I don’t remember when – or how – I found out that I was right handed. I happen to have a parent who is left-handed, but I ended up a righty. My wife, likewise, is a righty, but statistically, there’s roughly a 17% chance that either of our kids could still end up a southpaw.
Somehow, along the way, the Monster’s in-school OT has become convinced that he’s a righty, but I’m not so sure.
The real problem is that we can’t simply ask him which one ‘feels’ right, since he doesn’t have the verbal ability to tell us. He does know left and right – he can demonstrate his awareness of it when asked to extend the appropriate foot/hand – but it doesn’t mean much to him in terms of holding a writing implement.
Because of Passover, he missed last Tuesday’s private OT session, and is going to miss this coming Tuesday’s as well. Instead, we had a makeup session today, and I took him instead of the wife. At the end of the session, his substitute private OT asked me to come in so I could see what he was doing. Apparently, every time she’d handed him a marker, he’d put it in his left hand with a fist grip. When I was sitting there with him, and told him to put it in his right hand, he tried to use it with a tripod grip, but continued to do it that way while I sat there. After he’d done the basic shapes, she asked why we were so convinced that he’s a righty… and suggested we start collecting data ourselves.
When I got home, the wife mentioned that the other OT – his usual private one – suggested that we “pick” one for him, hence going along with the in-school OT’s assertion that he’s a righty. It smacks to me, though, of what they used to do in school with trying to retrain lefties to be righties… and if he’s genuinely a lefty, we’ll deal with that. (I’d have to learn to teach a curling delivery in a mirror, but hey…)
One of those spots, of course, where his lack of verbal communication skills doesn’t help us help him. But I do want to do right by him, so… we’ll see what we find.
The experiment starts tomorrow.
Hi, I just found your blog via a paper.li:) So, I don’t know much about you, your son, or your family. I am an OT who specializes in the assessment and remediation of children’s handwriting skills. I just had tow questions. How old is your son? And what is the focus of determining his handedness? Is it for handwriting or for general fine motor skills? (I guess that’s three questions:) One piece of OT advice: if it’s working, don’t change it. Let him choose and work with his handwriting/fm skills with that hand. Even if he changes hands for different tasks, that is acceptable for anyone. Take the data and consider what works for him. Usually they know best anyway:) Best of luck!
It’s an excellent point, the question of the ‘why’. (And I think it’s still two, with a clarifier on the second. 😉 ) The Monster is nearly six years old. While we are certainly concerned with the general fine motor skills, a lot of the focus on handedness is mostly on his writing for the moment, since that pertains to his IEP goals.
But I do agree with you – if it works, we’re not changing it. My concern is that they’re ‘choosing’ for him regardless of what he may be choosing on his own, and I want him doing what feels right and is best for him, essentially what you’re suggesting. I personally don’t care which hand he uses, as long as w’ere not creating more problems for him down the road.