Is it too late to change which hand my son writes with?

(9 Posts)
hillyhilly Thu 10-Jul-14 22:29:06

My DS has just finished Y1, he has a September birthday and is gifted and talented at reading and maths. (This is for context only), he is a really bright boy.
However, he is pretty clumsy, I suspect a little dyspraxia in both my children and he started school able to read (largely self taught) but not able to write or draw.
When he started school he had not yet determined which hand he would write with, would alternate or frequently use one hand and guide it with the other. A few weeks in, he began to use his right hand which I was a little surprised at as I thought if anything he was probably left handed (as I am).
His progress in writing has been very slow, he does not find it easy at all although he has made great progress this year and is now within age related expectations.

For everything else, throwing, racquets, eating etc, he is now definitely left handed. so I'm wondering if a teacher or TA encouraged him to use the right simply to get him to decide one way or the other when actually he should use his left.
After two years writing (reluctantly) with his right, could or should I try to encourage him to use the left instead? Does anyone have any experience of this?

I dont mind which he uses, and don't want to force something he is already not particularly keen on (writing/ drawing) but if it would make his life easier in the long run maybe I should put the effort in?

Any experience gratefully received.

Dancealot Thu 10-Jul-14 22:37:10

I'm am adult that writes left handed (as well as other things that need more fine motor skills) but I do nearly everything else, particularly things that need a degree of strength, right handed- throw a ball, bowling, tennis. I really don't think I could write properly right handed even with practice.

Does he do anything else right handed- what about cleaning his teeth? I do that with my writing hand.

hillyhilly Thu 10-Jul-14 22:47:47

AFAIK he does everything else left handedly but I will be watching him closely over the next few days.
I know that forcing children to use their left can cause all sorts of problems and I really don't think that this is him as I trust the school implicitly., and he genuinely didn't have a preference for a writing hand at the time. What I don't want to do is to cause any problems by encouraging a switch back.

piratecat Thu 10-Jul-14 22:52:25

i am the same i use my left hand for writing only. i understood it that in left handed people it was more common to do this.
i read that right handed writers would normally be extremely right handed for most things.
this must be a toughie for you.

ShergarAndSpies Thu 10-Jul-14 23:00:20

Could you do some 'fun' writing practice with him - little mini challenges like writing backwards, mirror writing, writing up and down / right to left / very big and very tiny and then add in to that writing with his left hand.

So you dress it up as a game but see how he gets on writing with his left hand. If he looks comfier / finds it easier, you could open up a discussion about some people being left handed (famous examples) and would he find writing easier with his left hand, would be like to try?

So it's all very low key and a way of opening it up for discussion and then allowing him to see that he doesn't HAVE to be a rightie just because.

ReallyTired Thu 10-Jul-14 23:01:34

If your son is having serve problems with hand writing our GP can refer him to an NHS occupational therapist. However if your son's handwriitng is within age related expectations then he would not get any help from the NHS. If you can afford a private OT could do wonders.

The book Write from the Start is great for improving pen control.

www.amazon.co.uk/Write-start-Programme-Perceptual-Handwriting/dp/1855032457

KenDoddsDadsDog Thu 10-Jul-14 23:01:41

I use my left hand for writing / texting only. Am right handed for everything else.

Fatmanbuttsam Thu 10-Jul-14 23:05:14

I will write quite happily with either hand but am very definitely either right or left handed in a number of activities....let him play with writing and see what happens....but play lots of hand eye coordination games to help him

hillyhilly Thu 10-Jul-14 23:12:21

Thanks all, I will try some fun activities but as writing is about as far away from his idea of fun as it is possible to get, I may need a stiff drink first!
I will try to enlist the hep of his big sister as she loves anything to do with drawing and writing.
He is an ipad fanatic so maybe I could go back to the cursive writing apps, the big concern is about causing more of a problem than he already has.
I really cannot know whether it is worth doing or not, but I guess we'll have a try.

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