Hyperactive Children (ADHD)

Portrait of a hyperactive child

Attention deficit. How to determine?

– Often unable to pay attention to details; due to negligence, frivolity makes mistakes in school assignments and other activities.

– Usually has difficulty maintaining attention when performing tasks or during play.

– It often seems that the child does not hear the speech addressed to him.

– Often fails to follow the instructions given and complete the lessons or homework (which has nothing to do with negative or protest behavior, inability to understand the task).

– Often experiences difficulties in organizing independent tasks and other activities.

– Usually avoids, expresses dissatisfaction and resists tasks that require long attention spans.

– Often loses things (for example, toys, school supplies, pencils, books, etc. )

– Easily distracted.

– Often shows forgetfulness in everyday situations.

Calculate how many signs correspond to a particular child (6 or more)


– Often there are restless movements in the hands and feet; sitting on a chair, spinning, spinning.

– Often gets up from his seat during class or in other situations where he needs to stay still.

– Often shows aimless motor activity: runs, spins. He tries to climb somewhere, and in situations where this is unacceptable.

– Usually unable to play quietly, calmly, or engage in leisure activities.

– Often behaves like “as if a motor was attached to it.”

– Often talkative.


– Often answers questions without thinking, without listening to them to the end.

– Unable to wait for his turn, often interferes, interrupts. Usually with difficulty waiting for his turn in various situations.

– Often interferes with others, sticks to others (for example, interferes in conversations or games).

Calculate how many signs correspond to a particular child (6 or more)

If, at the age of up to 7 years, at least six signs constantly appear in one and the other list for six months, the teacher or parent may assume (but not diagnose!) That the child he is observing is hyperactive.

A bit of theory.

“ Hyper …” – (from the Greek. Hyper – above, above) – an integral part of complex words, indicating an excess of the norm. The word “active” came into Russian from the Latin “a tivus ” and means “effective, active”.

Hyperactivity is a set of symptoms associated with excessive mental and motor activity.

It is difficult for a hyperactive child to sit, he is fidgety, moves a lot, spins in place, sometimes overly talkative, and can be annoying with his behavior. He often has poor coordination or lack of muscle control. He is clumsy, drops or breaks things. It is difficult for such a child to concentrate his attention, he is easily distracted, often asks a lot of questions, but rarely waits for answers. He is disinhibited in relationships with adults, does not know how to play with peers and does not have real friends.

A characteristic feature of the mental activity of hyperactive children is cyclicity. Children can work productively for 5-15 minutes, then the brain rests for 3-7 minutes, accumulating energy for the next cycle. At this point, the child is distracted and does not respond to the teacher. Then mental activity is restored. And the child is ready to go within 5-15 minutes. They have, as it were, a “flickering” consciousness. They can “fall in” and “fall out” of it, especially in the absence of motor stimulation. With the scarce work of the vestibular apparatus, they need to move, spin and constantly turn their heads in order to remain “conscious”. In order to maintain concentration of attention, children use an adaptive strategy : they activate the centers of balance with the help of physical activity. For example, leaning back on a chair so that only its back legs touch the floor. The teacher demands that “they sit up straight and not be distracted.” But these two requirements are in conflict. If the head and body are immobile, hyperactive children have reduced levels of brain activity.

These violations contribute to the emergence of difficulties in the development of reading, writing, counting.

These children are characterized by aggressive behavior and negativism. In adolescence, such children are prone to antisocial behavior. With all the problems of such children with learning and relationships with others, such children have normal or even high intelligence.

Boys are at least 4 times more likely to be hyperactive than girls.

Peaks of manifestation: 1 year, 3 years, 6-7 years, 9-10 years. Then the activity goes down.

At the present stage of ADHD research, three groups of factors in the development of the syndrome are considered dominant:

• genetic factors;

• damage to the central nervous system during pregnancy and childbirth;

• negative impact of intra-family factors.

Characteristic manifestations of the genetic factor can be traced in several generations of the same family, much more often among male relatives. The influence of biological factors plays a significant role at a younger age, then the role of socio-psychological factors, especially intra-family relations, increases.

The causes of early damage to the central nervous system during pregnancy and childbirth can be malnutrition, lead poisoning, organic brain damage, intrauterine defects, fetal drug poisoning (for example, cocaine) during prenatal development, oxygen deficiency during fetal development or during childbirth. Many babies with learning disability symptoms are born with complicated births, and among premature babies, these symptoms are common.

In addition, in children whose condition is diagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, it leads to changes in pain sensitivity. Such children often do not feel pain and therefore cannot empathize with others. This explains their ruthless attitude towards peers and animals. They can hit, push, bite, show aggression in another way. In addition, they are able to commit aggressive actions in relation to themselves.

