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How to handle a hyperactive child?

Q: Our son is about three years old. The problem areas which worry us most are as follows: He has not started speaking so far. He utters only few words. He doesn’t know what fear is. Wants to climb on heights. We can’t leave his hand on roads and parks because he runs away as soon as we leave him. He can not sit at one place for more than a few seconds. He rarely looks at children of his age. He doesn’t pay attention to anything which doesn’t interest him. Wants to see TV all the time. Seems hyperactive as per the literature available to us. What do we do? What treatment should we follow? His education will suffer if we don’t admit him to school now but with this condition he can’t be admitted. Please advise.

A:I do not know where you live. But if it is a city with some facilities, it might be better to have the advice of a person who can see the child, examine him and suggest treatment. I feel a little hesitant to give advice without seeing him. However, you are probably right in assuming that he is hyperactive. But that is just a word. What should you do for him? It is best to start with what interests him. If he watches TV, can you make him say what he likes about it? Has his hearing been checked? You might also encourage him to ask for what he wants, for example, water, milk, food etc. In that way, he may begin to talk. Buy him picture books and point out to pictures and give the name of the object or animal in the book. If he can get interested in drawing, give him a piece of chalk with which he can scribble on the floor. Those marks can be wiped off or washed later on. Try and get him interested in music, by playing childrens' songs on the cassette. You might find him picking up the words. Read out stories or tell stories. If he understands words, he will begin to use them. There are many children who begin to speak late and catch up after some time. If he shows an inclination for mechanical things, there are toys and materials for his age which he might get to like working with. For example, simple Meccano set. A good Nursery School may also help him to settle down. Start looking around in your neighbourhood for a school that has the scope to admit children who are active.

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