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Ambidextrous children at risk of learning difficulties

25th January 2010

Researchers at Imperial College London have come up with evidence that ambidextrous children have more likelihood of learning difficulties.

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Their study showed that children who wrote with both hands had twice the risk of problems at school than their solely right or left-handed peers.

About 1% of the population is ambidextrous. The researchers studied 8,000 Finnish schoolchildren, of whom 87 were ambidextrous.

They discovered that children who wrote with both hands had double the risk of language difficulties and problems at school.

Once the children were 15 or 16 years of age, they also had twice the danger of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Ambidextrous children were also found to have more issues with language than their left or right-handed contemporaries.

The results tallied with information gathered from previous studies, which connected ambidexterity with dyslexia. 

The study's head researcher Dr Alina Rodriguez said: "Our results should not be taken to mean that all children who are mixed-handed will have problems at school or develop ADHD."

"We found that mixed-handed children and adolescents were at a higher risk of having certain problems, but we'd like to stress that most of the mixed-handed children we followed didn't have any of these difficulties."

 

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