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Hyperactive Child: 7 signs to identify ADHD in children

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The agitated behavior of children is ordinary; when we observe a child standing still for a long time, we soon think something is wrong with him/her.

In the case of children with hyperactivity, it is the opposite; their behavior indicates great agitation, difficulty concentrating, and impulsivity in actions.

Only a specialist doctor can give a Hyperactivity diagnosis. However, some signs can serve as a warning for parents, so that hyperactivity is identified earlier, which can help the children’s life quality.

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder with a neurobiological basis that comes from genetic causes; it appears in childhood and extends throughout life.

Some symptoms can be used to identify ADHD in children and, consequently, in adolescents and adults who carry these signs.

Thus, we can quickly list as ADHD symptoms the following: above-average inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in children with this diagnosis.

What are the causes of the appearance of ADHD?

When we are talking about hyperactivity, it is ordinary for people – especially parents – to wonder why their children are showing symptoms related to this attention deficit and hyperactivity.

These doubts generate anguish in most parents and guardians, as they are not sure of the origin and blame only certain behaviors and situations they experienced during the gestational period or something similar. 

As previously mentioned, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that reflects genetic vulnerability arising from genetic micro alterations.

Some situations do not demonstrate the cause-and-effect relationship for the appearance of hyperactivity in children, however, they should be considered at the time of diagnoses, such as the family and social environment in which the child is inserted. In addition, it is necessary to know whether substances ingested during pregnancy, such as nicotine and alcohol, among others. Besides other important information for the hyperactivity diagnosis or to rule out other diseases with similar symptoms

7 signs of hyperactivity in children

Observing children’s behavior and actions can make it possible to identify hyperactivity. Check out some of these signs:

  1. Gets tired of activities quickly

Lack of concentration is a common feature of children and even some adults, however, when this lack of concentration is demonstrated by constantly changing games and activities, it can be a sign of hyperactivity. 

Children with this condition quickly get tired of the activities that are directed at them, such as, for example, just sitting for a while, whether to listen to a story at school or participating in meals.

At home, these characteristics are presented in different ways, such as not being able to participate in a family reading moment or watching a movie or video in full; leaving their tasks unfinished is one of the most noticeable characteristics by parents and teachers and even by the classmates at school.

  1. Shows indiscipline and lack of organization

Children with hyperactivity do not usually find it easy to follow instructions and rules or expect things development order. Thus, we can exemplify simple situations in which they cannot wait their turn to speak at school and answer before all colleagues; or even before the question is finished, expressing impatience and, often, indiscipline in their attitudes.  

At home, this can be easily noticed when, despite the effort to explain and guide the child, he/she does not follow the family’s rules and agreements.

Regarding the lack of organization, children are generally prone to losing their objects and are unable to keep care of toys, and games, among other things.

  1. Has impulsive behavior

Impulsive behavior can make socialization difficult for both the child and the parents, making ordinary day-to-day activities a little delicate and sometimes tiring. 

Children with hyperactivity tend to like dangerous games, and this is a highlighted characteristic. Thinking about the consequences of games or actions is more difficult for children with ADHD, as they are very adventurous.  

  1. Easily distracted

Another visible characteristic in children with hyperactivity is the difficulty in paying attention to the information transmitted to them. They have low concentration levels for carrying out school tasks or even for their daily activities. 

A different environment or just new objects can draw a lot of attention, leading children to imagine a new adventure in sight, which will cause an easy distraction to carry out an ordinary activity. 

  1. Difficulty dealing with emotions and stressful situations

Children have tremendous difficulty dealing with uncomfortable situations, and emotions are a little more complex in the Hyperactivity context. 

Dialogue is always an ally to resolve conflicts; for children with hyperactivity, there is difficulty in assimilating some social behaviors, and it can lead to uncomfortable situations in living with other people, and this is an easily noticed sign.

  1. Have problems with sleep

This change in the sleep cycle can be a substantial sign of hyperactivity, and it is due to the lack of rest for the body and mind, as the child is unable to disconnect and ends up with impaired sleep.

We all go through moments of poorly slept nights, and the next day we have mood swings and remarkable physical fatigue; if we apply this to children, these sleep changes cause equal discomfort. 

