10 – 13% of the population are left-handed
99% of left-handed people have difficulty with handwriting.
A higher percentage in therapy
Boys are 1:5 times more likely to be left handed than girls.
Frequently struggle with fine motor skills.
Can affect self-esteem.
Left-handedness is genetic.
HOW TO HELP
The left-handed child should be placed at the desk so that he/she is on the outside to avoid bumping arms with the right-handed child.
Position and height of the chair is important.
Be aware of desk incline and lighting.
Know who are your left-handed children are before they start class.
The child must be slightly raised so they can see over their hands. Put cushions on the chairs so they can look over their hand. You can even use telephone directories.
In group work check the child is facing the board as their eyesight can be impeded.
Position the paper at a slight angle, otherwise they develop the hooked grip and this affects the wrist in the long term. Always make sure that the arm is rested flat on the table.
HAND FORMATION – Why worry?
Stress in writing shoulder
DRAWING, COLOURING & WORKBOOKS
Use right to left movements when colouring in. If the child does it the other way it is difficult. The child must pull and not push the pen.
If using Craypas start colouring in from right to left.
Dot-to-Dot is for a right-handed person. Look at the direction of the numbers.
Tear the pages out of the work-book otherwise the spine is in the way. Preferably use spiral bound work-books.
When using symmetry drawings make sure that they are also for left handed children.
The word or symbol the child is copying must be on both sides of the page so the left-handed child can see the word, letter, number, picture or pattern when they are copying it. Finger space – use their right hand.
Biggest problem is that left handed children copy right-handed children and teachers.
Must use left handed scissors. There is no such thing as duel scissors as some suppliers would like you to think.
When deciding if a child is left or right handed check more than one aspect. The child could still be establishing dominance.
Check eye dominance
POINTERS TO CHECK DOMINANCE
Hand dominance (throwing, catching, clapping)
Foot dominance (hopping, kicking, jumping)
Do lots of bilateral activities
POSSIBLE LEARNING PROBLEMS
Transposing of letters
Try and create an environment where the left-handed child does not feel different.