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What is hyperactivity?
Hyperactivity is a state of excessively stimulated activity where the young person is in a constant state of 'over stimulation' and their whole system seems to be permanently 'on the go'. There are many suggested causes.

Living with hyperactivity
In some cases simple adjustments in diet can significantly limit the effect. A young person who is hyperactive will appear to be in a constant state of over excitement, be restless, unsettled, or wanting to move around. This inability to keep still can have consequences for the young person's schooling.

Some hyperactive young people require less sleep than others. This is worth bearing in mind when it comes to camps and over nights.

Practical tips
You need to create a safe and orderly environment within you meetings. It may be beneficial to have a safe and supervised 'time out' spot to allow the young person the space and time to calm down to prevent situations escalating. Avoid offering any inadvertent triggers in the form of  food or drinks.

Some young people who are hyperactive may display attention seeking behaviour. There is a need to recognise and manage undesirable behaviour, but in some situation 'tactically ignoring' attention seeking behaviours can be the most effective way to manage the situation in the long term.

Some situations such as large crowds or noisy places can provoke unpredictable reactions.

What else do I need to know?
Particular attention needs to be paid to safety wherever you are. For example, a young person who is hyperactive may understand precautions such as road safety, but they may not be able to carry them out. Additional risk assessments may be beneficial.

Patience is also vital. Keep calm and prevent situations escalating.

Further information
Discuss with the young person and their parents/ carers the extent to which help is needed and learn any practical tips they have to offer, including finding out if there are any known triggers.

Some young people may be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD). This is a particular condition needing careful, expert diagnosis and you will need to be aware if this diagnosis has been made. Just because a young person is over excited or hyperactive does not mean that they have ADHD.

Behaviour management is explored in Module 15: Challenging Behaviour within the Adult Training Scheme.

Support organisations

Hyperactive Children's Support Group
The Hyperactive Children's Support Group is a registered charity, which has been supporting ADHD/ hyperactive children and their families for over 30 years.

Telephone: 012 4353 9966 (Monday- Friday 2.30pm- 4.30pm)

Email: hacsg@hacsg.org.uk

Website: www.hacsg.org.uk




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