Hyperactivity

All parents will know that most children, especially smaller ones, seem to have boundless energy. I am sure however, that those of you who are parents of children with AD/HD have silently muttered "You should try living with my child" when parents of a typically developing child are moaning about exhaustion and how tiring their child is. Living with a child with AD/HD is like living in the midst of a tornado. Joe talks constantly, seldom waiting for a reply, he runs from room to room picking up things, twirling them about and discarding them in favour of something else. Just to watch Joe is exhausting and whilst I love him dearly, the peace that descends on the household when my little whirlwind is finally asleep cannot be quantified!

Children who are truly hyperactive have often been so even as babies - sometimes even in the womb. As babies, many children with AD/HD are particularly difficult to parent. They are often reported to cry a lot, do not sleep well, are often difficult to feed and seem to be 'colicky' babies, and many do not respond to cuddling and physical contact. These difficulties can cause immense strain on other family relationships, and often parents of children with AD/HD have some degree of the same difficulties themselves.

Whilst all children with AD/HD will have presented as being very active and inattentive, it is often not until such children reach school age that they really begin to have difficulties and stand out from their peers. Children with AD/HD usually distract other class members, shout out in class, frequently forget things, are disorganized and have difficulties engaging in, or sustaining their attention on, tasks set for them. For teachers, a child who wanders around the classroom when supposed to be sitting, shouts out inappropriate comments, doesn't seem to pay attention and constantly fidgets, becomes an irritating presence; most teachers do not have the time or the training to understand or deal with such a child.

Many children who have such difficulties adopt the role of the class clown (Joe performs this role brilliantly!) and their peers may often find their behaviour amusing and entertaining.. .their families do too!

Can you spot which one is the monkey?!

Can you spot which one is the monkey?!

However as children get older and the child with AD/HD is continually either preventing them from learning or getting them into trouble, then they will also see them as a nuisance. As a child gets older, the wild hyperactivity is often replaced by fidgeting, flicking, tapping and generally being busy, and so the hyperactivity becomes more contained and difficult to spot.

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