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Are you cross brain dominant or ADHD?

Studies by Developmental Ophthomologist have concluded that, when our brains are cross-lateralized, mixed dominant or cross dominant, our executive functioning (memory, attention, organizational skills, spatial skills) suffer.

Research indicates that 'anomalous lateralization' or cross dominance can cause considerable havoc in brain functioning.

A study supporting anamalous lateralization across domain in ADHD children and adults can be found @ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11104843

What is cross dominance?

Cross dominance is the phenomena where your handedness and/or dominant foot are not on the same side as your dominant eye and ear. An example would be someone like an inattentive son who kicks and writes with his right foot and hand but his dominant eye is his left eye. Your dominance is thought to be congruent if the hand that your write with and the foot that you kick with are on the same side as your dominant eye.

Are there any studies showing the relation between cross dominance and ADHD?

Developmental Ophthomologist have studied the effects of cross dominance on attention and working memory for quite a long time. They have found that when our brains are cross-lateralized, mixed dominant or cross dominant, our executive functioning (memory, attention, organizational skills, spatial skills) suffer.

Studies indicate that 'anomalous lateralization' or cross dominance is more often found in people with ADHD and this mixed dominance can cause considerable havoc in brain functioning.

What are the symptoms of cross dominance?

A study from 2010 showed that mixed dominance people were more likely to have language, scholastic and ADHD symptoms. Cross dominance can explain many learning behaviors such as:

* A tendency to misplace objects

* A tendency to rotate papers strangely when writing

* A tendency to tip their head 40 degrees when writing

* Difficulty with left and right side of letters

* Difficulty making decisions

* Poor handwriting

* Difficulty with Organization

* Difficulty with gross and fine motor movements

* Difficulties performing task that cross the body midline

Optometrists and Occupational Therapists believe that for the brain to work efficiently, it must have dominance. If a brain has cross dominance it will have difficulty organizing information, and auditory or visual learning will be difficult.

Is cross dominance linked to learning disabilities?

As the dominant part would be the one that they prefer to write with, hit with, kick with, turn their head toward to hear with, or look through a telescope with. A completely organized child will have a dominant hand, foot, ear and eye on the same side. If there is no complete dominance, it shows a degree of neurological disorganization. This mixed dominance can be related to learning disabilities.

Is cross dominance linked to disorganisation?

If the child does not have a controlling side of the brain, it lacks organization because the information going to the brain is not occurring correctly. For example, they may see something in the right eye and store it in the left hemisphere, so there is not a firm pathway into the brain. They will not be able to process the information. Think of it as a room full of filing cabinets, if it is organized well in alphabetical order you can find what you are looking for. In a disorganized room of cabinets that are not alphabetized, the files are there, but you will have a hard time finding it. You may see this when studying for a test. They may know it the night before when studying, but by the next day it is all lost in the filing cabinets, unable to be retrieved. They can’t take in information, assimilate it, and process it. They can’t bring it out again because they were not able to make firm pathways in the brain when they took in the information.

How does mixed dominance create learning problems?

Problems with cross dominance could include confusing b and d, saw and was, difficulty with close work or squinting eyes. This could cause problems with reading because a message from the right side of the body goes to the left side of the brain and vice versa. So if you have information coming from a dominant right eye (reading the black board) and dominant left ear (listening to the teacher) the information will be going to opposite sides of the brain. The brain has to work hard to get the two messages together and may mix up b and d, or other errors.

How to determine dominant hand and foot?

You can test your dominance by taking an object and dropping it to the floor and then stepping up to kick it. The foot you just used is your dominant foot. If you have someone throw this same object to you from across the room and you then catch it, the hand you used to catch it is your dominant hand.

How to determine dominant eye and ear?

To determine your eye dominance, take your camera and hold it up to take a picture. The eye that you used to look through the view finder is your dominant eye. Turn your head to hear music in the other room, the ear that you used to better hear is your dominant ear.

Why is brain dominance important for learning?

Developmental Optometrist believe that the brain develops better when there is a dominant hemisphere. Researchers are not certain why this is so but it appears that establishing a dominant eye, ear, hand and foot may lead to a better organized brain and a brain that develops at a normal rate whereas the mixed dominant brain develops more slowly and is less well organized.

The brain dominance issue is very important because how we best learn is determined by our brain lateralization.

What are the issues generally faced by people with Cross dominance?

People who are cross dominant may have spatial perception issues, dyslexia, auditory processing issues, clumsiness, working memory problems, learning problems, attention problems or none of the above.

How is Cross dominance treated?

Mixed dominance is generally treated with exercises aimed to strengthen both sides of the body. These are called "crossing the midline" exercises. Square dancing cross the midline, tennis and tether ball cross the midline, doing figure 8s on a great big white board is an exercise that crosses the midline.

Is Ambidexterity linked to cross dominance?

Ambidextrous people are often mixed dominant and are often drawn to right brained fields such as art and left brain fields such as engineering.

Which activities can help develop the ability to Cross the Midline?

To help develop efficient crossing of the midline, provide children with a variety of two-handed (bilateral) activities. Try some of the below activities to help build more pathways in the brain and to develop the ability to cross the midline, improve coordination, and improve overall functional performance on a daily basis.

Right Brain/Left Brain Teasers-

a. Pop bubbles with only one hand (they will have to reach across their body to pop the bubbles floating on the opposite side).

b. Reach for bean bags, balls, stuffed animals, or other objects across midline, then throwing at a target.

c. Draw large figure eights (the infinity sign or an 8 turned on its side) on paper, on the floor with a finger, in the air with a finger, or drive a matchbox car around a figure eight pattern.

d. Let the child play with sand, scooping sand from one side of the body and putting it into a bucket on the opposite side of the body without switching hands.

e. Let the child pretend to drive a car with a ball in his/her hands to use as a steering wheel and encourage the crossing of his/her arms as he/she turns the ‘steering wheel’ Or…In order to make this similar in style to most of the others—Pretend to drive a car with a ball in both hands to use as a steering wheel and cross both arms while turning the “steering wheel”.

f. Play flashlight tag. In a dimmed room, lie on your backs and have the child follow your flashlight beam projected on the wall with his own flashlight.

g. Touch the opposite elbow and knee.

h. Cross one foot over the other while walking sideways.

i. Do “grapevine” walks.

j. Knee Slap Walk- Walk around raising each knee while touching/slapping it with the opposite hand (or elbow). Change it to a skip while touching the opposite knee as it comes up.

k. Windmills-Stand with feet spread apart and arms extended out to the sides. Bend over at waist and tap right hand to left foot. Stand back up and then bend and tap left hand to right foot.

l. Point your left finger out and put your right thumb up. Switch them, and switch, and switch, and switch…

m. Hold your nose, then cross the other hand over and grab your opposite ear. Slap your thighs and switch your hands…switch, slap, switch, slap…

n. Write your name in the air while rotating your foot in a circle clockwise.

o. Wash the car and make sure the arms cross midline while scrubbing.

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