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Hyper 9 yr old

Hi, My child has been exhibiting some new behaviors and we are concerned. She is in the accelerated program so is highly intelligent. She has a long attention span in the classroom and can sit for exams, projects, long presentations etc. However, at home, she is anxious and hyper and can't sit still. I offer books which she reads a lot, projects, etc.  But she can't sit still. Please advise. I don't know how to settle her. She just melts down.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
is she on adderal by any chance? i was like that when i took adderal
Avatar universal
She does not take any medications. She has not been diagnosed with ADHD.
189897 tn?1441126518
      Anxiety has many different forms.  Here is a link that might help you pin down what is going on.   http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/148/slide-1.html.    This lists 6 types of anxiety and how to treat them.
      What does bother me is that I spent many years in the classroom (besides years on this forum).   I had kids who were highly intelligent and about 5 grade begin to fall apart.  My main clue that something was going on was frustration. Is this what you meant when you said she, "melts down"?  In many cases, the child was diagnosed with ADD.  It is very common - especially among girls - to miss the signs.   Especially, if the child is intelligent.  There may be something else that is causing the anxiety (hence the above link).  But, just in case you might want to check out this link.  Take a good look at the "predominantly inattentive presentation".  
     This is also a link that might explain why she is moving so much at home.  But it might also help her.  It is on fidgeting.
     The one thing that I am pretty sure will help her - no matter what the cause is - is movement.  Try and get her outside and moving when she comes home from school.  The longer she moves, the better the result.
      Essentially, something is causing the anxiety.   Do talk with her teacher and try and get more insight.  She probably loves school and that is one reason why she can concentrate.  But ask in particular how she is doing in Math.  About 4th grade, there are things in math that innate intelligence just can't get you through.  And, that tends to happen in the later part of the year.  
    Oh, how long does she take to do homework?   That is sometimes a symptom if it is taking a sharp kid much longer then normal.
     I hope this helps.   I have a ton of resources, but really don't know/have that much to go on with about her, except for my experiences with kids.
      The fact that you are concerned enough to post says a lot.  I have learned that a mother's instincts are important.
      Any way I can help - please let me know.  Best wishes.
189897 tn?1441126518
   Oh, noticed that they blocked the link to fidgeting.  I will private message that to you.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your message. She actually finishes her homework quickly and she gets it all correct. She also has a lot from her accelerated classes. How can we pinpoint what is causing the anxiety? She only wants to talk to my husband and me. She does not want to talk to a mentor. Her teacher says she sees no anxiety or frustration in the classroom. She has wonderful friendship s.
13167 tn?1327194124
Is she anxious,  or does she just refuse to sit still?  I think sitting still is highly overrated.

It sounds like in the classroom,  there are no concerns whatsoever.  She is very academically successful,  the teachers like her,  and she has good friends.

Does she express to you that she's anxious,  or are you inferring it from the fact that she is in motion?  I know a lot of women who will say "I don't sit still well" and they have very successful,  rich lives.  They just don't sit still.  
she doesn't say she's anxious.  she just always feels like she has to do something. she needs constant stimulation and it just gets frustrating bc I don't feel like I can offer that ALL THE TIME.  We travel, go to museums, library, she's in several activities...when home, she needs more.  Unless she's on the screen, she can't relax.  Not sure what to do.
13167 tn?1327194124
Are there lots of things for her to do at home - like paint,  play a musical instrument,  ride her bike to a close by friend's house?  Does she have any siblings?  Can she rearrange/paint her room or string beads,  or write for a children's publication,  etc?

She sounds like a rare child who can really focus and complete long-term projects.

Best wishes.  She actually sounds like a cool little girl.  
189897 tn?1441126518
   Your comments with RockRose has been helpful.  Particularly the comment, "she just always feels like she has to do something. she needs constant stimulation."   This seems to be different then anxiety.  In looking over the anxiety link I sent you, the only one that would seem to apply would be the one on GAD and I think that her teacher would pick up on that.
    Speaking of her teacher - just to  double check.  You said that her teacher said that she was doing fine.  Was this a recent conversation or one earlier in the year?   Things do change as the curriculum changes.   And have you ever asked the teacher what she is like on the playground or doing PE?  Unfortunately, in today's school systems with departmentalization some teachers never see this aspect.  Just wondering if her activity levels get noticed there?
     But getting back to her.  I have seen kids that work so hard to hold it together at school, that they melt down once they get home.   But, what she is doing is not what I would describe as a meltdown.
     And this gets back to my questions in my message to you about her being sensitive to things.  I was thinking of SPD or sensory processing disorder.  It has many different hats that a child can wear.  And one of them is the following:  
     2. Hyposensitivity To Movement (Under-Responsive):
__ in constant motion, can't seem to sit still
_ craves fast, spinning, and/or intense movement experiences
__ loves being tossed in the air
__ could spin for hours and never appear to be dizzy
_ loves the fast, intense, and/or scary rides at amusement parks
__ always jumping on furniture, trampolines, spinning in a swivel chair, or getting into upside down positions
__ loves to swing as high as possible and for long periods of time
_ always running, jumping, hopping etc. instead of walking
__ rocks body, shakes leg, or head while sitting
__ likes sudden or quick movements, such as, going over a big bump in the car or on a bike
       This information is from this link - http://www.sensory-processing-disorder.com/sensory-processing-disorder-checklist.html
      And this is something that a neurologist will not pick up.  Actually, most neurologist won't pick up on ADD either at this age (but thats probably not appropriate here)  It is diagnosed and treated by an Occupational Therapist.   And even if she does not have SPD, I think the appointment would be worth while.   My own personal experience with OT's have been wonderful.  If nothing else they will be able to give you ideas of activities to help her at night.  Typically, your local hospital will have an OT on duty.  If you have more then one hospital call around as the OTs can have different areas of expertise.
   Oh this is another link on sensory.  Look at slides #8 and 13.
    Finally, I throw this out - well, because I have seen it before (maybe not quite this way).  But she is the oldest.  For probably 5 years she pretty much had your undivided attention.  She is very intelligent.  It just might be that she has found a way to get your attention.  If her high activity levels have not been there since say three years old or so.  In other words if they are a fairly recent development - then that could be another reason.  And that can also be nicely changed.
    Let me know if any of this makes sense.  Sorry for the length of the post.
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