Books Explaining Hyperactivity Written for Kids to Read

Updated on February 19, 2008
M.T. asks from Amsterdam, NY
19 answers

I know these books exist, and I've been told they do, I just can't find them, so I'm asking for everyone's help. I have a 4 year old little boy who is VERY hyper. I don't mean a little active at times, I mean extreemly over active. I don't want to put him on drugs or pills at such a young age and I don't want to keep pulling my hair out every time he acts out when he is not supposed to.
He LOVES reading. We read no less than 30-45 minutes every night. I was hoping someone out there could tell me of a book that explains TO HIM what is going on. there are tons of book out there explaining things to kids about no biting, no hitting, all the naughty stuff, but he is not being naughty, he is just not able to stay still. I'm hoping there is a book that will help explain to him what he keeps doing.
I don't know if this request makes since, but there has to be something out there written on a childrens level, made for children to read, that explains hyperactivity and how they can maybe try to control it theirselves.
If we read the book as many times as we've already read the Thomas the Tank books, maybe he will start to remember the ways to calm himself and therefore cut out the overacting tendencies.

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D.S.

answers from Syracuse on

I don't really have any help for you but I just want to give you props for not rushing right to drugs.

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D.K.

answers from New York on

M.,
How much sugar is he taking in, including bread, pasta, pizza, starches and such? That is usally the trigger. He needs minerals to offset the hyperactivity. I work for a wonderful Nutritionist. If you'd like more information, email me and I can put you in touch with him.
Best of luck
D. K

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E.F.

answers from New York on

Here are two books:

Shelly the Hyperactive Turtle by Deborah Moss and Eukee the Jump Jumpy Elephant by Clifford Corman.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.M.

answers from New York on

hi M. my name is J. i will just say boys will be boys they grow out of it,put him into something he likes baseball basketball,tell him if he is good he gets rewarded,and as for you meeting someone and him making you happy,and he is good to your kids,awesome sounds like this is your year...lol keep the faith and good luck to you..

1 mom found this helpful
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K.G.

answers from Syracuse on

I have a great list given to me by the developmental pediatrician I work with at the Center for Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics. The list is from www.contemporarypediatrics.com Vol. 24, No. 4. Here is a list of the books:

Ross, Deborah. "Shelley the Hyperactive Turtle" (ages 3-6)
Rey, Margaret and H.A. "Curious George Makes Pancakes" (ages 3-6)
Roberts, Barbara. "Phoebe Flower's Adventures: That's What Kids Are For" (ages 7-10)
Gordon, Michael. "Jumpin' Johnny, Get Back to Work! A Child's Guide to ADHD/Hyperactivity" (ages 5-9)
Gantos, Jack. "Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key" (ages 10 and older)
Little, Jean. "Birdie For Now" (ages 8-11)
Taylor, John. "The Survival Guide for Kids with ADD or ADHD" (ages 10 and older)

I hope this is helpful.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.K.

answers from Syracuse on

My Brother's a World-Class Pain: A Sibling's Guide to Adhd-Hyperactivity by Michael Gordon

Taking A.D.D. to School: A School Story About Attention Deficit Disorder And/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (Special Kids in School) by Ellen Weiner and Terry Ravanelli

Jumpin' Johnny Get Back to Work! : A Child's Guide to ADHD/Hyperactivity by Michael Gordon

These books can all be found on Amazon.com, Hope this helps and Good Luck! And let me just say that I admire your attempts to not use drugs and deal with your son's energy on yoru own.

Also, Good luck with school, I got my degree with a part time job and a child at home, but it sounds like it will be a little harder on you. Online classes saved my life.

1 mom found this helpful
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B.O.

answers from New York on

Hi - I know there is something called Sensory Stories, which are for children to read or be read to about modulating their activity level. If you search "Sensory Stories" on the web I am sure you will find some info and probably ideas to help calm your son. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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M.K.

answers from New York on

http://bahaiviews.blogspot.com/2008/01/on-adhd-and-bahai-...

http://www.connectforkids.org/node/138/

There is a book called the GOOD SON.

http://www.bahaiparent.com/Sept06.rtf

http://www.anniebooks.com/page19.html

http://www.adhdandme.com/

http://www.ncpamd.com/books.htm

http://www.smarter.com/childrens-reference-nonfiction/the...

Here are other books and resources ,

I really suggest just reading thru the attached links to see what you really need and what will work for your child,

Mother of 3

M

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A.M.

answers from Syracuse on

try Otto Learns About His Medicine by Matthew Galvin, MD

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L.F.

answers from New York on

I just did a little google search and here's a link on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Shelley-Hyperactive-Turtle-Special-...

