An expert on ADHD answers the question: Can attention deficit hyperactivity disorder cause bad sense of direction?

A bad sense of direction can be evident in children when they ride their bikes or navigate the interior of their school.

For older kids it can manifest itself inside a large retail store.

For adults with a bad sense of direction, they will be aware of this when driving and hiking or running on unfamiliar trails.

Not everyone with a bad sense of direction has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

But the fair question remains: Can ADHD actually cause this?

“Poor sense of direction such as confusing left and right sometimes goes along with dyslexia. Some people with dyslexia may also have ADHD,” explains Dr. Robert Myers, creator of the Total Focus program at Legacy Publishing. Dr. Myers is a clinical psychologist with 30+ years of experience working with children, adolescents, families and parents, specializing in children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

This explains why some people wonder if attention deficit hyperactivity disorder actually causes a person to have a bad sense of direction.

But look at it in reverse: Imagine having a bad sense of direction. See if you can then imagine this having anything to do with ADHD.

Like Dr. Myers says, a person can have both situations, but that doesn’t mean that the conditions are causally linked.

In fact, there has been no research showing any causal relationship between ADHD and the so-called getting lost easily.

Though some adults have a lousy sense of direction, keep in mind that by nature, very young children aren’t the best at navigating through unfamiliar surroundings such as a big house that they’ve never been inside of.

You should not assume that you, or your child, might have ADHD just because the child’s or your sense of direction seems crummy.

Dr. Myers has 30+ years’ experience working with children, adolescents and parents, specializing in children and adolescents with ADHD. Total Focus is a comprehensive program to improve attention, concentration and self-control in children.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  


­Top image: ©Lorra Garrick