What Is Proprioception?

…proprioception is the sense of the orientation of one’s limbs in space… Without proprioception, we’d need to consciously watch our feet to make sure that we stay upright while walking.
Proprioception is something many ADHDers battle with. Perhaps I can try and explain it in laymen’s terms…
When a neuro-typical person with properly developed proprioception is working on a PC or reading a book, and they look away- they can look back at their screen or page in exactly the same place and continue what they were doing. This can be done repeatedly. Proprioception means their brain keeps an equivalent of a “bookmark” for them.
Now think of a neuro-atypical ADHDer in a classroom. They have the board in the front of the class and a book or a screen on their desk. They look from the board to their page and it takes a few seconds to find their place on the page- whether they’re reading or writing. When they look back up at the board, they again have to take a few seconds to orientate to where they were looking the last time before they can focus again. Each time they look at their book or the board they lose a few seconds of what the teacher is showing them or saying because they have to work very hard to re-focus.
For an ADHDer in a classroom, its kind of like watching a movie that’s jumping and skipping, they lose the plot completely.
A lack of proprioception is also often what makes ADHDers come across as clumsy, even when they seem fearless. Sports like gymnastics and martial arts are very good ways of building proprioception in ADHD children. I know I have ADHD, though its never been diagnosed formally. I have also learned my own coping mechanisms over the years- but my own proprioception sucks. When I am walking I have to watch the floor or the ground to see where my feet have to go, else I will trip, often over nothing! If I walk outside or attempt to go hiking or some such- I have to stop walking to actually look around and enjoy the scenery because if I try to see it while I walk- in other words, without watching my feet- I will trip. I fall over my own feet if I can’t see the stairs when I am walking down them. I can’t get on an escalator without holding on to the railing or watching the steps very carefully.
Can you see any ways that your ADHDer battles with proprioception?
You can read more here and here.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional anything. I’m a mom to an almost-adult ADHDer. What I write is purely my opinion on things I feel strongly about, based on my experience as an ADHDer parent.

4 thoughts on “What Is Proprioception?

  1. Kiara battles with this :-p Its why she battles to read – she cant see where she was if she takes her eyes off the page and even if she doesnt her eyes often “flick” around the page.

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