A hyperactive child needs help.

In each specific case, it is necessary to determine what kind of assistance should be given to a hyperactive child: medication, psychological or pedagogical correction.

As a rule, the hyperactivity syndrome is based on minimal cerebral dysfunction (MMD), the presence of which is determined by a neuropathologist after a special diagnosis. If necessary, drug treatment is prescribed.

However, the approach to the treatment of a hyperactive child and his adaptation in the team should be comprehensive.

How much trouble and trouble a hyperactive child brings to others. However, this is only one side of the coin. We must not forget that he himself suffers first of all. After all, he cannot behave as adults demand, and not because he does not want to, but because his physiological capabilities do not allow him to do this. It is difficult for such a child to sit still for a long time, not to fidget, not to talk. Constant shouting, remarks, threats of punishment, for which adults are so generous, do not improve his behavior, and sometimes even become sources of new conflicts. In addition, such forms of influence can contribute to the formation of “negative” character traits in a child. As a result, everyone suffers: both the child, and adults, and the children with whom he communicates.

No one has yet managed to achieve that a hyperactive child becomes obedient and docile, and learning to live in the world and cooperate with it is quite a feasible task.

Children with hyperactivity syndrome have sufficiently developed compensatory mechanisms, for the inclusion of which certain conditions must be met:

• provision by parents and teachers of emotionally neutral development and learning;

• adherence to the regimen, sufficient time for sleep;

• learning according to a personality-oriented program without intellectual overload;

• appropriate medical support;

• development of individual assistance to the child by a neurologist, psychologist, teacher, parents;

• timely neuropsychological correction.

Thus, a child’s hyperactivity is only an external manifestation of disorders in his neuropsychological development and may arise due to the immaturity or deficiency of brain structures. First of all, the occurrence of ADHD is associated with insufficient maturity of the frontal cortex , especially the left hemisphere.

This syndrome is diagnosed with the beginning of educational activity.

Psychological correction of children with ADHD

Neuropsychological correction of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should include:

• stretch marks;

• breathing exercises;

• oculomotor exercises;

• exercises for the tongue and jaw muscles;

• cross (reciprocal) bodily exercises;

• exercises for the development of fine motor skills of hands;

• relaxation and visualization exercises;

• exercises for the development of the communicative and cognitive sphere;

• exercises with rules.

Stretching normalizes hypertonicity (uncontrolled excessive muscle tension) and hypotonicity (uncontrolled muscle sluggishness) of muscles

The presence of hypertonicity , as a rule, manifests itself in motor restlessness, emotional lability, sleep disturbance

^ Breathing exercises improve the rhythm of the body, develop self-control and arbitrariness. . The only rhythm that a person can voluntarily control is the rhythm of breathing and movement. The ability to voluntarily control breathing develops self-control over behavior

Oculomotor exercises allow you to expand the field of view, improve perception. It is known that multidirectional eye movements activate the learning process.

Corrective movements of the body and fingers ensure the development of interhemispheric interaction, the removal of involuntary additional and muscle clamps. It is known that the center of fine motor coordination is the frontal lobe of the brain, which is also responsible for internal speech and self-control.

It is recommended to start working with them with individual lessons, gradually including them in group activities. In addition, each child needs an individual strategy and tactics of interaction.

Correctional and developmental work is most effective with the participation of parents in conducting classes in a group and at home.

Additional techniques that parents can use to correct a child can be:

1. Rhythm of the right hemisphere – classes in rhythm, choreography, skiing, tennis, horseback riding.

2. Activation of the work of the brain stem sections – swimming, diving, trampolining, breathing exercises.

3. Development of interhemispheric interaction – martial arts (especially ushu-taolu ) , kinesiological exercises, knitting.

4. Removal of impulsivity and hyperactivity – exercises with sand, water and clay; contrast shower, dousing.

5. Development of stability of attention:

• long sorting and stringing of beads;

• development of the ability to random switching of attention – reading the alphabet, interspersed with the account:

a, 1, b, 2, c, 3, d, 4, e, 5, f, 6, e, 7, g, 8, h, 9, i, 10, i, 11, k, 12, l, 13, m, 14, n, 15, o, 16, p, 17, p, 18, s, 19, t, 20, y, 21, f, 22, x, 23, c, 24, h, 25, w, 26, w, 27, b, 28, s, 29, b, 30, e, 31, u, 32, i, 33

• line-by-line tracing of the sheet with a glance and successive strikethrough of the letters “k” and “r”:


• tracing a line from start to finish as it intertwines with other lines (mazes).

