Handwriting performance in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

J Child Neurol. 2008 Apr;23(4):399-406. doi: 10.1177/0883073807309244.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral condition of childhood. Consequences are multifaceted and include activity limitations in daily-living skills, academic challenges, diminished socialization skills, and motor difficulties. Poor handwriting performance is an example of an affected life skill that has been anecdotally observed by educators and clinicians for this population and can negatively impact academic performance and self-esteem. To guide health and educational service delivery needs, the authors reviewed the evidence in the literature on handwriting difficulties in children with ADHD. Existing evidence would suggest that children with ADHD have impaired handwriting performance, characterized by illegible written material and/or inappropriate speed of execution compared to children without ADHD. Studies with larger sample sizes using standardized measures of handwriting performance are needed to evaluate the prevalence of the problem and to better understand the nature of handwriting difficulties and their impact in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*