Monday, May 24, 2010

Left Right Left

Recently at the parents teacher conference I witnessed parents worries for their child who might be left handed. Parents of one child were not sure if their child is left-handed and just wanted to be sure so as to help him accordingly but the parents of another child were worried.
This child in question is very intelligent and mature for his age and is able to do all activities which are his age appropriate. However he has yet not mastered the pincer grip for writing and doesn't show an inclination to using colors or pencils. I guess the problem should have been obvious for us but we just didn't realize. When his parents told us that they seem to find him using his left hand more, I suddenly understood. But they requested us to make him use his right hand more. I was sad. I didn't expect it. I thought now that we know he might be left-handed its easy to make him develop his fine motor skills but their insistence has got me worried. Their worry is genuine to a certain extent. They say that most tools which people use are made for right handers. I told them the computer keyboard is designed for the advantage of left-handers though but I couldn't argue more on their point that most tools are made for right handers - The scissors, knife and other cutting tools, most musical instruments and so on.
And so I came home and did some reading on this topic. Yes its true that most things are made for right handers but they can be customized for left handers. Also I read that if left-handers are forced to be right handers in childhood, they develop learning disabilities like dyslexia. Now I think this is more worrisome than customizing things for a left-handed person. My husband is a left-hander and so is my sister. I didn't know till this day that they must be having problems using a knife or scissors. If only people are aware, can help be given to them. I think that forcing a child to do something that prohibits his natural development is a hazard and shouldn't be encouraged. Forcing anyone to be like you (eg right-handed) is not fair. A left handers brain is different than a right handers. We cant change this by force. Just imagine someone forcing you to become left-handed. Will you be able to do everything with your left-hand with the same efficiency as the right? I dont think so.