Hyperactive behaviour

February 21, 2011

Before we start, we must define hyperactivity, because the term has been widely confused with indiscipline. Hyperactivity, known in medicine as an attention deficit disorder, can affect children, teenagers and even some adults.

Symptoms vary from mild to severe and may include speech problems and impaired memory and motor skills.

Although hyperactive children often have normal or above average intelligence, the condition is characterised by problems with learning, and
behavioural disabilities.

Teachers and parents of hyperactive children should learn to cope with the lack of attention, impulsiveness, emotional instability and uncontrollable behaviour exhibited by them.

Hyperactive behaviour may be related to a loss of vision or hearing or even a communication problem, as the person is unable to properly process symbols and ideas.

It may be accompanied by emotional stress, seizures or sleep disorders. It may also be related to cerebral palsy, lead poisoning, abuse of alcohol or drugs during pregnancy, reactions to certain medicines, or food and birth complications such as oxygen deprivation or trauma during birth.

Hyperactive behaviour interferes with family life, school and social development. There are several ways of dealing with it.

Eliminate preservatives and sugar from your child's diet. This is the most important way of treating a hyperactive child. Also give him a liquid supplement of calcium and magnesium.

Seek therapy and behaviour modification experiences. These disciplines help children understand the problems due to which they are fighting established goals and standards, and to recognise and evaluate their own behaviour.

These programmes teach about internal controls that can be used in various situations. Your child will learn when you offer rewards for his achievements, and also learn from his mistakes.

Consult your doctor or therapist to develop behaviour modification programmes. It is important that the programme is clear, easily understood and easily executable by all those who participate (children and adults).

Make sure that both parties have understood that these programmes help to objectify and not to punish.

Develop a stable routine at home. To reduce confusion and the amount of daily stimuli, set specific times for eating and sleeping.

Seek therapy for yourself and your spouse to deal with feelings of frustration and isolation. Parents of hyperactive children need information and support. Seek help, and you will surely find it.

You will learn to support your child and feel calm even when things seem to be out of control. You will also learn that it is important that parents take a holiday without feeling stressed or guilty about leaving a 'difficult' child with competent persons.

Try to assign a small task and quickly and gently insist that it is completed. Be sure to thank and praise your child once it is completed.

The need for parents to take a break cannot be overemphasised. Take an afternoon, an evening or a weekend. Contact a person who can take care of your child. Call your parents and friends. If you do this for your own good, you will return feeling renewed, more peaceful and loving.