Hyperactivity is less severe than Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but with many of the same overactive symptoms of behavior. Some recent studies appear to show a link between certain food additives and synthetic food colorings and Hyperactivity, although these remain in dispute. Parents and school teachers have long linked consumption of sugar to increases in overactivity among children, despite the fact that studies appear to show no correlation between the two. Hyperactive behavior creates learning and discipline problems for many children, with particularly negative effects in the school setting. Hyperactivity is much more commonly diagnosed in boys than girls, and is often seen in elementary school, though it sometimes manifests during the adolescent years.
Treatment of Hyperactivity, unlike ADHD, is less likely to involve medication as the symptoms are less troubling, although behavioral therapy may be employed. Among the therapies used to ameliorate the effects of hyperactivity are psychoeducational therapy, behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and specially tailored school and parent focused training. In addition some children suffering with hyperactive behavior can be helped by social skills training. Hyperactive behavior that is extreme may still be treated with prescribed medications, usually one of a variety of stimulants, which are intended to help children improve focus and attention span. Some children have negative reactions to the medication, and there are some side effects that can be problematic.
Families of children with Hyperactivity face challenges, including a higher than average divorce rate. Almost half of the children who have attention deficits will fail to finish high school. Some families who object to the medication of their children have turned to diet and lifestyle changes in hopes of obtaining better results, but the effectiveness of these alternative treatments has not been established.