bouncing on beds. Furthermore, during meal times, such hyperactive kids are not able to stay seated and are usually on the go even while eating. If they do sit throughout the meal, they can be very fidgety and may tend to play with the food or drinks.

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    Hyperactivity in Children at School

    Oftentimes, teachers are able to tell apart the regular kids from those who may have ADHD because their hyperactive behavior goes way beyond typical juvenile exuberance. There are many parents who may deny that their children could have ADHD, but teachers are often able to know better because these kids do stand out in class. They are exceptions since they are not like the rest.

    Hyperactivity manifestations include fidgeting and squirming frequently, walking around the classroom often and touching different things, blurting out answers, disturbing classmates, not being able to wait for their turn, exhibiting difficulty staying on task or completing assigned tasks, interrupting the games and conversations of others, running and climbing when the situation is not appropriate, and talking nonstop.

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    Hyperactivity in Malls, Parks, and Other Public Places

    A child with ADHD displays hyperactive behavior everywhere he or she goes. These kids are certainly still sprinting around and are constantly curious about many things when taken to public places such as malls and parks. They have a need to touch items as they come across them. For example, if a hyperactive boy happens to stop in front of a shop because a parent has asked him something, instead of listening attentively and standing straight, he is more likely to be rubbing the glass of the shop or tapping on it and pointing excitedly to something on display. He does not really know that he is being disrespectful or disobedient. He just automatically follows his instinct to be on the go at all times!

    Hyperactivity in children can also include shouting or blurting out words that may not have anything to do with the topic being presently discussed by companions. This can often happen in public, catching the attention of passersby.

    Nb: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.

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    References

    Author's own experience

    Kid's Health, http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/learning/adhd.html

    Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/DS00275/DSECTION=symptoms

    National Institute of Mental Health, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/what-are-the-symptoms-of-adhd-in-children.shtml