In the USSR, all left-handed children were forced to hold the pen as it should be — in the right hand. Later it turned out that this does much more harm than good. But it is still necessary to pay special attention to the left-hander.

Our expert — neurologist, head of the department of the Clinic of Nervous Diseases named after A. Ya. Kozhevnikova of the Clinical Center of Sechenov University, a member of the Moscow Society of Neurologists Ksenia Shevtsova.

Lefties make up 10% of the population. Although at the dawn of mankind, according to anthropologists, left-handers and right-handers were equally divided. But since the world is still adapted for right-handed people, many representatives of the other clan went over to the side of the majority. Should all lefties do this?

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«Who’s walking right there?»

If your three-year-old is deftly wielding one or the other hand, or prefers only one of them, do not rush to write him down as right-handed, left-handed or ambidexterous (those few who are equally good with both hands). It is possible to determine the leading hand only by 4-5 years. But sometimes the child performs everyday actions with his left hand, and draws with his right.

«Left-handed» and «left-handed» are similar concepts, but not the same. With a leading left hand, a person may not be left-handed in the full sense of the word. In a true left-hander, not only the left hand is leading, but the entire left side (leg, eye, ear). If a child does a lot of things “with one hand”, you need to show him to a neurologist or neuropsychologist. The specialist will determine the leading side, and also find out if the baby has a deficit of the left hemisphere, which is responsible for speech, self-control (left-handed people may have difficulty with this).

He is talented!

In ancient times, left-handers were extolled, considered the chosen ones. And in the Middle Ages, on the contrary, they were attributed to the accomplices of the devil, in some countries they were forbidden to testify in courts, to occupy the throne. The left hemisphere of a person is responsible for logic and analytics. The center of speech is also located there. The right one controls orientation in space, creativity, intuition, imaginative thinking. «Right hemispheres», to which left-handers are referred, perceive the surrounding images and not in parts, but holistically. However, it is certainly not worth considering right-handers as «mathematicians» and left-handers as «artists», since both hemispheres interact with each other.

The opinion that left-handed people do not have access to what right-handed people have, and vice versa, is not supported by the facts. Nevertheless, left-handed people have given humanity a lot of geniuses: Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Mikhail Lomonosov, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin… The differences between right- and left-handers are not so great. But often left-handers are indeed more emotional, anxious, they perceive information worse by ear than by eye. But they have more developed spatial thinking, they are creative and witty.

Lefty is always right

It is impossible to retrain a left-hander — interhemispheric interaction may be disrupted. Especially if the child has already begun to write with his left hand. Forced intervention in the functions of the brain is fraught with irritability, fatigue, anxiety, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, stuttering, tics, enuresis, headaches. Against this background, there will be problems with academic performance. A child who is forced to shift the pen to the other hand may begin to write slowly, clumsily and illegibly, the letters will become mirrored. Dyslexia and dysgraphia (difficulties with reading and writing) are also likely.

There is a risk that a retrained left-hander will have problems with orientation in space, poor body control, and nervousness for the rest of his life. In addition, today there are any devices for writing at the service of left-handers.

How to help a lefty

Develop gross motor skills. Let the child play outdoor games, climb, catch the ball.

Unobtrusively develop the right hand. Offer to collect puzzles, a designer, a mosaic with it, tie shoelaces, sculpt. It would be nice to give the child to sports where both hands are involved.

Organize space for living and studying in a special way. Place the table lamp to the right of the child. Buy special pens, scissors, a left-handed computer mouse.

Do not rush to learn to write and read. To prepare for writing, any games for spatial thinking are suitable: sea battle, graphic dictations. It is important to learn how to shade pictures from different angles.

Do not push the child if he writes slowly. To teach left-handers to write, special recipes have been developed for left-handers (there is no right inclination of letters). The technique of continuous writing is not suitable for left-handed people. Speak out the plan for writing each letter to avoid mirroring.

Deal with increased anxiety. Sand therapy, needlework, drawing, dancing, and a theater group will help here.

Ask the teacher to seat the child on the left side of the desk so that it does not interfere with the neighbor by pushing him with his elbow.

Give a clear algorithm of actions, avoiding abstract tasks. Left-handed people are visual: they perceive visual information better.

Learn to cross the road. The rule to look first to the left, then to the right, left-handers often do the opposite. Bring the sequence of actions to automatism.


The LRRTM1 gene for left-handedness was found, located on the 2nd chromosome. By the way, it simultaneously affects the formation of emotions and the development of speech. Genetics play a big role in the development of left-handedness. The probability of having a left-handed child in right-handed parents is low — 2-6%. If only one of the parents is left-handed, the probability increases to 17%, if both — up to 50%.