<p>Dr Caroline Richards discusses growing evidence that impulsivity and overactivity are associated with behaviours that challenge.</p>

Dr Caroline Richards discusses growing evidence that impulsivity and overactivity are associated with behaviours that challenge.

latest news
  • Research Study: Sleep in Children with Angelman Syndrome

    Jayne Trickett, Mary Heald and Chris Oliver, researchers from the...

  • Sleep: A New Cerebra Guide for Parents

    A new guide for parents has been developed by researchers...

  • Neurodevelopmental outcome in Angelman Syndrome: Genotype-phenotype correlations

    Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic disorder that is characterised...

  • Eating Behavior, Prenatal and Postnatal Growth in Angelman Syndrome

    Clinical characteristics of Angelman syndrome include severe intellectual disability, developmental...

Key Fact
Overactivity and impulsivity have been associated with the stereotyped and repetitive behaviour reported in individuals with Angelman syndrome.

Overactivity and Impulsivity

A review in 2006 summarised studies that had been conducted on Angelman syndrome.  The review found that 43% of studies reported on hyperactivity/overactivity in children and adults. These results confirmed the notion that overactivity and attention problems are very common in Angelman syndrome.

Overactivity has been linked to behaviours that challenge.  A high proportion of children with Angelman syndrome will show behaviours that challenge at some age.  To read more about behaviours that challenge generally in Angelman syndrome, click here.

There is growing evidence that individuals with intellectual disability who have higher scores on measures of overactivity are more likely to show more stereotyped behaviour.  This finding is not specific to Angelman syndrome.

Impulsivity has been associated with greater restricted preferences, impulsive speech and repetitive speech.  This finding is not specific to Angelman syndrome.

Overactivity is thought to be more common in children with Angelman Syndrome and there is some evidence that this may gradually reduce or even disappear in adulthood.

However, opposing previous research, Sadhwani et al. (2019) found hyperactivity increased with age but interpret with caution for adults. This result may be due to the relatively young ags of the participants in this study (approximately 95% participants less than age 20 in the first visit - mean age at baseline 6 years and mean age at final visit 8.7 years - range of around 40 years).



Individuals with Angelman Syndrome often have difficulties with concentration and can be very easily distracted.  Concentration is thought to gradually improve as individuals get older.



Original research article summarising behavioural characteristics of Angelman syndrome

Original research article exploring associations between challenging behaviour, overactivity and impulsivity

Original research article exploring associations between overactivity, impulsivity and repetitive behaviour




The Activity Questionnaire is available to download in the Assessments, Measures & Manuals section of this website. This is a measure of overactivity and impulsivity that has been validated for use with children with intellectual disability.


Download this page as a PDF