December 30, 2006


I recently had the opportunity to test Smudgeguard. It's a lightweight, glovelike item worn while writing or drawing to protect the side of your hand from getting stained by ink, crayons, etc. It fits either the left or right hand, and is comfortable enough to keep on while performing other tasks, such as typing at the keyboard or picking up a coffee mug. In addition to being useful for those who tend to write in a hooked position, I imagine this would also be good for calligraphers, artists, and anyone who writes or draws with substances that tend to get on your hand while you work. The website is

October 27, 2006

Lefty Kids Writing Funny?

A large portion of the email I get is from right-handed parents who have some kind of concern about their left-handed child's handwriting. Some of them are in conflict with day care workers or teachers who are trying to force something on the child. Some are worried that their child may be dyslexic. Some just want to know what certain writing techniques mean.

Please stop worrying. In most cases, everything is just fine, whether you know it or not. Lefty or righty, every child is an individual, and every child has his or her own way of learning new skills.

Concerned about mirror-image or backwards writing? See these comments from the U.C. Berkeley Parents Network:

Concerned about a hooked or twisted writing position? See my illustrated article on this website, by clicking on "Writing Left" in the menu.

The most important thing you can do to help left-handed children is to relax and focus on other aspects of life. Handedness is not a problem unless someone deliberately turns it into one. Keep an eye on what's happening at school (even pre-school) and don't let some egotistical hack who claims to know everything pressure your child into using one hand exclusively or switching from one to the other.

September 30, 2006

Please Help! Teaching How to Tie Shoelaces

A Reader wrote:

Hi. I'm hoping this website is still active since last post date was in July. I came across this site during my ongoing search for ideas, articles, advice, etc. on how to help my left-handed 7 year old with everyday skills such as writing, tying shoelaces, etc,.

My son has mini-hissie fits whenever he has to wear shoes with laces to school. Understandably, he fears his classmates will see him getting his shoes re-tied by a teacher. This is one of a few tasks he hasn't been able to master. Unfortunately, another problematic task for him also involves getting dressed - buttoning/snapping shirts & jeans. I think it's due to the right vs. left positioning of the snaps/buttons and my own inability to teach him how to tie shoes the way a lefty does. I, like the rest of the family, am right-handed (for the most part), but it never once crossed my mind to try to force him to use his right hand. I witnessed my friend's husband doing this to their toddler. He did not want his child to experience "what it's like for left-handers growing up in a right-handed man's world". Backstory - he's right-handed and gets perturbed whenever left-handers are seated next to him because they "crowd and bump" him. For Pete's sake.

Because I don't agree with that kind of logic I would appreciate suggestions, tips and/or advice from all the gracious lefties out there!


P.S. Where can I find Rosemary's articles (other than 'back to school' & 'hot flashes') and illustrations? The links aren't working.

June 20, 2006

World's largest minority

A Reader wrote:

I am looking for data that would prove that left-handed people are the world's largest minority. Thanks. great website. Please Email me at

April 26, 2006

Switched at an early age.

A Reader wrote:

Hello, I know this question is rather frequent, but I have some specifics I would like to ask in this community.

I was born left-handed and sometime in my early childhood I was forced to switch by my relatives, which was an unconscious decision on my part.

Sometime after the third grade I began having learning disabilities which still follow me: I get tired really fast when I start to study (read or write), things just don't add up-basically the standard lot that "plagues" lefties.

When I was starting to write as a child, my mother noticed that even while writing with my right hand, I was adopting the standard "hooked" left hand position. My handwriting was also much to the likes of a lefty.

I am 22 now and I find doing things with my left hand to be much easier in terms of "brain effort". All my life I was afraid of using my left hand and now that I have tried it-it feels so much more natural, as opposed to using my right hand.

Now, my question is as follows: I have searched the web quite extensively and failed to find anything that even remotely resembles my situation. I want to know if there can be any health (maybe even psychological) complications if I am to continue on my way of learning to wield my left hand? And speaking of relearning, what should learn first? Writing? Any other skills I should develop or maybe some activities I should concentrate on participating in at first, so the transition can be a smooth as possible?

To tell you the truth, I am quite scared and I was looking for some support and good advice.

Thank you for listening.


PS: I also have had debilitating headaches which no one could explain or cure-usually it was a reaction to weather changes, but after I started (about two weeks ago) practicing doing things with my left hand here and there, they declined and are not so severe. The place of the ache itself was the left part of the brain, where the neck meets the scull.

April 10, 2006

Universal Design and Left Handed

A Reader wrote:

Hey everyone,

I've looked through pages on left handedness and failed to get the answers I'm looking for.

a) Why is left handedness not considered as a disability in design terms? No offence. But when I checked Universal Design 7 elements, it focuses on right handed, disabled, children and elderly. Therefore, when a product/item is considered ergonomics, it will not to left handed. This could lead to discomfort and long term injury.

b) What would be the criteria or requirements in order to make an item non biased towards right or left handers? So that lefties also could enjoy using a product.