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Bimanual Synkinesis/mirror hand movements
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Bimanual Synkinesis/mirror hand movements

My 17 month old has mirror hand movements.  If he is scratching his ear with his left hand the right hand is scratching in the air.  I have been unable to find much information about this condition on the internet. My doctor has told me this is normal in children, but he hasn't watched Kaden long enough to really see how bad it is. Does anybody have any experience?  I am in the process of trying to get him genetics tested, but it is a six month wait for an appointment at Arkansas Children's Hospital.  
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my son has the same comdition
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I am sorry I don't know about this condition, however I just noticed that you are in AR.  I live in AR, too!!
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My son has had the same condition since he was an infant and he is now 11 years old.  I have not been able to find any helpful information.  He has been to many neurologists and they have never seen this before. It is hard for him to do many things like tying his shoes and using a knife to cut his food but he does get everything done in his own way.  If you have found any info I would love to hear from you.  
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When my daughter was 11 months old, we were told to wait and see because most infants have mirror hand movements until about a year old.  Like you, we knew that hers were beyond anything we had seen in other kids.  As someone else on this board said, all experts we have consulted find it fascinating and have never seen anything like it.  My daughter is now 5 years old, and still has the mirroring, but is learning tricks to deal with it, like leaning on one hand, or turning her body to get the nondominant hand out of the way.  We live in Vermont.  I would love for her to be able to meet another kid whose hands work the same way!  I also have found very little information.  There are a couple of syndromes it can be associated with, but she shows no other signs of having them.
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My son is now 11 and still continues to mirror.  He has learned to compensate and can pretty much do everything.  He is able to play the baritone, play sports, tie his sneakers and cut his food.  We live in New York, Long Island and none of the specialists around here have ever seen this.  He has had occupational and physical therapy since he was an infant and it has not decreased the mirroring at all.  
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I'm 46 and have had this condition all my life. I never learned to type properly, but can type pretty quickly in my own way...which is good because I work in the computer field. When I was younger I played the sax and didn't really seem to have any problems with that. The only time I wish I didn't have this problem is when I use chopsticks with my right hand because I get cramps in the left. People notice it all the time. I just think it's one of things that makes me interesting. There is a disorder called Kallmann syndrome but I don't think I have it.
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Thank you so much for sharing that!  It is so encouraging to hear that my daughter will probably be able to learn to do those things too.  And to know that there are other people with this same "quirk."  OT and PT have never helped her much with it, so we have discontinued both.  What helps the most is her own determination to figure out how to do the things she wants to do.
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My son is 11 and has the same condition.  He plays the baritone and has just made All County.  My son can pretty much do anything but he does have a lot of trouble buttoning denim jeans.  He pretty much just wears elastic waistband pants because its just to hard to do.  If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them.  His balance and coordination is also not as good as children his age.  I've stopped taking him to specialists because they have never seen this.  My son was happy to hear that other people have this same condition and that he is not the only one.
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My daughter completely avoids fasteners on her clothes.  She only wears pull-on stretchy things because other kinds of clothes are too difficult for her.  Granted, she is only 5, a lot younger than your son, but I think other kids in kindergarten are starting to do buttons, zippers, and snaps.  But I don't think it bothers her that she really can't, because we just make sure they are not part of her clothes.  Right now, handwriting is her biggest problem at school.  She tends to start by using her left hand, begins her letters over on the right-hand margin of the page, and makes all the letters exactly backwards.  When she is reminded to start her letters on the left side of the page, she usually switches the pencil to her right hand and then makes the letters correctly.  But she definitely prefers to use her left hand, so it is a struggle.  Does this make sense?  How has writing been for your son?
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Its so nice to hear from you.  It sounds like your daughter may be left handed dominant.  My sons writing has always been good and thats probably because he is right handed, lefty is always harder for anyone.  Just keep reminding her to use her right hand and she can train herself to become righty.  I find that repitition with my son helps him find a way to do things. He is able to snap and zipper, it does take him longer than the norm, but he does get it done.  I was also told he would never tie his shoes, but he found a way and he does do it.  We do still work on buttoning but it is a struggle. My sons  balance and coordination is also not the best and I was wondering if you noticed this with your daughter?  He was also a late walker, he didnt walk until he was 2 years old and I think that is because of his balance.
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I've never known anyone that had this condition myself. it is comforting to know others are out there. I'm ambidextrous (which I really like) and it took me a while to decide if I was left or right handed. I’m also pretty clumsy :)  I had shoulder surgery on Friday and it’s the first time I’ve really had a problem with this. Every time I move my right arm it makes my left arm pain worse. What fun. It didn’t even occur to me that it would be a problem. You learn to live with things. Everything will be ok…
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Thank you so much for posting!  It really feels great for me to know there are others like my daughter.  What a difficulty with your shoulder pain -- I hope it gets better quickly!  When my daughter is sitting near someone, and she is reaching for something with one hand, she always whacks the person next to her repeatedly with the other arm, without any awareness that she is doing it.  How did you develop awareness over time of what was happening with both your arms/hands as you did an activity?  And did you turn out to be a lefty for some things, and a righty for others?  My daughter does appear to be ambidextrous, and she is puzzling her kindergarten teachers and the school OT; they don't know how to support her slowly developing handwriting skills.  The OT wants to push her to be right hand dominant for writing, but I want to give her time and space to figure it out in her own time.
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I am nearly 50 and have had bimanual synkinesis my entire life. The easy way to determine the childs handedness is to offer a treat and see which hand he takes it with. Do this several times and go with the one used most often. Be aware that very young children may not show a preference.

