Handwriting in children with ADHD

J Atten Disord. 2014 Aug;18(6):504-10. doi: 10.1177/1087054711434154. Epub 2012 May 22.


Objective: Children with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-CT) display fine and gross motor problems, often expressed as handwriting difficulties. This study aimed to kinematically characterize the handwriting of children with ADHD using a cursive letter l's task.

Method: In all, 28 boys (7-12 years), 14 ADHD-CT and 14 typically developing (TD), without developmental coordination disorder (DCD) or comorbid autism, wrote a series of four cursive letter l's using a graphics tablet and stylus.

Results: Children with ADHD-CT had more inconsistent writing size than did TD controls. In addition, ADHD-CT symptom severity, specifically inattention, predicted poorer handwriting outcomes.

Conclusion: In a sample of children with ADHD-CT who do not have DCD or autism, subtle handwriting differences were evident. It was concluded that handwriting might be impaired in children with ADHD in a manner dependent on symptom severity. This may reflect reports of underlying motor impairment in ADHD.

Keywords: ADHD; fine motor control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology*
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Child
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Handwriting*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / complications
  • Motor Skills Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*