Ambidextrous children linked to ADHD

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Children who are ambidextrous are at a greater risk of having mental health problems and experience greater difficulties with language and general schooling than those who are right or left handed, says a recent study.

Research by a team at Imperial College London and other European institutions suggests that, when they reach the age of fifteen to sixteen, ambidextrous young people are twice as likely to exhibit symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than those who are not ambidextrous. They are also likely to have more severe symptoms of ADHD than their right-handed counterparts.

The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, also revealed that amongst seven to eight-year-olds, children who are ambidextrous, or mixed-handed as it is also known, are at double the risk of having problems with language and performing poorly at school.

Roughly one per cent of the population is ambidextrous, and this study looked at nearly 8,000 children, of whom 87 were mixed-handed. Its findings would seem to support earlier studies that have suggested a link between mixed-handedness and dyslexia.

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