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Monday, 18 January 2021
Hyperactivity Print
When we picked our son up in Korea, we were told he was a very "busy boy". He was even described as an "energizer bunny". He could not seem to sit still. Once we were home, he would constantly move from one toy to the next, unable to focus. My husband worried that our 10 month old baby already had ADHD. After meeting with our AT and OT, we realized that our son's problems were attachment and sensory related. Within one month of starting therapy, our son calmed down dramatically. He is now able to play with one toy for long periods of time. We are also able to calm him down with one word, "settle". He is able to sit still on our laps and enjoy us more now after 5 months of therapeutic parenting. (a. 10mo, FC)

When my daughter would go into a new situation the first thing she would do is touch, look, talk (or jabber) about everything in the room. I'd get comments like "my, she's observant," or "she's busy..how do you keep up with her?" What she was doing was trying to control everything in her environment. She's go around a room and essentially catalog everything. She was so good at this that on her second visit to the attachment therapist (age 2.5), she moved a couple items back to the positions that they were in the first time she had been there. Pre-verbal it was touching only. If I told her "No touch, look with your eyes only" she'd stand in front of the object like she was studying it. Once she started talking she added the name or "what's that?"

Another of her symptoms of hypervigilance and/or high anxiety was walking on her tippy toes. As soon as she started walking, up she went onto those toes--her very tippy toes like a ballerina, 90% of the time. As attachment therapy and neuro reorganization work progressed, she stayed flat footed more often. Presently, she does elevate occasionally when really excited (happy kind) and as soon as she calms, it's back to the flat foot.

She also had the need for everything in her room (for that matter her whole environment) to be exactly the same, all the time. If one drawer was open in her room at night, even slightly, she'd whine and cry (pre-verbal) or tell me "close the drawer" before she could go to sleep. Again, as therapy progressed this disappeared too. (a. 10mo, OR)

Children who've experienced early separation & trauma can appear to be hyperactive and are sometimes diagnosed with ADHD. Although some adoptive children may be truly hyperactive, many others are "hypervigilant" or hyperaroused.

Here are two excellent articles on the topic:

ADHD or Hyperarousal in Traumatised and Adopted Children

Calming Your Wild Child (and even the not-so-wild one)

Additional Links:

Food Additives Linked To Hyperactivity In Children, Study Shows
Evidence of increased levels of hyperactivity in young children consuming mixtures of some artificial food colours and the preservative sodium benzoate.
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