Andy displays hyperactivity most days. Typically this behaviour includes flapping and stimming, jumping, toe walking, running, bouncing on beds and settees and lots of other repetitive behaviour like opening the fridge, putting lights on and off etc.We do our best to accommodate this behaviour by giving Andy opportunities for physical activities like walking, jumping and swimming and they certainly help. Dietary issues may also have an affect but given how difficult it is to get Andy to eat anything, this can be hard. In any day he tends to have hyperactive periods then some “down time” where he seeks peace and quiet usually wrapped up in a quilt or sometimes sitting in the bath with the tap running through his fingers and over his body. We have learned to understand some of the rhythms of his wee body and try hard to help and support him.
We understand these behaviours as at least partly arising from sensory processing and sensory seeking needs. Like all of us he requires to regulate for his own well being.
This can be a great challenge for everyday family life and harmony with siblings for example. Sometimes Andy goes through very extreme hyperactivity and we have been working through such a period this week. Unfortunately it has coincided with our other two children returning to school. For David in particular this is difficult given that he shares a room with Andy. Sunday evening , the night before school term began, Andy experienced severe hyperactivity. He went through his normal bedtime routine and had his melatonin, a hormone to induce sleep. He could not however settle and was up and down constantly. He was running round the room and up and down the stairs, bouncing on the beds, being incredibly noisy and switching the t.v. and lights on and off. This went on and on and when David went to bed he had very little chance of sleep. On Sunday this went on till after 1 am although David was overcome by sleep at midnight and slept through. This hyperactivity has continued although it is subsiding as we go through the week. On Tuesday evening it was really intense though he was settled by midnight. His hyperactivity included throwing himself against the wall wrapped in a duvet with such force that plaster came off the wall. He then came downstairs and did laps of the living room carrying a ladle and a ribbon. (I stopped counting at 250 laps) He did not appear unduly distressed during this behaviour, just focused and determined. Ironically as I write this I can hardly keep my eyes open even though last night was much better with Andy settled to sleep by 10 pm. The cumulative strain on us all can be very problematic.


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