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April 25th, 2013 (3:42 AM).
in the following, I want to call attention to a topic that I find very important as the problem of converted left-handedness is barely known in society.
Some things beforehand:
1st: A converted left-hander is a left-handed person who, for whatever reason, writes with their right (non-dominant) hand. (I will get into detail about that later.)
2nd: Writing with the non-dominant hand is an interference with the brain and may lead to severe consequences. (Again, I will get into detail about that later.)
3rd: Handedness is determined at birth and
cannot be changed
! Converting of handedness does not result in a converting of brain dominance.
Ambidextrousness does not exist
, as only one side of the brain (hemisphere) can be dominant. (The right hemisphere is dominant with left-handed people and the left hemisphere is dominant with right-handed people.) Many people who call themselves ambidextrous are, in fact, converted left-handers.
5th: They say that at least 30% of the population is left-handed. Some experts even assume that 50% of the population is left-handed. Although 50% sounds a bit too farfetched, you see that there must be a lot of converted left-handed people living in society.
By conversion of handedness, many people think of forced measures (e.g. in kindergarten or at home) where adults try to "get rid" of a child's left-handedness by using violence.
Although this is no longer allowed nowadays, among children, teenagers and (young) adults, there's still a high number of unknown cases of converted left-handers, who most of the time, don't know anything about their left-handedness and assume to be right-handed. (You also call them pseudo right-handers)
Those children may not have been forced to use their right hand. Instead, they orientate themselves by their right-handed surroundings. They don't want to stand out, they don't want to draw others' attention on them and thus, they adapt themselves to their right-handed friends, family, educators etc.
Parents normally don't care for their child's handedness until the beginning of school. However, if a child has already converted themself before, he or she will learn to write with their right hand, as both parents and educators never recognized the child's left-handedness.
If, in some cases, parents give rise to doubts, doctors may suggest the child to choose their dominant hand for themself (as doctors don't know better). Many children are then unable to cope with this decision and choose the non-dominant hand.
No matter, if somebody was forced to use the non-dominant hand or decided to use the non-dominant hand on their own, this may result in consequences.
In the following, I'll list some of the possible consequences of converting handedness:
Possible primary consequences of converting handedness:
- memory disorders (especially in the recall of learned material)
- disturbances in concentration (being easily tired) -> may lead to burnout
- egasthenic problems or dyslexia (i.e. problems in reading and writing)
- spatial disorientation (uncertainty concerning the left and right)
- disorders in fine motor skills that manifest themselves in handwriting (bad/slow hand-writing)
- disturbances in speech (ranging from stammering through stuttering)
Possible secondary consequences of converting handedness:
- inferiority complexes
- overcompensation through heightened performance (perfectionism)
- nail biting
- emotional problems (such as depressions, burnout etc.)
- disorders in the personality profile (you may not feel identical with yourself)
Many converted left-handers, who don't know about their converted handedness, may suffer from some of these consequences but can't explain why. In adulthood, some of them may seek professional help but as most therapists don't have a clue about the problems of a converted handedness, they may not be able to help at all.
Many converted left-handed people, who know that their handedness was converted, decide to go for a professional "reconversion". Reconversion means that you go back to using your left, dominant hand for writing, but also for other things.
There are so-called "left-hander counselors" where you can have your handedness tested and who may support your reconversion.
Reconversion may help get rid of the consequences I mentioned earlier. Some of the problems may disappear completely and some of them may decay. Reconversion also helps to find back to your left-handed identity which will make you feel more comfortable and may result in a better self-confidence.
There are also converted right-handers, but those are a lot more uncommon than converted left-handers. Nevertheless, converted right-handers may experience the same problems which occur with a converted left-handedness.
Well, that's it, for the most part. Feel free to ask me any questions. I hope, this topic will help someone.
I'm a converted left-hander myself and have devoted myself to this topic for more than 2 years.
During those 2 years, I've talked to many experts in this field and acquired knowledge that I want to share with others.
Joined Jan 2008
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