By Mami Raquel
This week I’d like to bring up a topic I have been hearing about for weeks. Whether it’s from parents, caretakers or society in general, I consistently hear children be described as “hyper”.
My initial thought as a therapist is “what is hyper?” I hear people refer to the word as if everyone’s definition was the same. I know for a fact that if you take 5 people and ask them “what does hyper mean to you?” you will get 5 completely different definitions. Is there a right or wrong answer?
Perhaps it’s my training as a therapist or just me as a person, whatever the case; I am not a fan of labeling children into specific groups. Personally, I do not have a definition for what hyper is. I believe the definition and the way it is addressed is subjective.
With this being said I do have to acknowledge that some children fall under the ADD/ADHD umbrella. After a child is assessed by a mental health professional and has received this diagnosis, they will be treated accordingly. However, even when a diagnosis is given, it’s still subjective. Parents may be advised that taking medication would enhance their child’s performance in school or some children may not require medication. Some children simply need behavior modification to shine in school or at home. Regardless of the way your child is treated or the level of “hyperactivity” they display, the point I am trying to make it that they need not be labeled. The diagnosis should never serve as a label. It is there to better serve and understand them and behaviors they may be displaying, but never to label them as “the hyper or misbehaved child.”
So I now turn the mic to you all. How hyper is hyper? What does hyper look like to you and when does it become something to worry about? I look forward to hearing your responses. I will certainly revisit this topic in the upcoming weeks.