Drug testing

What is Hyperactivity in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Most of the ADHD kids that are seen in a private practice setting are hyperactive kids simply because they get into the most trouble. Their parents are usually pulling their hair out and saying, "We've got to get this child some help." The sad truth is that if a parent is going to spend money to get treatment for his kid, that kid's usually got to get into trouble first. So that's why hyperactive kids are seen the most in treatment.

Remember, though, not all of the kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are hyperactive. Perhaps as many as two out of three are, but perhaps as few as only 50%. So, that means that as many as 35% to 50% of kids with ADHD are not hyperactive.

So, what is hyperactivity? If you have a child who is hyperactive, you need no explanation. He's the one running across the ceiling. But for the rest of you, this is what hyperactivity in children and teens looks like. These are kids that act as if they are driven by a motor. They "go." You wind them up in the morning and they "go" until they're finally exhausted, and then they go to sleep, maybe. Some of these sleep pretty well during the night, and some of them hardly need sleep at all. Three hours of sleep and they're up and ready to go.

One definition of hyperactivity is "high levels of non-goal directed motor activity." A child with high levels of motor activity that is always directed at a goal may not be clinically hyperactive. He may be a future professional athlete or rocket scientist. It's the kid who bounces from one activity to another, in a manner inappropriate for their age, which is our concern.

Hyperactivity is often thought of as the child being "over aroused." There is a part of your brain that is constantly scanning the environment to see if there are any changes in that environment. If anything has changed, then that part of the brain asks the question, "Is this new thing in the environment good or bad? Is it something good to eat, or is it going to eat me? How should I feel about this new thing? Should I like it, or be afraid or it?" In many ADHD kids who are hyperactive this part of the brain is overly sensitive, and the kids are seen as being easily startled or scared, overreacting to things, touching everything around them, and being very edgy.

They never seem to be able to just relax. Some of these kids also have a very quick temper, a short fuse. They are sometimes explosive. They often lose friends because of their intensity and temper, and they often seem to run over people like a tornado.

But as we have said, a lot of ADHD kids are not hyperactive. And the kids who are not hyperactive tend to be girls, and they tend to sit in the back of the classroom and just quietly get C's and D's when everyone knows they should be getting A's and B's. These kids with ADHD without hyperactivity are the one's being labeled as "lazy" and at the parent conferences the parents are told, "He or she could do better if they'd just try harder."

You can learn more about the different types of ADHD. There are at least five different types of ADHD, and there are specific treatment strategies that should be used for each type. Impulsive children need a different strategy than children who are not impulsive, and hyperactive children need a different strategy than children who are not hyperactive. So be sure to visit the ADHD Information Library's section on the Different Types of ADHD.

Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.

In The News:

Dressed in moccasins and a rabbit-skin shroud, a man was laid to rest in a cave in Nevada about 10,600 years ago.
Two divers in New Zealand found themselves face-to-face with a strange 26-foot worm-like sea creature recently.
Marine scientists made a major — and somewhat unexpected — discovery while surveying the ocean floor roughly 200 miles off the coast of Ireland.
A previously-unknown 1,500-year-old painting of Christ’s face has been uncovered at a Byzantine church in Israel’s Negev desert.
Space enthusiasts have spotted what they claim is a mythical "creature" hidden in the swirls of Jupiter's cloud system. 
A new study highlights the risks that heatwaves can alter species' population numbers over time, resulting in drastically lower sperm counts for insects and could impact other groups for years to come.
For nearly a decade, researchers with Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond would conduct a trawl survey on the James River, never to come across any baby Atlantic sturgeon — a species that was listed as endangered in 2012.
WASHINGTON — The moon may be the next space destination for American astronauts, but the frontier of Mars still beckons, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine says.
A British Airways pilot said there was a “very bright light” from UFOs off the southwest coast of Ireland, and that they came along the left side of his aircraft on Friday and “rapidly veered to the north,” the BBC reported.
How can elephants fend off ivory poachers?

What Are Your Children Really Watching?

Saturday mornings. Cold cereal and Scooby Doo. How many parents... Read More

Hearing Our Seriously Distressed Children

How do we deal with our seriously distressed children and... Read More

Picky Eater Kid Nutritional Guidelines

Although many children are picky eaters at some stage in... Read More

How Illiteracy Can Ruin Your Childs Life

It may seem obvious to many people why literacy is... Read More

Revering the Crayon Marks

"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine,... Read More

Is Your Child Ready For an Allowance?

Children think money grows on trees. Maybe not literally, but... Read More

Things To Teach Your Teenage Driver

Is it hard to communicate with your teenager about issues... Read More

Parents of Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers: 7 Universal Laws

1. The Law of the BeastAs parents we need to... Read More

Ease Bug Bites with Easy Herbs

Summertime means insect bites and stings. Ouch! Take a leaf... Read More

Raising a Self-Sufficient Teen

Teens don't learn responsibility overnight. If you haven't been working... Read More

Top 25 Children Quotations

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience... Read More

Back to School

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to... Read More

Swing Sets and Outdoor Play Equipment- 5 Essential Tips Before You Buy

For first time parents choosing a swing set or outdoor... Read More

You Goofed? Hip, Hip, Hooray!

Certainly we all want our children to excel. But it... Read More

The Truth Behind Having Children

In the beginning, having children was just a byproduct of... Read More

How to Take Charge of the TV

Many children enjoy TV, and they can learn from it.... Read More

Nail Biting Basics

Nail biting in all its various forms is problematic... Read More

Public Schools Can Cripple Your Childrens Ability To Read

For many adults, reading a book or newspaper seems effortless.... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: 3 Ways to Make the Time

Every now and then I'll get a story sent to... Read More

Second Letter to My Daughter

Dear Camille,As I thumb through the photographs that I carry... Read More

A Dangerous Environment

The internet is a dangerous place for your children. Don't... Read More

Is Your Behavioural Change Strategy Working?

'How can I start getting my children to help out... Read More

If at First They Dont Succeed - What a Great Opportunity!

When kids try new things, sometimes it's a 'fit' and... Read More

Simple Living in a Materialistic World

We were sitting in the family room. My kids had... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: Self-Decorating or Self-Harm - How to Tell the Difference

Q. I need your help with a question about my... Read More

led manufacturers induction fixture Pete's produce ..