Slowing down the routine is an alternative to help with sleep cycle changes. 

  1. Learning difficulties

Learning difficulty is one of the characteristics that lead teachers to seek out parents so that they can assess the need to seek specialized help for their children, considering the other characteristics that demonstrate the propensity for ADHD. 

Thus, the learning difficulty is a direct consequence of the lack of attention that the child presents due to Hyperactivity. 

However, this difficulty is not a rule for all children with ADHD, considering that, depending on the level of Hyperactivity they present, they may have good school development. 

However, in addition to learning difficulties, a key factor noted by teachers is the difficulty in socializing with their peers.

Because they are too agitated and quickly tire other children, they are often excluded from games and group activities at recess, for example.

ADHD at school

In general, the signs of ADHD are perceived in children already in their family environment. This is more evident when they go to the school environment due to the coexistence with other children and the constant observation of the adults involved in the children’s learning process.

Today there is an intensity of symptoms of inattention, hyperactive behavior, and impulsivity itself. The child makes a great effort to be able to perform ordinary activities for most people, such as remaining seated, standing still, and listening to a conversation, among other characteristics. 

Teachers usually observe the behavior pattern of children their age, which can lead to the general identification of signs of hyperactivity.

How to identify Hyperactivity?

Somehow, we may think that most children or people, in general, have these characteristics; however, this diagnosis will be made from the combination of these symptoms with the appearance of these characteristics in an excessive way, and that brings impairment to social life and cognitive development, reflecting on learning.

One of the difficulties in identifying hyperactivity is precisely the lack of complementary tests that can help psychiatry in this identification.

Typically, psychiatrists use neurological examinations to rule out other types of illnesses that have symptoms or characteristics similar to those of hyperactivity. 

Thus, one of the great questions for identifying ADHD is precisely to look for the appearance of the symptoms described above, through the diagnostic criteria, observing their intensity and the commitment they cause in the lives of children, or that they caused, in the case of adults who are diagnosed as hyperactivity late. 

For a list of possible forms of identification, we can cite some tools used by professionals in the area, such as: 

  • Use of specific questionnaires: which has validation for ADHD’s identification in childhood, even as in adults, being tools that will work as a kind of guide for professionals. 
  • Application of self-completed questionnaires for parents: that will demonstrate the presence of symptoms related to hyperactivity, for analysis by professionals according to the number of symptoms presented. It is important to remember that these self-completed questionnaires alone do not determine the ADHD diagnosis.

Activities that help children with Hyperactivity:

  • Board games: These games can be a good option not only for children with Hyperactivity, but also help little ones with anxiety control, concentration, and the feeling of accomplishing tasks.
  • Short games with routes: creating small routes with obstacles for children is quite an adventure, this type of game can facilitate interaction and inclusion of children, especially those with hyperactivity.
  • Task board: Drawing up a small task board, where the child can actively participate, being able to visualize their completed tasks, and receive due recognition for their dedicated effort, can help with issues related to discipline and disorganization problems. 
  • Physical activities: It’s no secret that physical activities are beneficial for all people of all ages; For children with hyperactivity, physical activities can be great aids in promoting well-being, and a moment to vent their energy, among other behavioral benefits, such as compliance with rules, teamwork, and socialization. We can also notice emotional benefits arising from physical activities that will help with hyperactivity. 

The school plays an essential role in social integration and the identification of children’s cognitive and behavioral difficulties. 

With that in mind, the school environment should include activities that contribute to the formation of the individual, combined with an environment that provides the good development of children and with highly qualified professionals.

St. Nicholas School has an international teaching proposal that provides its students with security and enhances their learning process, combining a good curriculum base with international standards and a humanized education. 

Meet St. Nicholas School and bring your child to the best private children’s school in São Paulo.

Click on the link to apply now! https://stnicholas.com.br/admissions/.


  • St Nicholas

    St. Nicholas School is a school with an international education with the aim of developing responsible, confident and caring citizens. Teaching students to ask the right questions, to get to the right places for them. You can find St. Nicholas School in Pinheiros and Alphaville.


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