2. HYPER-ACTIVITY… (overactive), is defined by an exaggerated or avoidant response to sensory stimuli.
Bogdashina & Casanova (2016) describe HYPER-Activity as the channel that is too open, and as a result, too much stimulation gets in for the brain to handle. Continuing to say that children with hyper-activity often ‘stim’ in order to try to normalize their sensory input.
Sometimes they rock, spin, flap, or tap in order to calm themselves. Coping with unwanted stimulation can often result in covering eyes or ears and making noises to block out sensory stimulation.
These authors explain that Hyper-activity is said to be an acute, heightened, or excessive sensitivity to what is going on around in the environment. Under florescent lights such children can see a 60-cycle flickering where the whole room pulsates, as a result. One person said, “My world was fragmented. My mother was a smell, my father a tone, my brother was something moving.” Another said, “I remember being attracted to pieces of people’s faces. Their hair, their, eyes, or their teeth attracted me.” Seeing parts instead of wholes, saying perception is often fragmented, distorted, or delayed.
< My Thoughts > “perception is often fragmented, distorted, or delayed.”
Phelan (2015) further explains the circumstances of one’s perception. She says that upon hearing a dog bark, many of us pay attention briefly then carry on. But a child having a negative experience with dogs may respond with a startle response, feeling anxious until s/he feels assured they are out of harm’s way. For some with sensory issues, that heightened state of alertness will continue throughout the day.
Bogdashina & Casanova continue, quoting Tito Muknopadhyay who describes his hyper excitable state: “Panic took over my eyes, blinding them shut. It took over my ears, deafening me with the sound of a scream which was my own. I had no power to stop it.”
< My Thoughts > “Coping with unwanted stimulation can often result in covering eyes or ears…”
Ausderau, et al. (2014)believe that while for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -5 (DSM-5) define sensory features uniquely and distinctly, they say that –
Research suggests that certain patterns of HYPO & HYPER activity can co-occur within individuals in reaction to stimulus from the environment.
Donkers, et al. (2015) talk about ‘mismatched’ reactions to environmental stimulus. They say that brain response can cause them to cover their ears because it triggers a memory, not necessarily because the sound is extremely loud and painful.
Neil, et al. (2017) remind us that it is important to choose which behaviors are HYPO and which are HYPER, because measuring and labeling is important to provide funds for various services from insurance companies. This may not optimally account for the full range of sensory symptoms the child is experiencing. For instance, the question may be… “Does your child show an unusual response to…”. The scoring does not divide hypo from hyper responsiveness. Then there is our Sonny who reacts the same for ‘happy’, ‘sad, and ‘mad’! Smiles.
REFERENCES used here are:
Ausderau, K., Sideris, J., Furlong, M., et al. (2014). National Survey of Sensory Features in Children with ASD: Factor Structure of the Sensory Experience Questionnaire; Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders; V44, p915–925.
Bogdashina, O. & Casanova, M.(2016). Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Different Sensory Experiences – Different Perceptual Worlds; Second Edition: London; Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Donkers, F., Schiput, S., Baranek, G., et al. (2015). Attenuated Auditory Event-Related Potentials & Associations with Atypical Sensory Response Patterns in Children with Autism; Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders; V45, p506–523.
Neil, L., Green D., Pellicano, E. (2017) The Psychometric Properties of a New Measure of Sensory Behaviors in Autistic Children; Journal of Autism Developmental Disorders; V47, p1261–1268.
Phelan, S. (2015). Understanding the Subtypes of Sensory Processing Disorder; Retrieved from
nspt4kids.com › Resourses > Occupational Therapy.
NOTE: Stories which may reveal real-time evidence of Sensory Issues ~
Someone I’m With Has Autism by Carrie Cariello & Jordan Capell, eBook 2015 Edition; an Extended Review with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker
Extended Review with < My Thoughts > by Sara Luker (18% indicates location in the Kindle version of the book, instead of page numbers.)
18% Jack has common self stimulation practices include things like hand-flapping and humming. He tends to gallop across the room with his fingers in his mouth and to grunt or loudly clear his throat. We call it his “zoomies.”
31% “But wait,” Rose said with a worried look. “What if Jack, you know, bounces around? Because of his owt-ism?” Charlie added quietly, “Yeah mom. You know, he has a hard time sitting still. What if he has his zoomies?” “Jack do you need to zoom?” “NO! I WAS STILL!”
We all looked over at him, galloping across the kitchen at that very second. Henry leaped up from his seat and joined his big brother. Together they bounced the span of the kitchen and family room, back and forth, back and forth.
52% “Mom, remember last year at your sister’s party how excited Jack was? He was bouncing from room to room, making his way around the guests as he stimmed and zoomed. Every once in a while he would take his fingers out of his mouth long enough to screech about the dogs getting out.”
“Yes, I watch him every day through the school bus windows, stimming and zooming, eventually taking a seat. By himself.”
READ MORE... Click here =>
Focused Excerpts from the book – (24% indicates location in the Kindle version of the book, instead of page numbers).
24% Joe and I have incorporated our psychologist’s concept of “low and slow” into our parenting approach.
I prefer “high and fast” myself. It’s taken a fair amount of practice for me to slow down and lower my voice when I’m agitated. All of us are slowly stretching.
Low and slow means pretty much what it says: keep your voice low and your words slow.
< My Thoughts > “I prefer “high and fast” myself.”
Van Steijn, et al. (2012), suspect that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms are “obtained from the parents and were related to their offspring.” Those parents genetically “influence patterns of inattentiveness and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms in their offspring as well.” Never a point of blame… but, only a point of information. Just saying that one needs to stop the ‘zoomies’ long enough to eat, drink, and learn new skills.
