Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by oculomotor abnormalities. However, the eye movement pattern of children with ADHD during reading has yet to be fully determined. This investigation provides novel insights into the altered eye movement pattern during oral reading of nonmedicated children with pure ADHD in comparison with age-matched controls.
The purpose of this study was to objectively compare the eye movement pattern during oral reading in a group of nonmedicated children with pure ADHD and an age-matched control group.
Forty-one children, 21 children with pure ADHD (9.3 ± 2.2 years, 15 boys) and 20 control children (9.3 ± 2.5 years, 10 boys), orally read a standardized text according to their age while the eye movement pattern was objectively recorded using the Visagraph Eye Movement recording system.
The Bayesian statistical analyses revealed that children with ADHD exhibited a significantly higher number of fixations (Bayes factor 10 [BF10] = 3.39), regressions (BF10 = 9.97), saccades in return sweeps (BF10 = 4.63), and anomalies of fixations and regressions (BF10 = 3.66) compared with controls. In addition, children with ADHD significantly showed longer reading times (BF10 = 31.29), as well as lower reading rate (BF10 = 156.74) and grade-level equivalent (BF10 = 168.24) in comparison with controls.
Our data showed that the nonmedicated children with pure ADHD have an altered eye movement pattern during oral reading when compared with controls, which cannot be attributable to any comorbid condition. The present outcomes may help to understand the link between ADHD and reading performance and design the most pertinent strategies to enhance the reading skills of this population.