Lefty? Righty? Leave it alone?
June 2, 2014 7:35 AM Subscribe
We are starting to suspect our five 1/2 year old son may actually be a lefty. Do we ask / try to switch him over, or leave it alone?
posted by Mchelly to Health & Fitness (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As our son was growing, we could never determine his handedness - he would switch off regularly between hands when feeding, playing, etc. Neither hand ever seemed to dominate. Not wanting to influence him, we mostly left him alone about it - so long as he was using the crayon/spoon/toy, we wouldn't suggest a switch to the other hand unless he was looking like he was struggling. Possibly because of this (or possibly this is the underlying reason for his ambidextrousness), when he started school a couple years ago, teachers noticed he had significant trouble with his grip (along with a couple of other issues) and recommended he be evaluated for Occupational Therapy. He has been in OT regularly since the evaluation, and is mostly caught up with his class. His left hand had more issues than his right, so when they worked with him on drawing and writing, he was taught right-handed - with our consent.
The more we watch him, though, the more we think he's actually a lefty. When he picks things up, he favors his left, when he throws or bounces a ball, and often when he eats. Yesterday I asked if he could write his name with his left hand, just to see, and he picked the pencil up with the correct grip with no trouble. The writing, while sloppier than with his right hand, was not only legible, it looked pretty standard for him.
I know there have been lots of studies showing interfering with natural handedness is a bad idea, and we don't want to do anything that would mess him up, especially when he's doing so much better in OT. Should we speak with his teachers and therapist about this? Or just leave it alone?
Possibly relevant details: His father is left-handed, I'm a righty. While his writing is great for his age, he still really can't draw without coaching or copying from a book with help (this may be appropriate for his age, I don't know what drawing milestones are, if there are any -- his pictures are often the least-good in his class, but he's also one of the youngest kids). He starts first grade next year.