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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder                

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. While kids with ADHD, like those with SPD, have a difficult time paying attention and staying on task in an age-appropriate way, these issues generally cannot be resolved by changing the child’s environment.Symptoms such as fidgeting and squirming, invading personal space, melting down in public can be signs of both ADHD and sensory processing issue. While they’re different issues, they have some overlap and can occur together. Parents often share that their child with ADHD can’t finish simple tasks or homework even when the child is putting forth admirable effort. In other words, poor organizational and executive functioning skills often prevent the child from following through even when he or she is willing. 

Children with vision problems can show poor attention with classroom work and homework. Teachers and parents will often notice children taking frequent breaks, avoiding reading or becoming fidgety as their eyes fatigue. Improved control of eye movements, can help to improve attention span. When a person has difficulty with eye movements (saccades and smooth pursuits), they may also have difficulty with sustained attention as well as dynamic shifting of visual attention. Vision problems do not cause ADHD, but they can be mistaken for ADHD. Vision issues should be ruled out in children where a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is being considered.

Vestibular-visual interactions

The vestibular system activates the core postural muscles that surround the central vertical axis of the body. Having a strong core provides us with a solid base for using our eyes in much the same way that a tripod stabilizes a camera. The ability to keep our eyes steady on a target even when the head or body is in motion provides a stable visual image on the retina. When the vestibular system is not working properly to guide postural control, the eyes cannot participate efficiently in tasks such as coping form the black board, reading, writing, and/or throwing or kicking a ball. The teamwork between the visual and vestibular systems also contributes to the ability to use landmarks as a guide and move through environments without feeling lost is space or disoriented.  

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Wauwatosa Therapies, LLC | 530 N. 108th Place | Wauwatosa, WI 53226 |
Child Pediatric Occupational Therapy Specialists minutes away from Milwaukee, Brookfield, West Allis, Waukesha and Wauwatosa Wisconsin

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