Practical recommendations for parents of a hyperactive child.

In the home correction program for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the behavioral aspect should prevail:

1. Changing the behavior of an adult and his attitude towards a child:

– show enough firmness and consistency in education;

– remember that excessive talkativeness, mobility and indiscipline are not intentional;

– control the child’s behavior without imposing strict rules on him;

– do not give the child categorical instructions, avoid the words “no” and “no”;

– build relationships with the child on mutual understanding and trust;

– avoid, on the one hand, excessive softness, and on the other hand, excessive demands on the child;

– react to the child’s actions in an unexpected way (joke, repeat the child’s actions, take a picture of him, leave him alone in the room, etc.);

– repeat your request with the same words many times;

– do not insist that the child must apologize for the misconduct;

– listen to what the child wants to say;

Use visual stimulation to reinforce verbal instructions.

2. Changing the psychological microclimate in the family:

– give the child enough attention;

– spend leisure time with the whole family;

– do not quarrel in the presence of the child,

3. Organization of the daily routine and place for classes:

– establish a solid daily routine for the child and all family members;

Show your child more often how best to complete the task without being distracted;

– reduce the influence of distractions during the child’s task;

– protect hyperactive children from long hours on the computer and watching television;

– avoid as much as possible large crowds of people;

– remember that overwork contributes to a decrease in self-control and an increase in hyperactivity;

– Organize support groups of parents who have children with similar problems.

Special Behavioral Program:

– come up with a flexible system of rewards for a job well done and punishments for bad behavior. You can use a point or sign system, keep a diary of self-control;

– do not resort to physical punishment! If there is a need to resort to punishment, then it is advisable to use quiet sitting in a certain place after committing an offense;

– Praise your child more often. The threshold of sensitivity to negative stimuli is very low, so hyperactive children do not perceive reprimands and punishments, however

sensitive to rewards;

– make a list of the child’s responsibilities and hang it on the wall, sign an agreement for certain types of work;

– educate children in the skills of managing anger and aggression;

– do not try to prevent the consequences of the child’s forgetfulness;

– gradually expand the responsibilities, having previously discussed them with the child;

– do not allow to postpone the execution of the task for another time;

– do not give the child instructions that do not correspond to his level of development, age and abilities;

– help the child to start the task, as this is the most difficult stage;

Don’t give multiple orders at the same time. The task that is given to a child with impaired attention should not have a complex structure and consist of several links;

– explain to a hyperactive child about his problems and teach how to cope with them.

Remember that verbal means of persuasion, appeals, conversations are rarely effective, since a hyperactive child is not yet ready for this form of work.

Remember that for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the most effective means of persuasion “through the body” will be:

– deprivation of pleasure, delicacy, privileges;

– a ban on pleasant activities, telephone conversations;

– reception of “off time” (isolation, corner, penalty box, house arrest, early departure to bed);

– an ink dot on a child’s wrist (“black mark”), which can be exchanged for a 10-minute sitting on the “penalty box”;

– holding, or simply holding in an “iron embrace”;

– extraordinary duty in the kitchen, etc.

Do not rush to interfere in the actions of a hyperactive child with directives, prohibitions and reprimands. Yu.S. Shevchenko gives the following examples:

– if the parents of a younger student are worried that every morning their child wakes up reluctantly, dresses slowly and is in no hurry to go to school, then you should not give him endless verbal instructions, rush and scold. You can give him the opportunity to receive a “lesson of life.” Having been late for school for real and having gained the experience of explaining with the teacher and the director of the school, the child will be more responsible for the morning preparations;

– if a 12-year-old child breaks the glass of a neighbor with a soccer ball, then you should not rush to take responsibility for solving the problem. Let the child explain himself to the neighbor and offer to atone for his guilt, for example by washing his car daily for a week. The next time, choosing a place to play football, the child will know that only he is responsible for his decision;

– if money has disappeared in the family, it is not useless to demand recognition of theft. Money should be removed and not left as a provocation. And the family will be forced to deprive themselves of delicacies, entertainment and promised purchases, this will certainly have its educational impact.

– if the child has abandoned his thing and cannot find it, then you should not rush to help him. Let him search. Next time he will be more responsible with his things.

Remember that after the punishment incurred, positive emotional reinforcement, signs of “acceptance” are needed. In the correction of the child’s behavior, the technique of the “positive model” plays an important role, which consists in the constant encouragement of the desired behavior of the child and ignoring the undesirable. A necessary condition for success is the understanding of the problems of their child by parents.

I wish you success!

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