ADHD: Hyperactive-Impulsive Type

There is no single test that can decide whether or not your child has this form of ADHD. Your doctor will first rule out all other possible causes of hyperactivity. It may be a result of depression or interpersonal problems. It’s possible that their actions are actually age-appropriate. A child’s ability to stay still may be impaired by vision problems or learning difficulties.
ADHD

Your child is unable to hold still. They’re talking at a rapid rate. Is it just that they’re a hyperactive kid? Is it possible that they have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 12 March 2021

ADHD manifests itself in a variety of ways, one of which is hyperactivity. Children who have it seem to be always on the move.

Hyperactive children are also prone to making rash decisions. They have the ability to interrupt conversations. It’s possible that they’ll play out of turn.

So, how can you say if your child suffers from hyperactive-impulsive ADHD?

What treatments can help your child if they have ADHD?

Signs of Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD

There is no single test that can decide whether or not your child has this form of ADHD. Your doctor will first rule out all other possible causes of hyperactivity. It may be a result of depression or interpersonal problems. It’s possible that their actions are actually age-appropriate. A child’s ability to stay still may be impaired by vision problems or learning difficulties.

In addition, the psychiatrist will look for at least six of the following hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms:

  • Fidgeting or squirming (not being able to sit still)
  • Non-stop talking
  • Trouble sitting still and doing quiet tasks
  • Running from place to place; acting like they are driven by a motor
  • Constantly leaving their seat, jumping or climbing on furniture and other inappropriate places
  • Impatience
  • Blurting out comments at inappropriate times
  • Interrupting conversations or speaking out of turn
  • Trouble waiting for a turn or standing in line

Many children who enjoy running and jumping are likely to be high-energy. However, this does not suggest that they are hyperactive. To be diagnosed with ADHD, signs must be severe and causing complications with the child’s life. They must also have been doing so for at least six months.

 

Inattentive ADHD

Another form of ADHD is known as inattentive ADHD. Children with inattentive ADHD have difficulty concentrating. They are easily distracted as well.

A child with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD does not exhibit several symptoms of inattention all of the time. They do not have difficulty concentrating or being easily distracted.

However, several children with ADHD have both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive symptoms (called the “combined type"). They can be constantly on the move and have difficulties concentrating.

What Causes Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD?

The cause of ADHD is unknown. Scientists claim that is primarily attributed to genes passed on by parents to children. However, researchers aren't sure which genes make it more likely to develop ADHD. If a close relative has ADHD, a child is more likely to have it.

Other factors that can play a role in ADHD risk include:

  • Cigarette smoking and alcohol use during pregnancy
  • Being born premature
  • Low birth weight
  • Being exposed to lead toxins during early childhood
  • Brain injuries

Sugar, according to many parents, causes hyperactivity in their children. However, there is no evidence that refined sugar triggers or worsens ADHD.

Food additives such as artificial colours and preservatives can play a role in ADHD. However, this is yet to be proven.

 

ADHD Treatments

The next move is to handle your kid whether he or she has been diagnosed with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD. The care plan for each child can vary. Often you have to do a few different items before you find the right one.

Medication is typically the first step in treating ADHD. There are a few ADHD medications on the market.

Stimulant drugs. These medications include:

  • Dexmethylphenidate
  • Dextroamphetamine/amphetamine
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Methylphenidate

They come in different forms, including:

  • Pills – tablets or chewables
  • Capsules
  • Liquids
  • Skin patches

There is no evidence that one stimulant works better than another. These medications affect each child differently.

Nonstimulant drugs. Atomoxetine is an example of this type of drug (Strattera). Nonstimulant drugs have less adverse effects than stimulants, but they don't work as well.

Another choice is to take blood pressure medications. These medications can aid in the management of impulsivity and hyperactivity symptoms.

  • Clonidine
  • Guanfacine 

Antidepressants. Mood-altering medications, such as bupropion (Wellbutrin), can also assist with ADHD symptoms.

A child will sometimes need a variety of drugs and other treatments. As your child's conditions vary, you can need to consult with the doctor to adjust the prescription.

Medicine side effects should be closely monitored by parents and paediatricians. The following are some of the most common stimulant drug side effects:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Slowed growth
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Irritability
  • Tics
  • Anxiety

More severe side effects have been attributed to stimulant drugs, including:

  • Heart problems
  • Psychiatric problems – hallucinations or hearing voices

In children and adolescents, Strattera and antidepressant drugs may lead to suicidal thoughts.

Because of these uncommon complications, it's important to contact the doctor right away if your child exhibits any unusual signs. Children should have the following checked when taking these medications:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate

Activity therapy, in addition to medication, can assist with hyperactivity. A counsellor or psychiatrist may assist children with ADHD with recognising and controlling their impulsive and hyperactive habits.

Routines may be created and followed by children. They should also focus on improving their cognitive ability. To foster positive attitudes, parents and teachers should use a system of incentives and consequences.

Sources

Referenced on 2.3.2021:

  1. National Institute of Mental Health: “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)."
  2. Nemours Foundation: “What Is ADHD?"
  3. Bope, E.T. and Kellerman, R.D. Cohn's Current Therapy 2012, 1st edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2011.
  4. Massachusetts General Hospital: “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)."
  5. NYU Langone Health: “Diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults.”
  6. https://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/childhood-adhd/adhd-hyperactive-impulsive-type

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