Hyperactivity And The Apparent Inability To Sit Long Enough To Learn Anything...

Return To HOME Page

The physical removing of oneself from an “offending situation”, a stressful situation where the “parts to the whole” were not understood was but another coping mechanism used by the autistic child.  

This explained why pretty well all autistic children always seemed to be "running off" as parents chased after them in the hopes of teaching them or having them complete a task.    I found Zachary not only "ran away", but when he removed himself physically from a stressful situation, he usually moved right to an activity that helped him in terms of providing an "order fix", a way in which he tried to bring order back to his world when it simply made no sense at all.   "Order fixes" could take on many forms.  

For example, Zachary often climbed on the couch from one end, walked across to the other end and then got off... or continued onto the next piece of furniture... moving from one end of it to the other.   He would do the same thing as he climbed onto the kitchen table... he would go from one end to the other before he got off.  Never would he "get off in the middle" of the piece of furniture – until he understood “middle” or “sides”.   He had to "complete the task", much like he would "walk the line" on a street... he had to "follow" the furniture from one end to the other.  If I was lying on the floor, Zachary tried to "walk the line" over my body, by starting at my feet, trying to physically walk over me, from my feet to past my head.   When he first began to do this particular activity, I did not understand it... and of course, I always tried to "push him off" by the time he got to my neck, but, soon, I came to realize what he was doing... he was using me, too, as a way to physically get an "order fix"... he was again, "walking the line"... only in this case, the line was my body... from feet to head... and he kept starting over, going back to my feet if I pushed him off before he completed the task and actually made it past my neck and head!

For more on the issue of physical removal from offending situations, see the "Exercises I Do At Home"... exercises that so clearly showed me this issue with hyperactivity and physical removal... exercises with plastic eggs! 

Hyperactivity was indeed another trait so characteristic of the autistic child.   I do not doubt there are indeed some hyper children out there (i.e., children who may eat too much sugar, not have enough magnesium, etc.).   However, I think that what we had for so long seen as "hyperactivity" was not “hyperactivity” but rather simply another coping mechanism in the autistic child... that of constantly, physically removing oneself or running away from sources of frustration.  This explained why so many children were still "hyper" in spite of being given medications, magnesium, epsom salt baths/creams, and other supplements known to help with "hyperactivity".   It was because this was not an issue of “hyperactivity” but rather one of a coping mechanism within the autistic child.

Thus, again the key to truly decreasing hyperactivity rested in removing areas of frustration in the child's life/environment by helping him to understand those things that, to him, just did not make sense.  This theory explained the constant running away we saw in these children, the constant jumping, and the apparent inability to be able to sit down long enough to learn anything.   If the child did not understand the parts to the whole for the teaching materials placed before him, there was no doubt in my mind that he would continue to "run away" in order to cope with the frustration resulting from what was being put before him.

The final thing I want to mention as it relates to "hyperactivity" was that, at times, it could truly be a physical issue for many reasons.   These included lack of magnesium as well as issues with parasites (i.e., worms).   The fact that autistic children engaged in numerous odd behaviors, such as licking, eating of sand, etc. made them very prone to parasite infections (see my first book where I explained how Zachary once ate an entire handful of sand, as I watched – in total shock and disbelief!).  The fact that hookworms were often found in the brain of schizophrenics, considered by many to be the “adult form” of autism, made me all the more concerned about this potential link between “odd behaviors” of the autistic and parasitic infections.  Parasites were a serious issue for all family members and I encouraged all parents to become informed in this area as well, for this too can make a significant difference in one's behavior.  The cautionary word for parents here was that the medical community did not give this issue the attention it deserved.   Most tests for parasites tested for only a very few types… and often, by the time the stool samples made it to a lab, the presence of parasites was “negative” because the eggs, etc., had died by the time the reached the lab (one of my sisters-in-law used to work in a medical lab and was the one who had mentioned that to me).  As such, I cautioned parents to become informed on the issue of parasites (i.e., pinworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, etc.) and to be very cautious of allowing their children to engage in those behaviors that made children prone to these infections. 

Return To HOME Page

Copyright 2002-2008 All materials I provide on this site including several key words and phrases are copyrighted materials.  All rights reserved.  Please see Use of Materials for more on this issue.  For general comments/questions, contact me at jbrohart@hotmail.com 

Things have a tendency to disappear on the Internet, but I can often find where the information has been moved or find replacement links addressing the same issue.  There is a lot of information provided on this site and any assistance with broken links is most appreciated.   My site has now been hacked twice.   If you get bounced to sites for online drugs, etc., report this to me at once using the above email as this is a result of hacking on my site.  This had nothing to do with me and/or my site.  Read more on hacking issue.

DISCLAIMER - The statements here mentioned and/or found in my materials have not been evaluated by the FDA or any other government agency or person in the medical field or in behavior therapy and are not meant to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any illness/disorder and/or behavior.  This information is not intended as medical advice or to replace the care of a qualified healthcare physician or behavior therapist.  Always consult your medical doctor or behavior therapist.  All information provided by Jeanne A. Brohart on her website is for INFORMATION PURPOSES and to GENERATE DISCUSSION ONLY and should not be taken as medical advice or any other type of "advice".  Information put forth represents the EXTENSIVE RESEARCH and OPINIONS of a mother based on her experiences and research and provides information as it relates to one family's journey with autism in hopes that other families may benefit from this experience and/or research.  The creator of this site is not responsible for content on other sites.

DISCLAIMER - PART II - Now... for those of you who think "mother at home researching" means "uneducated person with unfounded information"... I have 10 years of university... 3 degrees... and over 30,000 hours of research into these areas.   For anyone who thinks my research is "unfounded"...  read the RESEARCH FILE posted on my home page... with its over 1,000 references ... for your reading pleasure... because... quite clearly... you haven't read it yet!    

Autismhelpforyou.com   Breaking The Code - Putting Pieces In Place!©