Apparently, there's this turtle named Shelley, who's a little hyper. Hope this helps! Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from New York on

Hi M.,
Try "A Walk in the Rain with a Brain" which is written by Dr. Edward Hallowell (the author of Driven to Distraction--the most quoted authority on ADHD). It is not specific to ADHD but it makes a great point about brain differences and helps the child realize that each person is different and needs to find their strengths. There is a reading guide for parents in the back, too.
Good luck!
M. B

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M.Z.

answers from Glens Falls on

Hello M.
i know that you are looking for books that might explain this to your son but i thought this might help. my son who is now 18 is extreemly hyper as well it helps to understand how they feel my son has always explained like a vcr tape on fast foward that is how life feels for them so they try to keep up with the speed that life moves for them as mentioned by others there may also be trigger foods that make it worse for my son it is BHS wich is a food proservitive found in most boxed foods like cereal frozen pot pies etc. the only cereal that does not have it is cheereos.i do hope it helps you.

M.

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R.D.

answers from New York on

I never read it. But, there is a book for kids called "Corey's Stories: A Kid's Book about Living with ADD". There is also a book for kids about "being different" that is called "A Leopard is Mroe Than His Spots". Again I never read it, but it sounds good. Good luck!
-R.

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C.M.

answers from New York on

This response is not about books but about my own experience with children with ADHD/ADD hyperativity, I hope that is ok.

My name is C. and being a mom with 2 boys that are EXTREMELY ACTIVE, especially my 5 year old, both have been diagnosed with ADHD I know it was very hard for me to imagine putting them on medication. My oldest is 18 and my youngest is 5. My 18 year old decided not to take his meds when he reached high school because he felt he could control his hyperness. My 5 year old is in kindergarten and he is now taking Vyvanse (this was the 3rd med we tried before we found the right one) and life has been soooo much better. Try searching in google for some info on the subject of hyperactivity ADHD/ADD or if you go to

www.vyvanse.com or

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-h...

they have information you can receive.

Good luck!!! and if you need any support please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com

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J.F.

answers from New York on

I'm going to chime in here with 25 years of teaching experience and an MEd in special ed behind me to say that some kids don't just "grow out of it".

The mom who has had her kids diagnosed and put on meds knows what she's talking about. The biggest issue with ADHD isn't that the kids are too hyper--lots of very active children are perfectly normal otherwise--but that they can't sort out what to pay attention to and what to ignore. ADD means they can't ignore ANYTHING. As a result they miss a lot of learning. It's like there's constant static in their minds keeping them from getting the important information into long-term memory.

My wonderful son-in-law, now a brilliant surgeon, has a severe case of ADHD that was misdiagnosed as dyslexia for years. Without meds he struggled in school. Properly diagnosed and medicated he blossomed and took off like a rocket. Now his hyperactivity works to his advantage while he's able to sort out the important information in his environment.

If your son hasn't been tested, please have him evaluated ASAP. He's at the typical age when ADHD symptoms first surface, but he may not be suffering from that problem. If he is, the find out what he needs and what's available to you, and use every bit of support you can get. He'll be a happier person in the long run if you don't short-change him now.

Don't automaticlly toss off meds as a bad idea. You woudn't deny him insulin if he were diabetic. Why not do whatever you can to make his life better?

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L.S.

answers from Buffalo on

Are Our Kids the Sickest Generation?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
More kids than ever before are diagnosed with bipolar, ADHD, allergies, and asthma. Why, and what does it mean for your child?
By Jean Weiss for MSN Health & Fitness



Find More
FDA Panel Recommends Ban on Cold Medicines for Kids
U.S. Schools Getting Better at Boosting Kids' Health
New Drug Eases Asthma Symptoms
Search for More on ADHD on MSN Health & Fitness

