Left-handed students

Approximately 1 in 10 people are left-handed, this means about 3 students in your class are left-handers.  They are easy to identify and with some awareness and simple adjustments, we are able to fully support their difference here at school.  Hand-dominance is usually developed between the ages of 5-6.  Children younger than that may switch and appear ambidextrous.  

Interesting TedEd video (5 mins):

Being a left-hander isn’t always easy, as the Ted-Ed video above points out: Lefties experience discrimination. They are more prone to some negative experiences and behaviors than their right-handed counterparts, including a greater likelihood of learning disabilities and even some mood disorders.

Resources should be accessible to provide for your left-handed students.  Some of these students will enjoy having their own special ruler, sharpener, pencil, while others might choose to use the same as their right-handed peers.  

Writing

Positioning for left-handers is different
1) bottom-right corner of the page/book should be pointing towards the child’s belly button,
2) child should be taught to keep their wrist straight and their hand below the line.
(Avoid the ‘hook’ position of wrist)

It is important that students are taught this in the pre-writing & early writing phase before habits become fixed.  This 12 minute youtube video fully explains all the issues that left-handed students face:

Left-handers are able to use a left hand ‘tripod’ grip just as well as right-handers.  

An OT has written this handy guide helping left-handed children with writing: http://mamaot.com/tips-for-teaching-lefties-to-write/

Be aware that a left-handed child doing a copying activity (eg handwriting) will not be able to see what they’re copying if it’s placed going down the left hand margin.  Better positioning for copying is along the first/top line rather than the left-hand margin.

Everyday items that lefties have difficulty using include rulers, musical instruments, doors, measuring jugs, watches, sitting next to right-handed people at dinner tables (and school desks, of course).  You can find out about more here: http://fishofgold.net/2013/06/06/the-worst-products-for-left-handed-people/

Further reading

Left-handed causes, social stigma, famous left-handers and more: http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Left-handed

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