Hyperactivity for child

Hyperactivity for child

There are some children who seem to be genuinely and totally out of control. No matter what you do you cannot control them and in particular they do not seem to be able to control themselves. Children prefer it when they are in harmony with those around them . . . they do not destroy things because they are boys’. Even though boys are generally more physical in their approach and enjoy a lot of rough and tumble, they should not be in a state of constant chaos.

If your son ” I refer to boys because hyperactivity is far more common in this sex although it does occur in girls too – shows all the following symptoms or some of them, you should have the child carefully assessed by experts.

Is his attention span very short?

Does he become frustrated easily?

Does he have sleeping problems?

Is he aggressive?

Is he destructive?

Does he have difficulty doing simple puzzles or drawing a recognisable figure, even a stick figure at the age of five?

Before a child can be labelled hyperactive’, a very careful evaluation must be done, preferably by a specialist in this field {not just a paediatrician unless it is his particular field of expertise). A thorough evaluation at a large hospital that has a child development clinic is ideal. Great care needs to be exercised in diagnosis and treatment because the same symptoms may indicate poor handling, emotional problems or possibly even a highly gifted child. But investigate you must because, whatever the cause, the child needs help and so do the parents.

Certain drugs used as stimulants in adults have a calming effect on some hyperactive children. They can be valuable in helping the child calm down enough to bring order into his life and concentrate at school so that he does not develop emotional problems that complicate his future. However, no child should be given these drugs lightly as they are only effective in some cases as they may calm the child to the point of lethargy. There is no place for their use in the very young child. The drug can act as an appetite suppressant and may retard growth if used for several years without a break. It is generally recommended that the child go off the drug at weekends and holidays to minimise this effect. Other possible causes for hyperactivity are being investigated including lead levels in the child’s system, and the effect of certain food colourants. See also the sections on learning disabilities (p. 198) and hypoglycaemia (p. 163).

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