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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:48 pm
Hyperactivity, also referred to as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD (A-D-H-D), is a condition that occurs when excessive levels of impulsiveness, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity characterize a child's behavior. Although children can be diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, most experts agree that inattention and hyperactivity generally go hand and hand. Hyperactivity is far from rare, and it occurs in boys more often than in girls. The condition is usually first noticed by teachers, because the child's activity and restlessness tend to impair schoolwork. Hyperactive children refuse to sit still, and often fidget or squirm in their seats during class. They're prone to outbursts of temper, find it difficult to follow instructions, and have trouble remembering their assignments. They typically disrupt class, are involved in fights, have a poor self-image, and have a hard time making friends. One unfortunate aspect of the condition is that parents and teachers sometimes blame the child's problems in school on lack of effort, and this only complicates matters. Fortunately, hyperactive children generally respond extremely well to treatment, which may consist of counseling, special education programs, or medication. For more information, consult a local health care professional.

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