1 | 2 | Next >

Did you leave out the peanut butter sandwich when you packed school lunches today? Most everyone knows at least one family that has a child with a serious food allergy. Yet a generation ago, we’d scarcely heard about the problem. The same can be said for several conditions now on the rise in children. More kids are getting diagnosed with bipolar, ADHD, allergies, and asthma in this decade than in previous decades. Some attribute this increase to improved diagnosing, others to over-diagnosing. Still others view the sick-kid trend as the proverbial canary in the coalmine: More children are getting sick because they are fragile and affected by an increasingly industrialized world.
“I do think we are in the midst of an epidemic of these child disorders,” says Dr. Kenneth Bock, co-founder of the Rhinebeck Health Center and author of Healing the New Childhood Epidemics: Autism, ADHD, Asthma, Allergies (Ballantine Books, 2007). “I don’t believe it is all due to better diagnosis.”
Bock suggests that children predisposed to these medical conditions are more likely to manifest them after cumulative exposure to pollutants such as heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, flame retardants, and chemicals from plastic additives to name a few. “All those kinds of things together are increasing the toxic load on children,” he says.
The simplest thing parents can do for their child is decrease their exposure to toxins, Bock says, whether it means eating pesticide-free food or avoiding heavy metals and harmful pollutants found in myriad products such as toys, computers, and clothing. “This is a recent phenomenon over the last 20 years,” says Brock. “We are living in a chemical soup, and it’s the kids that are the most susceptible.”
The link between environment and child illness is especially evident in conditions such as allergies and asthma. The tie to bipolar disorder and ADHD has been more complex to identify. Most experts in the field of pediatric mental disorders attribute the increase in diagnosis to a better understanding of mental illness, saying it could be that environment plays a small role.
ADHD: Up by a whopping 400 percent
Increased understanding of mental disorders in children has also led to a rise in the pediatric diagnosis of ADHD, by as much as 400 percent or higher over the last 25 years, according to some estimates. It is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in childhood, affecting between 3 percent and 5 percent of school-age children in the United States . Worldwide use of prescriptions to treat ADHD in children has increased by 274 percent, with the United States prescribing more medication for ADHD than any other country.
“More attention was paid to mental health issues in children during the ’90s when people realized that a lot of conditions that related to the brain start in childhood,” says Dr. Ben Vitiello, a psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and a leading expert in child and adolescent ADHD.
Vitiello says that some of the increase could be due to partial diagnosis of ADHD in children. He discounts the theory that environmental toxins are the cause of the majority of ADHD, though new research has been done examining whether food additives and coloring contribute to ADHD. “The impact of these environmental toxins is very small, if present at all,” he says.
Sometimes children with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed to have ADHD. Children with sleep disorders can present with ADHD symptoms, so sometimes they are diagnosed with the mood disorder as well.
Bipolar Disorder: A 40-fold increase among kids
Bipolar disorder is another area in which kids have shown more susceptibility in recent years, a phenomenon experts attribute to improved understanding that mental illness affects children as well as adults.
A study published in the September 2007 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry reported a 40-fold increase in a diagnosis of bipolar disorder over the last decade. The study isn’t comprehensive enough to determine the reasons why, but a snapshot view of the trend, says co-author Dr. Gonzalo Laje, an associate clinical investigator at the National Institute of Mental Health. “What this study could be suggesting is that there may be an increased recognition of the disorder and therefore it is being diagnosed more,” says Laje. “It could also mean it is an overdiagnosis, but we can’t in any way categorically say it is or it isn’t. Probably it is a combination of both.”
The study of serious mental illness in children and adolescence is more recent. “Twenty-five years ago people would even debate whether the diagnosis [for bipolar disorder in children] existed,” Laje says. “Symptoms of serious mental illness in children and adolescents are now recognized. Today nobody argues that this diagnosis exists.”
To identify bipolar disorder in children a physician still relies on an adult model of symptoms, however, so they are still defining how the symptoms manifest in the pediatric population. “We are catching up on our criteria,” says Laje.
There is also a noteworthy overlap in the pediatric population between bipolar and ADHD. According to Laje, 30 percent of children with bipolar also have ADHD, and it is an area for further study.

