Severe hyperactive children are three times more likely to be
removed from their families because their parents cannot cope than
other children being treated for emotional or behavioural
disorders, according to new research.
About one per cent of children in the UK are thought to have
severe hyperactivity – called hyperkinesis.
Researchers used a sample of 201 children with an average age of
8 who were patients at one child psychiatry clinic. In all 18 per
cent of the children had been removed from their families to foster
carers, children’s homes or adoptive families, but the
hyperkinetic children were more than three times as likely as all
the other children in the sample to have been taken out of their
David Foreman, who carried out the study, suggests children
should be routinely screened for hyperkinesis . With earlier
detection and intervention, family breakdown could be reduced he
The study is published in the British Medical
Association’s journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.