Upper and lower extremity processing in boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Pedersen, S and Swabey, K, Upper and lower extremity processing in boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Creating Active Futures, 7-10 July 2009, QUT, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 245-256. ISBN 978-1-74107-286-0 (2009) [Refereed Conference Paper]
The inefficient motor control displayed by children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) warrants further investigation. Understanding of perceptual-motor ability should precede the design of appropriate learning activities for children (Kephart, 1971). Assessing movement preparation to directional stimuli may reveal certain developmental motor milestones in children with and without atypical motor development (Ayres, 1972; Surburg & Eason, 1999). Movements that cross the midline of the body require focused attention, cerebral processing, and muscular coordination. A deficiency in midline crossing has been noted in the lower extremity movements of children with ADHD (Pedersen & Surburg, 2008; Pedersen, Heath, & Surburg, 2007; Pedersen & Surburg, 2005; Pedersen, Surburg, Heath, & Koceja, 2004). Preliminary data concerning the psychomotor performance of children with ADHD have revealed that lower extremity movements may be more sensitive to deficiencies in central nervous system function than upper extremity tasks Li, McColgin, & Van Oteghen, 1998). However, to date there have been no direct comparisons of upper and lower extremity reaching movements in children with and without ADHD. The purpose of the present study is to assess the development of cross lateral integration, or the ability to prepare contralateral movements that cross the midline of the body as readily as ipsilateral movements that remain on the same side of the body, in both the upper and lower extremities of children with and without ADHD, between the ages of seven and nine. The findings from a study like this have the potential to improve the quality of physical education taught to children with developmental difficulties.