Time knowledge impairments in children with ADHD
De la Charie A, Delteil F, Labrell F, Colas P, Vigneras J, Câmara-Costa H, Mikaeloff Y.
Arch Pediatr. 2020 Dec 23:S0929-693X(20)30259-1.
Commentary* by Dr. Margaret Weiss: Clinicians are very aware of time perception in ADHD – this is the first study I have seen that suggests ADHD is also associated with impaired time knowledge.
Background: A large number of studies have shown time perception impairment and reaction time (RT) variability in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and have discussed the causes of such difficulties. However, very few studies have investigated time knowledge (i.e., the correct representation and use of time units) in children with ADHD.
Methods: We evaluated time knowledge in 33 children with ADHD, aged 8-12 years, who had consulted a reference center for learning disabilities in Paris, matched for age and gender with 33 typically developing (TD) children. We used a simple questionnaire-based survey and neuropsychological tests for cognitive and attentional skills.
Results: The acquisition of time knowledge was delayed in children with ADHD compared with TD children (P<0.01). At the end of primary school, children with ADHD obtained time knowledge scores that were close to those of TD children at the beginning of primary school. In children with ADHD, time knowledge was significantly related to the working memory index (P<0.05), but not to ADHD presentation (with or without hyperactivity).
Conclusion: This study shows time knowledge impairment in children with ADHD, and paves the way for new screening tests and rehabilitation focused on time knowledge and time-related skills, in order to improve patient care and autonomy.
* Abstracts are selected for their clinical relevance by Dr. Margaret Weiss, Director of Clinical Research, Child Psychiatry, Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard University. Her commentary reflects her own opinion. It is not approved or necessarily representative of the CADDRA board.