Signs & Symptoms

Hyperactivity

Is your child acting hyper or wound up?

Hyperactivity is exactly what it sounds like: a condition of being unusually or abnormally active. If your child is hyperactive, he may seem like a buzzing little bee, with a constant, almost boundless supply of energy.

Toys and activities may not maintain your child’s interest very long. She may say, “I just need to get my energy out.” Hyperactive kids can be exhausting. As a parent you may think, “We have already been swimming and to the park, and my child is still wanting to go play soccer? I’m beat!”

Sometimes, parents wonder if the amount of movement and fidgeting exhibited by their children is normal. Often in young children, parents question how their child’s behavior is any different than a typical 5-year-old.

Although no clear-cut answers are available to this question, hyperactivity tends to become problematic when it is ‘getting in the way.’ If your child is constantly in trouble for being out of her seat, displaying poor social skills due to the excessive activity level, accidentally hurting peers or breaking things often, or unable to sit still for a fifteen-minute dinner conversation, then you probably have reason to be concerned.

What do challenges with Hyperactivity look like?

  • Acting wound up?
  • Seeming like she has ants in her pants?
  • Moving constantly?
  • Fidgeting more than others?
  • Showing an endless supply of energy?
  • Operating in only two speeds…very fast…and…asleep?
  • Getting in trouble at school for not sitting still?
  • Bumping into other kids?
  • Making messes?
  • Being loud or noisy?

Why is Hyperactivity happening?

Hyperactivity means moving somewhat constantly or incessantly to the point that it is getting in the way of the child’s functioning. If you are wondering about your child’s levels of hyperactivity, it will be important to have an assessment. If hyperactivity is identified, it is a good idea to begin treatment as soon as possible. Appropriate behavioral or motor activities need to be taught for many children. Behavioral therapy can help your child with attention and focus by providing meaningful reinforcement for on-task behavior and task completion. Sometimes, a tutor or coach can help hyperactive children learn how to get started on homework and to finish assignments. Many parents are hesitant to get a diagnosis of ADHD for fear that the child will be ‘medicated.’ It is recommended that parents be proactive when they have concerns about their child’s attention. Psychologists cannot prescribe medications, and even if your child’s doctor recommends medication, you will always have the option to hold off or refuse that suggestion. Whether medication is chosen or not, hyperactive children tend to benefit from behavioral or psychological therapy.

 

In addition to therapy, parents can try strategies at home to help with hyperactivity. Provide multiple outlets for your child’s energy. Activities like swimming, horseback riding, and gymnastics can be therapeutic for a very active child. Think carefully before taking your child to a tea party, movie theater, library, story time at the book store, or adult birthday party. Your child may not be able to maintain his or her composure in quiet places. A list of kids’ books, such as Personal Space Camp [5] and Ms. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets [6], is provided in the Learn More section below. Reading these books with your child can help ‘put a name on’ his or her challenges and  teach him or her that many children have the same struggles [5,6,7,8,9].

How can I manage Hyperactivity at home?

If you are wondering about your child’s levels of hyperactivity, it will be important to have an assessment. If hyperactivity is uncovered in an evaluation, it will be necessary to begin treatment as soon as possible [1,2,3].

Appropriate behavioral or motor activities need to be taught for many children who are hyperactive. Behavioral therapy can help your child with attention and focus by providing meaningful reinforcement for on-task behavior and task completion.

Sometimes, a tutor or coach can help hyperactive children learn how to get started on homework and to finish assignments. Many parents are hesitant to get a diagnosis of ADHD for fear that the child will be ‘medicated.’ It is recommended that parents be proactive when they have concerns about their child’s attention.

Psychologists cannot prescribe medications, and even if your child’s doctor recommends medication, you will always have the option to hold off or refuse that suggestion. Whether medication is chosen or not, hyperactive children tend to benefit from behavioral or psychological therapy.

In addition to therapy, parents can try strategies at home to help with hyperactivity. Provide multiple outlets for your child’s energy.

Activities like swimming, horseback riding, and gymnastics can be therapeutic for a very active child. Think carefully before taking your child to a tea party, movie theater, library, story time at the book store, or adult birthday party.

Your child may not be able to maintain his or her composure in quiet places. A list of kids’ books, such as Personal Space Camp [5] and Ms. Gorski, I Think I Have The Wiggle Fidgets [6], is provided in the Learn More section below.

Reading these books with your child can help ‘put a name on’ his or her challenges and  teach him or her that many children have the same struggles [5,6,7,8,9].

How can Clear Child Psychology help with Hyperactivity?

If your child is struggling with this symptom to the point that it is getting in the way of his or her learning, relationships, or happiness, it’s time to seek professional help.

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Our Free Discovery Session is a 20-minute consultation where we can talk one-on-one about the concerns and questions you have about your child.

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We Help Determine Next Steps

Our Initial Consultation allows us to get a deeper understanding of your child’s needs and determine if an assessment is appropriate.

We Build a Customized Plan

Our Assessments allow us to determine your child’s specific strengths and challenges. We can use this information to develop a customized support plan which includes: referrals

We Connect you with the Right Professionals

Once we understand your child’s needs, we will help families get connected to the right specialists. No more guesswork, no more wasted time and resources.

We Provide Ongoing Coaching and Support

Our Coaching Packages allow us to continually support families as they continue their journeys. Parental coaching, life-skills practice, and school advocacy are just a few examples of ways we help.

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