It would be easy to label every healthy, lively child as hyperactive. So how do you
tell the difference?
Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for:
Excessive crying, sometimes screaming and a refusal to be pacified or comforted.
The child is restless and sleeps very little. He is difficult to feed by breast or
bottle, dribbles excessively and may be very thirsty (thirst is a cardinal sign of
Essential Fatty Acid deficiency). Head banging and cot-rocking are common and the
child may not crawl but begin to walk and run around at a very early age. Some children
sleep well but may have night terrors.
IN OLDER CHILDREN:
Clumsy and accident prone.
Erratic and disruptive behaviour. Fits and tantrums.
Compulsive touching of everything and everyone. Constant motion, wriggles legs. May
walk on toes, and runs everywhere.
Disturbs other children and may be aggressive. Argumentative.
Unable to concentrate, never finishes anything he/she begins. Demands must be met
immediately. Frustration leads to temper tantrums. Easily distracted and often unable
to follow instructions. Lack of social skills. Hard to discipline.
Normal or high IQ but may do badly at school. "Jekyll and Hyde" moodiness. There
may also be some specific learning difficulties. Can get easily upset
Poor hand and eye coordination. Uncooperative, defiant and disobedient. Restless.
Talkative. Fearless. Risk Taker.
Not every child will have all the symptoms above, and of course there are degrees
of the problem. As they reach puberty hyperactive children may experience a spontaneous
change in their behaviour patterns, with a lessening of hyperactivity and aggression.
However, it is common for underlying problems to remain and it is essential that
attention to diet is maintained and other forms of help sought.
Parents report some physical health problems such as asthma, eczema, aches and pains,
hayfever, headaches, bedwetting, poor appetite, flushed or pale complexion, excessive
perspiration, red ears. "Silliness" in general.