Your Left-Handed Child
Click here to order your copy of Your Left-Handed Child
A little under 2 years ago our own Lauren Milsom was approached as a leading authority on handedness, and commissioned by international publisher Hamlyn to write a detailed guide to life as a left-handed child. Now, we are pleased and proud to announce the publication of her work - "Your Left-Handed Child" on 15th April 2008.
Essential reading for any parent or teacher of a left-handed child, this book is a practical and comprehensive guide to the challenges your left-handed child may encounter from their first years right through school life and beyond. From basic skills like dressing and handwriting, to learning new sports and musical instruments, this beautifully illustrated book explains common problems caused by right handed bias in equipment and layout and offers ways to help your child harness their natural creativity and problem-solving skills to become adaptable and confident in a right-handed world.
Lauren Milsom has worked with left-handed children for over 20 years, is co-founder of the Left-Handers Association,the leading organisation for left-handers worldwide, and a Director of Anything Left-Handed, providing equipment and advice to left-handers for over 35 years. In this book she offers a fantastic insight into a left-handed child's perspective, covering aspects such as:–
• Development of left-handedness
• Pre-school development
• Strategies for everyday life
• Left-handedness in school
• Practical and educational resources
Essential skills such as writing and cutting are covered in detail with beautiful illustrations and clear, concise explanations. However, this book goes much further than any previous work into the many and varied challenges your little left-hander will encounter on a daily basis, from starting to feed themselves to their senior school years. Lauren offers simple advice and techniques - many drawing on the strengths left-handers share for lateral and creative thinking, and building on our inherent adaptability to overcome and avoid myriad small frustrations. The aim is to ensure your child develops a positive approach to problem-solving, and always considers their left-handedness a strength rather than a problem.
The need for such guidance has become increasingly obvious in recent years. Drawing on results of a unique study among left-handed students, this book details difficulties and bias in areas of the curriculum not previously considered as prblems, but which affect many left-handed students on a daily basis.
Lauren explains “From a detailed survey of over 2,000 schoolchildren, the feedback brought to light difficulties in a wide range of subjects, such as IT, Art, Science and Design Technology, often relating specifically to poor layout or equipment with a strong right-bias. It was obvious suggestions and solutions were needed to overcome difficulties not just in core skills for young children, but in these specialist subjects encountered by older students.”
Examples of Right-bias in school
Computer Mouse - If your left-handed student has more control of the mouse in his left hand, add a simple piece of software to the desktop to swap the functionality of the two buttons so they work correctly in the left-hand.
Desk positioning - To avoid knocking elbows and cramped desk space, sit left-handed students at the left of a double desk, or at the left end or a row. If chairs with hinged writing tablets are used, always ensure there are enough left-handed ones for those students who need them – remember they are often too embarrassed to ask, and should never be sent off round the school looking for the odd left-handed desk that might be spare.
Workbooks and binders - Printed workbooks or test papers often have the questions in the left column and answer space on the right, so left-handers are constantly covering up the questions, or they may be too far to the left of the desk to read easily. A second question sheet positioned to the right of the answer space can help. The bindings, and spiral binding on pads are underneath the left-hand, so if note taking is uncomfortable your child could try making Mind Maps with the notebook turned landscape – it also appeals to lefties creativity and visual thinking.
Using the whiteboard - Left-handed students should stand at the right of the whiteboard, with their writing arm out to their left and underneath their writing or drawing. Otherwise, their hand will follow behind their work, and immediately erase what they are writing!
Science – Left-handers pour and stir with their left hand so keep all chemicals, ingredients and tools to the left during experiments. When working in pairs, the left hander should stand to the left to avoid knocking elbows. Microscopes and other equipment with controls on the right side are harder for the left hander to reach and control.
DT/metal/woodwork – Check safety overrides on heavy machinery and power tools can be reached by a left-hander in an emergency. They are usually positioned for a right-hander’s safety so can be hard for lefties to reach. Workshop and equipment layout for right-handers' ease often means left-handers don’t have room to work, so attempt to use powerful and dangerous tools “backwards” crossing their arms over their body or using their weaker hand – both very dangerous.
Food Tech – As with kitchens at home, many food preparation implements such as kitchen scissors, peelers, can openers and serrated knives are right-handed, and thus awkward to use for a left-hander, slowing them down and causing more accidents.
"Your Left-Handed Child" is an invaluable handbook that you will keep referring to through the many stages of your child's life.
About the Author: For the past 20 years Lauren Milsom has helped her family run the world's original left-handed shop – the much loved Anything Left-Handed Shop which was in central London since 1968 – only closing it last year to concentrate on the company’s successful worldwide internet business. Lauren is a leading expert on many aspects of left-handedness and, with her husband Keith, formed the Left-Handers Association in 1989, a pressure group and information source for improvements in product design, teaching of writing and other skills.
In 1990 she was instrumental in the launch of Left-Handers Day, an annual awareness day on 13th August which is still celebrated by sinistrals worldwide to highlight the creativity, artistic talent and adaptability of left-handers. She runs the advice and information pages on left-handed websites www.anythingleft-handed.co.uk, www.lefthandedchildren.org and www.lefthandersday.com and contributes to the monthly e-newsletter sent to over 50,000 Left-Handers Club members worldwide. Lauren is a regular guest on TV and radio discussions and writes articles for health, education and family publications.
128 pages full colour. Published by Hamlyn 2008. ISBN 9780600614807. RRP £9.99
Click here to order your copy of Your Left-Handed Child