Kids who are ambidextrous have a unique skill, but they may also
be at higher risk for language and behavioral problems.
A Finnish study, released in the journal Pediatrics, looked at
longitudinal data from 8,000 children, which included 87 who were
mixed-handed. Those children were twice as likely to have symptoms
of ADHD by the time they reached 16, compared with right-handed
children. They also had more trouble in school.
About one in every 100 people is mixed-handed, meaning they can
use both their right and left hands equally. Being ambidextrous is
associated with atypical cerebral lateralization, but researchers
aren't clear how this brain circuitry is connected to behavior.
The study could help teachers, parents and physicians identify
children who may be at risk for developing problems and address
them early on. Hand preference usually develops by the time
children are 4 or 5.
Lisa Applegate is a freelance writer and mom of one living in Chicago.
See more of Lisa's stories here.
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