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April 1979

The Hyperactive ChildShould We Be Paying More Attention?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Harbor General Hospital, UCLA School of Medicine, Torrance, Calif.

Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(4):413-418. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130040067015

• Current literature on hyperactivity stresses the central role of short attention, distractibility, and impulsivity in contributing to the child's behavioral and learning difficulties. Less emphasis is presently placed on minor neurological abnormalities ("soft signs") and unproved theories of brain injury. There has also been a trend toward a more comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the problem in an attempt to meaningfully integrate medical and psychoeducational input. Professional awareness of the family's need for supportive counseling and the importance of appropriate educational placement for the hyperactive child has enhanced the effectiveness of intervention programs. Although stimulant medication has been clearly shown to favorably influence behavior ratings and measures of attention in hyperactive children, pharmacologic manipulation of deviant social behavior remains a very controversial subject.

(Am J Dis Child 133:413-418, 1979)