ADHD,ADHD Children,ADHD Parents

ADHD Youth Develop Ahead in Motor Skills20 Jan

Youth with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were shown to have brain development delayed an average of three years compared to children without the disorder according to research done in a 2007 study by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).   Of particular interest to parents is the finding that the most prominent delay was in the frontal cortex in ADHD kids. The frontal cortex is important because it regulates our ability to control thinking, attention and planning. These frontal areas also are believed to support the brains ability to suppress inappropriate actions and thoughts, focus attention, remember things from moment-to-moment, work for reward, and control movement – many of these functions are often disturbed in people with ADHD. 

Not surprisingly to parents of hyperactive ADHD kids, the NIMH study also found that the motor cortex, the part of the brain that controls movement, emerged as the only area that matured faster than normal in the youth with ADHD (on average 5 years ahead of their non-ADHD peers). This gives us a better picture of the mismatch between increased motor activity combined with a decreased ability to focus, plan and inhibit thoughts and actions in kids with ADHD.

This sounds very familiar to me as I think of what ADHD in children often looks like in real life. One child told me that “my body is a Ferrari and my mind sometimes feels like a tricycle.”  Sometimes ADHD kids seem to put the gas pedal to the metal while other times getting them to move is like trying to push a car uphill with the emergency brake on.  This mismatch between motor ability and executive function should come as a relief to parents of ADHD kids looking for better insight into the origins of childhood ADHD.

There is hope. Parents should know that it is believed that stimulant medication, the front line defense for treating ADHD, is believed to assist the brain in this delicate balancing act between focus, action and inhibition of the prefrontal regions of the brain.  Helping your child understand the biological realities of ADHD can go a long way in increasing your child’s self-esteem.  Remember, we can only work with the assets our children have not those which are neurologically unavailable at the time.

NIH/National Institute of Mental Health (2007, November 13).  Brain Matures A Few Years Late In ADHD, But Follows Normal Pattern. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 29, 2008, from  /releases/2007/11/071112172200.htm

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Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Often medical, testing and counseling services are all separately owned and located practices. It just does not make sense to have to travel from one location to another to treat the same condition. Besides the issue of time and travel, how cohesive and effective is care being delivered in multiple locations by multiple, unrelated providers who don’t have time to talk to each other?

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