Facts About Lefties
According to the World Book Online Reference, about 87 percent of all people are right-handed. About 12 percent are left-handed. So if the U.S. population is 297,695,028 then there would be 35,723,403 left-handers in the Unites States alone.
There are different kinds of left-handed people:
- Some are dominant left-handers, who use their left hand for EVERYTHING. For example, they would use their left hand to swing a bat, hold a fork, play tennis, play golf, etc.
- Some are dominant right-handers, who use their right hand for a majority of things and maybe only write and hold a fork with their left hand.
- Others are ambidextrous, who use both their left and right hands equally well.
Left-handed people write in many different ways:
- Some are overwriters who write above the writing line in a hooked style.
- Some are underwriters who write under the writing line.
- Some are sidewriters who write across the line from left to right.
- Some even turn the paper 90 degrees and write vertically instead of horizontally.
Some left-handed problems:
According to a survey from lefthandedchildren.org, 88% of young left-handers complained of getting smudges on their hand, and work. Since a majority of left-handed people write in the direction from left to right, they usually smudge the fresh ink or graphite with their hand and pinky. Even worse, the smudged hand will begin to re-smudge the paper, making the work look unprofessional and messy.
- Elbow bumping at the dinner table
When a left-handed person sits at the dinner table, they will always bump elbows with the right-hander sitting next to them.
- Most products are geared for right-handed people
Left-handers have trouble with many products because it is actually made for right-handed people. Some products that are troublesome include the computer mouse, pencil sharpeners, watches, student desks, spirals, loose-leaf books and many more.
A few tips for parents with left-handed children:
- Never force your child to be right-handed if your child prefers to be left-handed. Some researchers say, "forcing the child to use their right hand can cause a severe emotional and physical upset, which is most likely to appear in the form of stuttering or stammering. Other ill effects that may result, it is said, are behavior disorders, headaches, difficulties in reading and writing, and mathematics and a tendency to confuse the directions left and right and to reverse letters and numbers accidentally."
- When assisting
left handed children with a hands-on activity (writing or otherwise), sit/work to their right so you can see what they are doing.
- Invest in tools that are geared for lefthanded children. It will make their lives easier and simpler.
- When eating out, remember that their left arm will need extra room.
- Just because a child writes and eats with his/her left hand doesn't mean that he/she will be a left-handed pitcher/bowler. Let the child decide which hand he/she wants to use for other activities.
- If your child is entering pre-school or kindergarten, just remind the teacher that your child is left-handed. This will let the teacher know that the child is using their most comfortable writing hand.
Helpful Left-handed Links
Handwriting Tips For Left-handers
From the International Children's Education web site.
Teaching Left-Handers to Write
From the Handedness Research Institute web site.
Rosemary West's Left-Handed Page
Your left hand, your right hand, and both sides of your brain.
Left-handers School Experiences Survey Analysis Of Results: Handwriting Comments
Tips For Promoting Left-handed Success
The Left-handed Writers Page
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