23% I started to observe his regulation more closely and took note of when his body seemed calm and his mind more open... (…as opposed to his looking and feeling distressed).
Jack adapts to his surroundings and learns best when his body feels ready…
…when the ants of self-stimulation are quiet and his mind is calm.
Exercise and movement are essential for him to feel regulated.
If we notice he has the “zoomies” and needs to stim (Self-stimulation), we direct him towards the mini-trampoline, inside…or to his bike, outside.
Sometimes I just wanted to let him watch those Baby Einstein movies he loved so much, to be and let be. And sometimes I did.
< My Thoughts > “…influence of gender on ADHD…”
As an educator, not often… but there were times when first meeting mom or dad, I found my inner voice saying… “Oh, hello there… Johnny or Susie seems to be a chip of the ole block.” Calling upon my restraint not to ask that parent for “quiet feet” or ” …would you prefer to walk around while we talk?” Smiles.
In a review of an earlier study (2012), van Steijn, et al. were not convinced of a genetic connection or of the environmental influence of being born of, or raised by, parents with ADHD. One of the reasons they say was that none of the studies, so far, had determined whether the ASD, ADHD was influenced by the child’s gender or the parent’s gender. These authors suggested further studies might look for participants with siblings who had also been diagnosed with both ASD & ADHD.
Retrieved from: How Girls with ADHD are Different, by Rae Jacobson; ChildMind.org –
“I’ve always been a space cadet. Prone to lateness and losing things, brought crashing back from daydreams by people clapping their hands in front of my face. “Earth to Rae,’ they’d say exasperated.” “I’m not normal enough to be a normal person.”
“Years later, a few months after my 21st birthday, that ‘something wrong’ finally got a name – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.’ Why did it take so long?”
Hinshaw & Schelffer (2012) tell us that “We were initially taught that ADHD was a boys’ phenomenon. But, three decades later we know this is an equal opportunity condition. Hiding in plain sight are the girls who turn their anger inward. Knowing that it is more important to be pretty, empathetic, demure, and polite.”
“While failures become evidence of self-convicting charges – I’m not smart. I’m a failure. I don’t belong.” These thoughts take their toll with girls who are significantly more likely to experience major depression, anxiety, and eating disorders than girls without.”
Rommelse & Hartman (2016) found that genetic influences on behavior are not all constant during development and that environment can also be an influence. They say that both ASD and ADHD symptoms, although separate domains, focus beyond childhood. That some genes potentially related to childhood ADHD have been replicated in adults. And, it is believed that smoking as an adolescent can impact the future development of ADHD.
While Bink, et al. (2015) say studies show that treatment for ADHD may work differently in some adolescents with both ASD and ADHD. They think that this may be due to improved attention to task performance in those with ADHD.
And, Adamo, et al. (2014) claim that determining whether the person has both ASD and ADHD has to do with both the frequency and the fluctuations of the behavioral activity.
But, Johnson, et al. (2015) advise that symptom of both ADHD and ASD likely emerge from a complex interaction between emerging neurodevelopmental vulnerabilities and aspects of the child’s prenatal and postnatal environment.
Along with everything else, Johnson, et al. focused their review on identifying the earliest expressions of risk. Added to the core domains of brain size and structure, were motor skills, sensory processing and perception, attention, social interaction and communication, as well as temperament.
More of… < My Thoughts > "…about at-risk, behaviors…"
As a parent of Sonny and as a teacher in the classroom, observation, intervention, and dealing with the symptoms of behavior becomes sort of a reaction based on hyper-vigilant behavior of my own. When a child’s behavior is unsafe to self and others, then one must first react immediately. Then later share data which will help discover the causal effect.
So I liked when Johnson, et al. felt that from a basic science perspective it becomes hard to untangle these factors and may clinically restrict us to treating symptoms rather than finding a cause for these disorders. And, that they seemed to consider ‘familial risk’ in broad terms. Bottom line here for parents, clinicians, and educators – without a ‘diagnosis’, be it ASD or ADHD, there most likely will be NO SERVICES for the child.
REFERENCES used here are:
Adamo, N., Huo, L., Adelsberg, S. et al. (2014). Response time intra-subject variability: commonalities between children with autism spectrum disorders and children with ADHD; European Child Adolescent Psychiatry; V23; p69-79.
Bink, M., van Boxtel, G., Popma, A. et al. (2015). EEG theta & beta power spectra in adolescent with ADHD versus adolescents with ASD + ADHD; European Child Adolescent Psychiatry; V24; p873-886.
Hinshaw, S., & Schelffer, R. (2013). The ADHD Explosion, Myths, Medications, Money & Today’s Push for Performance; Oxford University Press.
Johnson, M., Gilga, T., Jones, E., & Charman, T. (2015). Annual Research Review: Infant development, autism, and ADHD – early pathways to emerging disorders; Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry; V56:3, p228-247.
Rommelse, N., & Hartman, C. (2016). Review: changing (shared) heritability of ASD & ADHD across the lifespan. European Child Adolescent Psychiatry; V25; p213-215.
van Steijn, D., Richards, J., Oerlemans, A., et al. (2012). The Co-Occurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Symptoms in parents of children with Autism or ASD with ADHD; Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry; V53:9, p954-963.
NOTE: Next BLOG is #5 - 3 – SIRS-ACTIVITY (including a. sensory interests, b.repetitous behavior, & c. seeking behavior).