Allergies: 40 percent of children now have allergies
Dr. Asriani Chiu, associate professor of allergy and immunology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, says more children react today to allergies due to the interplay between genetics and environment. “There are genetic tendencies—we know that allergies run in the family—but [there are] definitely environmental triggers as well,” Chiu says.
Chiu says an increase in industrial pollutants, combined with cleaner living conditions, have interfered with the natural function of our immune system, which is meant to be exposed to germs and protect our bodies from illness. “Because we are not exposing ourselves to all of the dirt and the endotoxins that we would have seen, say, if we lived on a farm, our bodies have nothing else to do,” says Chiu. “Then pollutants make our respiratory tract more susceptible,” and our immune system kicks into overdrive—essentially overreacting to foods, or to other allergens, in children already prone to allergies.
Allergies are divided into two categories: food allergies and upper respiratory tract allergies. The later type of allergy is less closely associated with food allergies, and more closely associated with asthma (a condition of the lower-respiratory tract).
>From 1997 to 2002, child food allergies increased from .68 percent to between 2 percent and 4 percent; adult food allergies remained the same slightly more than 1 percent. And Chiu says there has been an increase in upper respiratory tract allergies, now affecting 40 percent of children. Another troubling side effect of allergies is the link to asthma: Two-thirds of patients with allergies affecting their upper respiratory tract also develop symptoms in their lower respiratory tract.
Asthma: Up by 160 percent
Asthma, an inflammation of the lower respiratory tract that creates coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, is closely linked to allergies and has also been on the rise among children. Chiu says that asthma, like allergies, has increased due to an increase in environmental pollutants that irritate the lungs, making them more susceptible to inflammation and asthma. She also attributes more diagnosis of asthma to an increase in awareness of symptoms. “It could be that we are better at identifying these conditions,” says Chiu. “There are doctors and families and teachers noticing this more.”
Asthma rates in children under age 5 increased more than 160 percent from the 1980s to the 1990s. Of people with asthma, 70 percent also have allergies—and children, Chiu says, are more likely than adults to get asthma triggered by an allergic reaction. “More than 70 percent of people with asthma also suffer from allergies, meaning there is an allergic component to their asthma,” says Chiu. “We realize that there is a strong connection between the two.” So much so that an oft-used way to treat asthma is to first treat allergies. “It is the single airway hypothesis,” says Chiu. “If you can gain better control of the upper respiratory symptoms, then you have better control of the lower.”
Sleep Disorders: Difficulty Here May Be a Cause or a Symptom
Sleep, or rather lack of it, is a favorite topic among parents who incessantly ask each other: Are you getting any? Some childhood sleep troubles are normal. Others, it turns out, could be a red flag.
We now know that 25 percent of children have some type of sleep disorder, but data on whether this is an increase is scarce. “We haven’t been keeping statistics on sleep for all that long,” says Dr. Judy Owens, an associate professor of pediatrics at Brown Medical School in Providence , R.I. , who runs a pediatric sleep disorder clinic. “The few studies that have looked at prevalence of sleep disorders in general pediatric clinics show higher rates of sleep problems now compared to 30 years ago.”
Now that sleep is on the radar, researchers are discovering it plays a key role—both as a precursor to serious childhood disorders and as a side effect. Sleep issues in children have been linked to obesity, asthma, allergies, ADHD, and bipolar disorder.
Obesity, asthma and allergies in kids are risk factors for sleep apnea. The misery of allergies and asthma (trouble breathing, itchy skin, some medications) can also disturb a child’s sleep. But the relationship between sleep and ADHD, as well as other mood disorders, is just now beginning to be understood. “There is mounting evidence that sleep problems may be the early sign of psychiatric disorders,” says Owens. “Clearly sleep problems exacerbate mood issues, and mood issues make sleep problems worse.”
The link between bipolar disorder and sleep is less understood, except that children in their manic phase need less sleep. “I do see a lot of kids who initially get diagnosed with ADHD and the diagnosis evolves to bipolar, and those kids have tremendous sleep disorders,” says Owens.
It’s more common for children with ADHD to have sleep issues, she says, due to issues that often go along with the disorder, such as anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems. A subgroup of kids with ADHD has trouble regulating its sleep, just as it has trouble regulating its attention. But if your child can’t sleep, and is having trouble focusing at school, don’t worry yet. Conversely, Owens says, a child with sleep problems often displays ADHD symptoms, so it’s possible you just need to figure out how to get that kid more ZZZs.

Hope this helps.

L. Spratling
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E.P.

answers from New York on

Look up author Lori Lite. I have 2 books by her "The Affirmation Web" and "A Boy and A Bear". They are about feeling good about yourself and the bear on eis about relaxation.

Also I did some research into foods that help calm and foods that cause "hyper kids". My son is hyper. It's like the moment he wakes up he's all over and never stops! :) I found that dye in foods red dye 40 can over time cause children to have add symptoms. Also sugar is a huge thing. Look into red dye 40 and ADD. I have found that changing my sons diet has helped.

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M.S.

answers from New York on

That is awesome that he loves to read and that you have that special bonding time together. Your right, he doesn't need to be on meds, he is a 4 yr old doing what 4 yr olds do, especially boys! So put yourself in his place, all little boys want to do is play so channel that energy to something that he has an interest in. Notice how much sugar he is getting in foods, is he getting enough sleep, etc. I found it hard to explain for him at that age what he was doing, so the therapist gave me some great suggestionts that worked. Try to put on classical music, music without words for him to listen to. After a few days I noticed he had calmed down. He is going to be going to school soon and depending on where you live Kindergarten can be a full day or 1/2 day which will be challenging. She also suggested for me to set a timer and have him sit st the table for 5 minutes every other hour so that he will be able to pay attention when he went to school. I did this for 1 yr and it worked. My son is 9 now and when he gets home I get all the energy, so I let him run around outside for 30 minutes before getting started on his homework. Boys need to play, run, jump and be crazy:) lol. Hope it works.

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