In my opinion there are different types of hyperactivity.

– Natural/developmental hyperactivity

Some people are born more intense & energetic than others. Often these naturally hyperactive persons are gifted, temperamental, strong-willed, curious, sometimes multitasking, fast-thinking input-seekers who get bored easily and need above average stimulation & interaction with the outside world. Often, but not always, more extrovert than the average Aspie. They mainly stick out in cultures where the norm is to be very restrained and non-passionate, and would probably not get diagnosed with a ‘disorder’ in cultures where everyone has a similar intensity level.

Although they can be a bit taxing to be around, their passion and ‘excess’ energy is really a gift which can be very useful in getting things done; it only needs to be channelled into something constructive. It is mainly this type who may benefit from stimulants and usually experience a calming effect from them.

Many are bright and gifted, but often in an unusual way that doesn’t easily fit into standard moulds.

“Try mensas test from Denmark. You get 40 minutes. I hate tests that take time so I rushed through it in 10 minutes and got IQ 130 (skipped four at the end). 

– Paula, ADHD/Tourette, from Sweden

– Induced hyperactivity

Some normally introvert supersensitive (HSP/AS/ADD-type) individuals can temporarily become distracted, restless, agitated or hyper from environmental factors, diet etc. This type often don’t tolerate stimulants very well. Can happen to Neuro-Typical children too.

“My middle child is so sensitive to certain additives and refined sugar she starts running around a mile a minute and babbles like she’s talking in tongues. It’s insane because she my ‘normal’ child. She’s and excellent student. She is a very mature, polite and conscientious 6-year-old.

“One time at Chuck E. Cheese, my friend who was in town visiting wanted to buy Lauren some ‘treats’ because she thought I was being mean for excluding Lauren from certain snacks. I said, ‘You don’t want to do that. She has a serious sensitivity to additives and refined sugar’.

“Of course my friend insisted that I was exaggerating so I told her she would have to be responsible for Lauren for the rest of our outing.

“Not even ten minutes into her sugar buzz Lauren started jabbering incoherently, climbed up on one of the tables, and did a belly flopper onto the floor. And instead of crying (I’m sure it did hurt) she got up and ran off yelling her gibberish and laughing like a lunatic.

“My friend was mortified. I just laughed and told her not to worry. I explained it would eventually wear off and Lauren would be back to normal.”

– Bonnie D, Highly Sensitive Person

– Mental hyperactivity

Some are mainly mentally hyperactive and may otherwise be introvert or hypo-active. Many who were physically hyperactive as children also calm down as adults and just stay mentally hyperactive.

“I am not, and never have been, hyperactive in the sense that I’ve ran around and made noise, but I’m mentally restless. In school I was thinking of other things when subjects didn’t interest me, which they usually didn’t. (Since I was a clever little kid I was generally understimulated. That didn’t exacly help.)

Agatha, ADHD/Aspie from Sweden

“Hyperactivity is not really descriptive of me, because I tend to sit still and am not running around all over the place. But if we think of hyperactivity on the mental plane, then it fits me perfectly. Because my brain is constantly hyperactive.”

– Carl, Aspie Mensa member from Denmark

“I can easily get mentally hyper. That’s why I took up meditation. I was so mentally hyper as a kid that many times I couldn’t get to sleep. Physically, I’m more hypo.”

– Ken, adult with AS traits from USA


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