Motor Difficulties (Dyspraxia)

Not only do people with ADHD struggle to manage their attention and conduct, but they also have problems controlling specific movements.

Studies have shown that both children and adults with ADHD have a higher likelihood of having impairments with fine motor functions.

One study tested children with ADHD and without by having them perform a simple motor skill one hand. The children with ADHD were more likely to have involuntarily make the same movement on their left hand mirroring their right demonstrating a lack of control in coordination between left and right. This is called "Excessive Mirror Overflow"


This type of fine motor impairment is also called Dyspraxia. Dyspraxia can affect someone in the following ways:


  • coordination, balance and movement

  • how you learn new skills, think, and remember information at work and home

  • your daily living skills, such as dressing or preparing meals

  • your ability to write, type, draw and grasp small objects

  • how you function in social situations

  • how you deal with your emotions

  • time management, planning, and personal organization skills



You may notice some overlap with some of these symptoms with ADHD. This is because many motor skills are also controlled by the same region of the brain which is affected by ADHD.

Sources

  1. New Research on ADHD Confirms Problems with Motor Skills. Brainandlife.org. Published May 2019. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.brainandlife.org/articles/adhd-causes-motor-skill-problems/

  2. Macneil LK, Xavier P, Garvey MA, et al. Quantifying excessive mirror overflow in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Neurology. 2011;76(7):622-628. doi:10.1212/wnl.0b013e31820c3052 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21321336/

  3. NHS Choices. Dyspraxia (developmental co-ordination disorder) in adults. Published 2022. Accessed March 9, 2022. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/developmental-coordination-disorder-dyspraxia-in-adults/

  4. Gilbert DL, Isaacs KM, Augusta M, Macneil LK, Mostofsky SH. Motor cortex inhibition: A marker of ADHD behavior and motor development in children. Neurology. 2011;76(7):615-621. doi:10.1212/wnl.0b013e31820c2ebd https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21321335/