Hyperactive child, excessively active child who cannot concentrate on any one task for more than a few minutes. Hyperacitivity is called hyperkinesis by physicians. Symptoms exhibited by a hyperactive child range from persistent yelling and moving about to disobedience and an inability to socialize. Once thought to be mentally deficient, hyperactive children are now known to be generally of average to above-average intelligence. New teaching methods and family counseling have become part of the treatment of the condition. Stimulants and tranquilizers may also be prescribed, though drug therapy has become less popular in recent years, because its long-term effects are unknown.