The other day while in the train, on the way to work, I came across something in the newspaper, which made me pause. It was a letter to the editor which mentioned that students who are left handed should be actually, treated as having some kind of learning disability. I was pretty intrigued by this and so decided to research it a bit more. It is also because GG is left handed and has shown very clear preference to using this hand as her dominant hand right from the time she was a little baby. I had always thought left handed people were, in fact, smarter and more creative than us normal right-handed people since the dominant side of their brain was the right side and this side of the brain fuels creativity.
I could not really find any solid evidence which links left-handedness in a person to any learning disabilities. Yes, learning disabilities affect people who are dominantly left-handed but being a leftie is in no way linked to being behind in school.
I do know that a very small percentage of the population, around 10% or so in the world is left-handed and this has remained more or less stable throughout human history, but scientists have not yet been able to figure out why that ten percent of the population turned out to be a leftie!
In my specific case, as far as I know, no one in both S and my immediate family favours the left hand, but I can’t be very clear as in previous generations, being a leftie was frowned upon and people were forced to learn to use their right hand for everyday work. When GG was found to favour her left hand more, well-meaning friends and relatives immediately told me to start training her in using her right hand more and making that her dominant hand, but something told me to hold off and I let her use her naturally dominant hand at all times.
I personally feel that being a leftie has not impacted her in any way academically. If anything, not doing so well in her PSLE results has been a real boon. She is in a slightly slower programme and is one of the top students in her cohort, is a student leader and is a very active member of her CCA.
There may be some truth in lefties being more creative; GG is very musically inclined and is forever singing and dancing at home. She also likes to draw and paint and does this most weekends. At this point in time, she is also exploring writing, so she basically ticks all boxes from a creative point of view.
Are you a leftie? What have your experiences been? I’d love to hear!