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Jason Morgan
Jason Morgan asks:
Q:

Please Help! Handedness and writing.

I'm in a tight spot about something. My daughter is entering 1st grade shortly. She's learning to write and can do the basics.

The problem is that she's trying to write with her left hand when she is clearly right-handed (I think). It was thought she was left handed before, but we weren't sure, so she was told to learn to write with her left. She makes many mistakes with backwards lettering and I haven't seen any progress there.

She naturally kicks and throws with her right limbs. When I have her write with her right hand, there are very few mistakes, if any. She doesn't want to do it, though, because she was taught to write with her left hand.

The problem is that her mother wants her to continue using the left hand. She is a speech pathologist and says that:

1. Handedness is not necessarily determined by kicking, throwing, etc.
2. Forcing her to do it with the right after learning with the left could possibly cause learning problems (in general, perhaps?)
3. At this point she should just focus on improving with the left.

Experts, educators, please help! What should we do?

Thank you,

Jason M.
In Topics: School and Academics, Back to school, Helping my child with writing
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Allyn Anderson
Sep 4, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

You have an interesting problem. Typically when working with a young child, I simply throw a small ball to the child to see which hand catches it. However, some children are able to use both hands, often for different purposes. Have you watched your child color a picture? Which hand is used? Ask your child which hand she prefers to use to write or color.

I've attached a site from Education.com that may give you more information. If you need more, consider contacting your child's school and asking to speak to one of their learning disabilities teacher. That person may be able to give you more insight.

The best to you in your search.
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Additional Answers (2)

lynellen
lynellen writes:
Handedness is a very complex issue.  One needs to look at things such as the ability to use the left hand to go to the right side of the body, the right hand to go to the left side of the body, the ability for the eyes to move from one side of the body to the other and much more.  It sounds like your daughter was late choosing hands and still may be somewhat confused.  An occupational therapist in your area would be able to help determine which hand is the most efficient and to determine if there are other issues such as eye tracking or lack of crossing midline contributing to this handedness problem.  With your wife being a speech therapist, she may know a pediatric O.T. to help your daughter.
> 60 days ago

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Jason Morgan
Jason Morgan writes:
Thank you for your thoughts, lynellen!
- Jason
> 60 days ago

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