For the most part it has been a nuisance, but in my case there are some compensations. I have much quicker reflexes, and having to work around the limitations imposed by it has greatly enhanced my problem-solving skills.
It does make a few tasks difficult or impossible. (e.g. I cannot climb a rope, ) and I have learned how to do many things with one had that most people must use both hands for. I can only crack an egg with one hand. I can type by "hovering" over the keyboard to keep the other hand from hitting the wrong key.

There are several theories to the cause, yet it seems that research is only just beginning into this. In my case is seems to be hereditary from my father's side because my great-uncle had it. (my father's father's brother) and it is accompanied by a sub-cognative form of mild synesthesia. From my own experience, I tend to go along with the idea of cross-linked nerves.
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I'm a computer professional too. And I get cramps in my other hand when I use chopsticks.  
Most people only notice it when I am digging for change in my pocket. the other hand will mimic the motions of the one in the pocket and it looks weird. I tell people that in my case one hand always knows what the other is doing.
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My son is 11 and has mirror movements.  I was wondering if you find driving a car difficult? Are you able to button your shirts and pants?  Right now that is his biggest problem.
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I know a guy who have bimanual synkinesis and he prety much do what he want with his hand. Just google "bimanual synkinesis" and you will find his video plaing the piano. I hope it will inspire your son to develop his dexterity to his full extent.

John
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My girlfriend has this also! she can type at warp speed, plays the piano and has no problems with any daily tasks. you are not alone!
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I have never had any difficulty in driving a car. I have a technique where I use the 4 fingers ( not the thumb) with my right hand and grip between the thumb and index finger with my left. Actually I use different finger groupins to perform a variety of two handed tasks.
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Finally! Now I finally have an official name for what we call the "hand thing"! I have been dating my fiance for almost 4 years and I'm fascinated by his mirror hand movements. My fiance, his father, and one of his 3 brothers also have bimanual synkinesis. I could defintely see how parents would worry about their children with mirror movements, but like the rest of the older contributors to this thread, my fiance and his family have found ways to do just about everything in their own way. My fiance found playing the guitar too difficult with his hand movements, but thats really about it.
I do notice that he drops things out of his hands more easily while trying to do another task..ex: drops a cup out of his hand while digging in his pocket with the other. No biggie! I also notice that he ties his shoes uniquely. He does a "double loop"(kind of trapping his thumb and index finger with the lace loops) and then does the "pull". I have no clue if that is unique due to compensating for the hand movements or just another method, but it may be useful! He also types super fast with the "pecking" method as he is also in the computer field.

