|Inattentive ADD, Coordination and Sensory Processing|
A study just posted in a Chinese medical journal and cited below confirms what I have observed in boys with Inattentive ADD. Children with Inattentive ADHD are less likely to engage in sports, more likely to have problems with motor coordination and more likely to have visual processing issues. These problems are bad enough but unfortunately, they also cause brain organization problems.
I have posted in the past about the connection between Inattentive ADHD and Sensory Integration problems and I have also posted about Inattentive ADD and motor and coordination difficulties.
Coordination difficulties are problematic in sports but there is a growing body of evidence that suggest that children that are not coordinated also have problems with brain development.
Optometrist believe that the brain, through balance and coordination organizes itself. As the body develops and practices tasks such as crawling and walking, a process called brain "lateralization" occurs.
Lateralization eventually leads the brain to establish a dominant side. Developing a dominant side is important for brain organization and the importance goes WAY beyond the ideas first introduced by psychologist who wrote about right sided versus left sides brain dominance.
Through studies on brain mapping, we now know that the entire brain works together to accomplish both artistic and analytic tasks but that having a dominant side or lateralizing is important for writing, reading and math as well as for sports.
It is through physical activity , specifically activities that "cross the midline" or that use both the left side and right side of the body, that the two sides or hemispheres of the brain learn to work together.
Coordinated children learn to use both sides of their bodies together to do things like crawling, pushing, pulling or walking. This coordinated body practice help the brains of these children become better organized for doing the tasks that will later be required at school and in life. Uncoordinated children get less practice at doing these things and are slower to develop a lateralized and well organized brain.
What the Chinese study confirms is that Inattentive boys (the study was performed on boys but likely applies to girls as well) are less coordinated that their non-inattentive peers and also less coordinated than their combined type peers. So, are the brain organization problems in inattentive boys the result of the motor and sensory coordination problems or vice versa? Well who knows. What we do know is that treating the coordination, motor and sensory problems with exercise and other modalities can help treat the brain organization issues that ultimately contribute to inattention.
Postural control and sensory information integration abilities of boys with two subtypes of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a case-control study.
ADHD boys had a poorer static postural control ability and impaired function of processing visual and vestibular information compared with the normal control. Boys with ADHD-I showed particularly severe defect of static postural control and vestibular function integrating conflict information than normal boys. These deficits may be an important contributor to the clinical presentation of ADHD children and their cognitive deficits. Assessment and training of postural control function would be suggested during the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD children.