May 20, 2009

Same Problem as Hawkins guy

Jeimy wrote:

I'm 13, and I should be lefthanded. My grandmother (supposedly) bound my left wrist to my stroller when I was a baby so that I was forced to be a righty. I've been trying to improve my left hand's abilities and practiced writing left hand, and failed. I have bad hand righthand writing, and I tried improving it, and failing also. When I write cursive... well, let's just say that even my teachers told me to write print on class essays. I don't know if writing with my left hand will improve my handwriting, but I am willing to try anything right now. Always getting little notes saying "Improve your handwriting! Write LEGIBLY" on my homework and essays just stresses me out. HELP PLEASE T-T


  1. Hi, I'm a lefty turned righty too and I've had the problem before. Try forcing yourself to write slowly and neatly for a week or two and you'll naturally get used to it. I hope this helped.

  2. Similarly to Jeimy, I was "switched". I use my left hand for everything, but writing. The handwriting causes physical pain in my hand. I tried to relearn writing with left hand when I was 22y old, but I gave up quickly. Now I am 43y old. Soon I will be a nurse, and it means handwriting charts, so I am thinking of giving another try. However, I feel like it is going to be another uphill.
    Does any of you tried to switch back to the left hand? What is your experience? Did you use any specific method?
    Jeimy, did you try Ingrid's suggestion?

  3. yes i did. for the first week and a half, the slow, excruciating lefthanded writing took forever, and often gave my left hand cramps. i was about to give up, when i noticed that my lefthand writing DID get better :) i can write my name very well, and my t's are more straight. my circles are getting better too. btw, i draw, and i realized when i drew with my lefthand a lot, for big parts, my lefthand writing always got a little bit better. more controlled. i think filling out a circle, or any of the simple shapes will help a lot. it did for me.

  4. Ingrid gave some very good advice. Not sure if she would like to comment further, but I would enjoy learning more about the source of her insights.

    I do know from personal experience that you have to practice your new writing skills before the 'critics' judge your new handwriting by attempting to read it. Some people don't like the natural back slant of that the left hand produces in the same way that the right hand naturally produces a forward slant.

    I see my ability to write neatly in left-handed cursive as a real gift, something that I enjoy immensely at work, almost like an artist having fun by painting pictures when writing personal notes, signing letters etc. But, if I don't slow down as Ingrid suggested and write mindfully, my writing can get sloppy. I find that it's especially helpful to start the first few words of the day slowly and with awareness, taking pride in what I'm doing and maintaining that attitude toward writing as much as possible.

    Keep in mind the fact that the writing skills of the newly recruited hand are brand new and they will improve with time, but the process takes time, just as the original learning process that enabled use of the non-dominant hand took time. One way of looking at this experience is to think of it as a late version of "growing up all over again" something that calls for a willingness to be humbled for a time.

    If you want to read the story of what I did to recover left-handedness and with time, far better cursive writing skills starting at age 41, see my book Hidden Handedness. The book includes progressive writing samples going from sloppy to neat cursive form over time. It took hours and hours of practice, but it was truly worth it and it was a lot of fun too! Rosemary has very kindly listed my book on this website.

    One of the better books just out that you may find very helpful is MOVE INTO LIFE by Anat Baniel - she describes herself as a "Movement Coach". You can also see her work on You Tube. The key points of her new book are - mindful movement and slow as well as gentle lower-force movements that allow the brain to 'light up' new areas by taking it out of automatic mode and greatly enhancing learning by "turning on the learning switch" in the body and brain.

    Some day it would be really neat if those seeking healing from the trauma of handedness reversals had access to therapies that used principals such as those taught by Baniel that would enable a return to one's innate handedness in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

    We also need inexpensive diagnostic tests to make it possible to understand these questions from a scientific perspective, and clinical research on the process of returning to native handedness too.

    Meantime, here's wishing you every success in your journey!

    Thanks to Rosemary for providing a forum that's opened up discussions on this topic.

    Samuel Randolph

  5. im 19 now. 3 months ago I was still a forced righty, but it's over now. I write with my lefty. With hard practice, you will do it.

  6. anyway, anyone knows what will happen with "switch-overs", who were forced to right hand ?
    I read in Power of Other Hand that they will have difficulty finding their way in life, long term effects. I ll be greatly appreciated if anyone elaborates more in this matter.

  7. I heard that "switch-overs" are likely to be ambidextrous (you can use both hands) and dyslexic. They, or we, are likely to stutter and mix up words when we talk, especially in an agitated state. I'm not sure about the first case, since if you learn to write with your left hand again, you'll still have the use of your right hand, which is like being able to use both hands. But I did have some trouble myself with slight dyslexia. I don't stutter, but I stumble my words a lot. Especially when I'm mad or yelling. I sometimes mix up the order of the words, or I just say the wrong thing, or I just blab. Example: "WHY did you have to dotgahs... ahhh I can't talk today. Blehh. So, why did you gave I mean have AHHH!!!"

  8. Jeimy, I have mixed-hand dominance; that is, I can do some things "well" with my right and some things "well" with my left and I can also do some of the same things with both hands; by the way, this is NOT ambidexterity. I said that to say this: pick up a pen with your right (dominant) hand and write something other than your name (like, dictionary). First, print it. With the pen still in your right hand, take another pen in your left hand and notice how you are holding the pen in your right hand and hold it EXACTLY the same way. Start out by writing simultaneously; it will not be good -- but notice the "mistakes" that you are making with your left hand. Notice that you are not making the exact motions with your left hand, of course, because of your lack of skill with it. The ONLY reason that you do not write as well with your left is that you have not (yet) DEVELOPED the skill, the strength in it. Think of teaching a child to throw a ball; it's not that they can't do it, they just need practice. The main reason that the average girl cannot throw a baseball or football as well as a guy is that she has not practiced nearly as much; it is not that she is not capable -- she just has not practiced. It's the same with your left hand. Practice brushing your teeth; eating, combing/brushing your hair with your left hand. This will develop more skill and sturdiness in it and you will send "left-hand" messages to your brain. Presently, you are THINKING right-handed; as soon as you begin to THINK left-handed, you will develop better skills in using it. If you would like to discuss this further with me, email me.

  9. I'm interested in handwriting and came across these a while back:

    In the second vid she goes into a bit more detail about lefties. Hope this helps.


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