Thanks!
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Good morning, my name is James, I am 43 and I have been dealing with this all my life. In my case it is hereditary (my father's side) and like others on here I have learned to deal with it in my own way. I have developed carpal tunnels due to some work I performed for 10 years straight and I require surgery. I am not looking forward to this because I am a righty and the surgery will affect that hand. If anyone out there needs more info or has questions feel free to ask. Have a nice day  :)
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Has anyone noted any other neurologic issues (motor tics, gait incoordination, vocalizations)?
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My daughter (almost 6 years old) does not have any other neurological issues, just the mirror hand movements.
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My daughter is 3yrs old, as an infant she always kept her arms folded out with her hands curled in.  She also has a speech delay.  Her doctor suspected mild Ceribial Palsey, so we had an MRI and saw a Pediatric Neurologist.  He stated the Mayan, fat, around her brain is blocking some of the motor skills; and that it should resolve over time.  He stated that by the age of ten most children are completely clear of this problem.  Well, sounds good and reasonable, but if it is so rare to last beyond early childhood, explain how my father, one cousin and two other people over forty years of age still face this odd delima every day?  So our resolution is to keep working with her and teaching her how to accomplish every day tasks.
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About handedness...and which side is dominant:  Check which ear they hold the phone to, which eye they would look through a tube with, which foot do they kick with, which hand do they throw with, which hand do they hold utensils, which hand writes their name better, and which hand cuts with scissors best.  The brain likes to develop a dominant side, though the information is somewhat conflicting as to how this affects overall function.  To be truly competent in a unilateral skill, one should develop dominance though for that skill....so whether one writes with the left and throws a ball with the right, they should know which hand does that activity better and focus on using that side as dominant for that activity.  
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About handedness...and which side is dominant:  Check which ear they hold the phone to, which eye they would look through a tube with, which foot do they kick with, which hand do they throw with, which hand do they hold utensils, which hand writes their name better, and which hand cuts with scissors best.  The brain likes to develop a dominant side, though the information is somewhat conflicting as to how this affects overall function.  To be truly competent in a unilateral skill, one should develop dominance though for that skill....so whether one writes with the left and throws a ball with the right, they should know which hand does that activity better and focus on using that side as dominant for that activity.  
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About handedness...and which side is dominant:  Check which ear they hold the phone to, which eye they would look through a tube with, which foot do they kick with, which hand do they throw with, which hand do they hold utensils, which hand writes their name better, and which hand cuts with scissors best.  The brain likes to develop a dominant side, though the information is somewhat conflicting as to how this affects overall function.  To be truly competent in a unilateral skill, one should develop dominance though for that skill....so whether one writes with the left and throws a ball with the right, they should know which hand does that activity better and focus on using that side as dominant for that activity.  
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My daughter, at almost 6, is still unclear about which hand she prefers for eating and for writing.  She tends to switch back and forth for both.  She has always seemed to prefer writing with her left hand, but when she does, she tends to start on the right side of the page and make all her letters backwards.  If she is prompted to switch the pen to her right hand, she automatically starts on the left side of the page and make her letters the right way.  Has anyone else seen this?
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Wow Ive been looking to find out why both my hand move at the same time I had no idea, n like one of u said I thought it was just one of those things. Mine must not be as bad as some thank god. My research found that most times the condition fades by the teens mine didn't n now Im 31 it seems to be increasing apparently its like the nerves are exposed like bare wires n the messages from the brain get past to both hands instead of the one ur trying to control. I used to sit on the hand i wasn't using like when I was writing. I got frustrated when i was younger especially in sport when I was getting in trouble for not climbing the rope or going on the monkey bars. I'm glad I'm not alone
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Hello
We have discovered my 3 year old nephew has Bimanual Synkinesis.  He went with his mum to see a specialist today and they have told her that he will need to have an MRI scan as a lot of people with this condition have fatty lumps in the brain.  I wondered if anyone on here has had any experience with this or has heard something similar.  I have told her not to worry but she can't help but assume the worst.  He seems a happy healthy child in all other aspects.

I would be grateful to hear from you, affirmative or not.

Thank you
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I have never heard anything about fatty lumps relative to this condition.  My daughter is 7 now, and we first noticed it when she was about 1.  She received occupational therapy for years, but honestly the only thing that has made a difference is her own motivation to figure out ways to do anything she really wants to do.  We have talked with her about it over the years so that she would understand why certain things were challenging for her, and so that she can think about ways to overcome it.  But treatment from a professional never really seemed to make a difference.
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I'm a 50 year old male and I've had Hereditary Bimanual Synkenesis all my life. I just recently was able to finally put a name to it. My father had it and my son was born with it. I have always had some level of difficulty performing certain tasks with my hands but I've learned to deal with them in my own way. People have always noticed this and I'm often asked "What are you doing with your other hand?" My girlfriend complains that when a I'm holding her hand and do something with the other, I unintentionally squeeze her hand really hard! (Sorry honey!) Thanks to the doctor who answered all my questions about it and finally put a name behind it. As for the loss of the sense to smell, its true. I've noticed my sniffer only works part time.
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Hi I am 24 years old and have had mirroring of the hands since I was born. I play most sports but must say my catching skills are not so great at times. When I was younger I had many tests and they found that I had 1 fibre in the brain trying to work both hands whereas most people have 2 1 to work each side. There is an operation available but with most things there are risks involved. I have found ways to help me I have what I call a button hook to help me do my buttons up if you speak to an occupational therapist they may be able to provide you one. Hope all works out.
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Can bimanual synkinesis affect reading? I am a teacher and have a student in my class that is affected by this condition. «i have noticed he does not like reading, looking at books and has difficulty reading. Anyone experienced a similar situation? I would like to help my student.He is 7 years old.
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I'm 30, and have had this condition my entire life. I went through a couple of years of physical therapy when I was 5-6, and that helped me significantly. Originally, my hands were perfect mirrors of each other, which made most things rather difficult. Now, as long as I'm concentrating, I can limit the offhand to small movements most of the time, though things like scratching my head I can't do anything to stop the offhand. It also extends up my arms a bit, for example when carrying something heavy in my right hand (like a gallon of milk), my left elbow stays bent. I can somewhat force it straight, but it's extremely uncomfortable.

