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ADD and coordination
volleyballfan posted:
My 11 year old son has ADD - Inattentive type. He is not hyper.

My son has a terrible time with his coordination, mostly his legs. It seems more to me than just being "uncoordinated." His left leg seems worse then his right. Does ADD affect the extremities?

Raven951 responded:
Dear Volleyballfan,

I was not diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD until I was an adult, however, I remember my difficult childhood and tween years. I have always been considered clumsy. (My nickname was Princess Grace for that exact reason.) I would try to run or even walk and end up tripping over my feet, especially when trying to play sports like dodge ball and basketball. Gym class was a nightmare!! I always seemed to be pretty good at tennis, though. I still have moments of un-coordination, like trying to walk through a doorway when in a hurry or not paying attention.

I am answering you from my experiences and from what I have read; the clumsiness can be somewhat normal with this condition. When I think about myself, it seems like it's more difficult when I am trying to hurry and/or I'm thinking about something else. I'm too busy thinking about or focusing on something else that I will trip or run into something.

Regarding the sports aspect that I mentioned above, in some team sports there are so many different things to think about, including what everyone else is doing, that I wasn't able to separate my responsibilities from theirs. I always had better luck when it was just me playing against another person or when everyone had a separate turn, rather than in a team. It was easier for me to concentrate with sports like tennis, golf, tetherball, bowling, etc. I realize that it isn't really a physical sport, but Chess helps with my focus and concentration skills

I also had my eyes checked and found that I had astigmatism in one eye, which also affected my peripheral vision. This meant that the doorway wasn't quite where I thought it was or the coffee table was actually 3 inches to the right. Once I force myself to pay attention, the clumsiness is not as apparent.

I hope this helps a bit. Good luck to you and your son!

Peace and Blessings,
GinaPera responded:
Hi volley,

The general answer is yes, ADHD can affect coordination.

Your question, however, was "Does ADD affect the extremities?"

It is extremely important to understand that the brain is connected to the body. In fact, it is not only part of the body, it is "command control" for the body.

In other words, the brain sends and receives signals to and from the rest of the body in order to regulate breathing, blood flow, sensations, visual processing, and everything else that keeps us alive and functional.

While the often-touted stereotype of a child with ADHD is that of a talented athlete, ADHD can also result in poor neuromuscular control.

That is, the person's brain can have trouble telling the muscles and limbs what to do. There are other issues, too, such as difficulties in telling left from right, judging depth of space (such as when aiming to kick a ball), and more.

Anecdotally, I've seen medication help kids and adults with ADHD gain better muscle coordination. This won't be true for all, but overall, it's important to remember that ADHD is a "body-wide" condition; it's not just a problem with "paying attention" or doing homework.

I hope this helps,
Gina Pera
volleyballfan replied to GinaPera's response:
Hi Gina,

Thank you so much for your response. This all makes great sense. I appreciate your response!

volleyballfan replied to Raven951's response:
Hi Raven951.

Thank you for your response. Everything you said fits my son. Interesting that you mentioned the eyes. Back in April my son started doing some Vision Therapy. We found that his eyes were not working together.

Thanks again.

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