For the most part though, I'd say I manage fairly well, and for anyone who's worried their child isn't going to be able to do something, hopefully I can help relieve that worry. I can type ~75 wpm (though I have to lift my hands a fair bit away from the keyboard in order to avoid accidentally hitting keys), I play guitar reasonably well (though can't manage finger picking), and aside from occasionally spilling a drink while trying to turn a doorknob, I'd say I get by just fine.

To whomever asked about driving, I have no issues there, I learned to drive in a manual transmission and have never had my condition cause me problems in ~15 years of driving.

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Hey, I’m 25 and also have mirror hand movements. When I was very young I underwent a series of imaging scans (i.e. MRI) and the doctors found a bundle of nerves on my spinal cord which were confusing the messages sent by my brain, causing those messages to be sent to both hands, rather than just one. Similar to bakageta, the impulse to use both hands extends up my arms but the farther from my finger tips the motion is (i.e. closer to the shoulder) the weaker it is. So tapping my index finger on my left hand makes it almost impossible to stop my index finger on my right hand from tapping. However, I can easily stop my left elbow from bending when my right one does unless I am lifting a heavy weight with my left arm (i.e. doing weightlifting). As a result, I do all my weightlifting exercises with both arms at the same time.
I received occupational therapy when I was in the 1st through 4th grades and it was dramatically and amazingly helpful for me. The therapist discovered I also had difficulty with sensory integration between hands. I believe this is common but not as noticeable for people with mirror movements. By this I mean, it is very obvious when one person’s hands are moving at the same time. It is not so obvious if that person cannot tell which of their fingers are being touched unless they are looking at their hands. For those of you with children with mirror movements, you may want to try an experiment with them. Cover their eyes and then touch their fingers and ask them which of their fingers are being touched. They may be surprisingly unable to tell you. Also, similar to a lot of people posting above, I had a great deal of difficulty with upper body weakness, reading, and writing. These things might be related as this combination is common in the posts above but I have no idea. It was discovered that I had an inner ear imbalance. When this was “fixed” by dyslexic-like problems with reading and writing improved as well as my balance. I am currently working on my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology so I can assure you those problems can be overcome. Exercise has improved by upper body weakness.
There is definitely hope. I have learned to play the piano and the guitar. I drive just fine. I can type 80 wpm. I have never once had anyone ask me about mirror movements or notice that my hands seem to be copying each other in the last 10 years. None of my current friends have any idea I have this problem. It takes some small compensations (i.e. I always put my right hand in my pocket when my left hand reaches in to grab something so my right hand doesn’t look crazy). If occupational therapy doesn’t seem to be helping, getting a new OT might be better than giving up. Mine was great.
Hope this helps!
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I have had this condition all of my life, and when i was younger the doctors said that it should eventually go away as i got older. I am 25 years old now and it still hasn't went away. I'd like to know more information on it, like if it is something to worry about that could cause other disorders or if all i have to worry about is my hands and arms mimicking each other for the rest of my life.
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SHE HAS A VERY MILD CASE OF IT IF SHE CAN DO ALL OF THAT!
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I SHOULD HAVE STARTED MY POST REPLY WITH WOW! THAT'S FANTASTIC! No way can I play the piano. Thought process is slow for majority of us. I have had this for 54 years and as you get older it has complications much worse and affects your quality of life. Keep track of all your dr. records ( in LEGAL form ) for back pain treatments, ADD, motion sickness, neck/back xrays, and teacher comments on report cards. Tutoring records and speach appts.etc. There is the absence of a critical protein in the spine that causes mirror movement. I have been doing research for years and just resently have they discovered breakthroughs on what this is all about....long way to go though.
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My daughter is 26 and has had the Mirror condition all her life, some things she has trouble with, holding a bowl with one hand and stirring with the other.  Also was going to college to be a nurse and had trouble with the blood pressure  so she decided to change careers and became a mom.  At  least one of her kids have the condition, he is three and is confused on what hand to write with, cut etc.  So it is hereditary.  
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my grandson has mirror movements. there have been some behavioral issues as well. The principle has recommended psychiatric treatment. Has any one found behavioral issues attached to this mirror image issue
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