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Forcing "right/correct handedness" can cause a stammer.

  • 03-03-2015 6:50pm
    Registered Users Posts: 32,379 ✭✭✭✭

    There was a thread in food & drink with someone asking if holding a fork with their right hand is considered rude.

    I am right handed and eat with a fork in my right hand and knife in the left. I don't recall anybody ever trying to forcibly correct me, I do have a stammer.

    I found a post on another forum where a right handed child was forced to use his fork in his left hand and developed a stammer. When the school stopped forcing him it went away.
    Catherine originally posted a comment on our website saying:
    “My son (nearly 8), is mostly right-handed, but eats with his knife and fork the left-handed way. I have recently found out that they are forcing him to eat the ‘correct’ way at school meal times. I was shocked and outraged, but they claim that it is for his own good…. Do you have any evidence of this being harmful to a child (in the same way that forcing a change in writing handedness can be)? He complains of tiredness and headaches, and has started developing a stammer and tics. He is also highly uncoordinated and regularly spills food down clothes when eating this way. I want to force the school to stop, so need some supporting evidence. Please help!”

    Keith replied:
    The symptoms you mention ARE similar to those that can arise from changing writing hand and while I have not seen any research or evidence about changing eating hands I guess it comes to the same thing. It may also just be that he is stressed from being pressurised by his teachers and that is causing the problems rather than anything to do with brain functionâ€. I would definitely advise letting him eat whichever way seems natural to him. It will be very interesting to see if his symptoms go away when he is allowed to go back to eating his natural way.

    and we recently received a wonderful follow-up from Catherine:
    Thank you so much for emailing me. Since all this happened, we have told our son to eat with whichever hand he feels most comfortable holding his fork in, and his tics / stammer have all but gone. He is calm and unstressed now. However, the school are not happy about this and claim that eating with your cutlery the ‘right way round’ is part of their social development programme. We are actively trying to dispute this and any thoughts you have about this or any research or supporting evidence would be most welcome.

    We would be very interested in your experience of changing eating hands and any effect it had so please add your comments below.

    - See more at:
    Forced use of right hand
    Due to cultural and social pressures, many left-handed children are encouraged or forced to write and perform other activities with their right hands. This conversion can cause multiple problems in the developing left-handed child, including learning disorders, dyslexia,[27] stuttering[28][29][30] and other speech disorders.

    In a few threads here I found people saying left handed people are apparently more likely to have a stammer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭Reoil

    I think it's bollocks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,379 ✭✭✭✭rubadub

    Reoil wrote: »
    I think it's bollocks.
    Excellent post, thanks for the interesting contribution.
    Forcible conversion of handedness produces what psychologists call a “misplaced sinister,” and these unhappy people have miserable childhoods. The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a professor of mathematics at Oxford University and author of the Alice in Wonderland stories, stammered; he was also left-handed. During World War II, King George VI of England made radio addresses to his nation in a characteristic slow and deliberate style of speech—a style forced on him because he had developed a stammer between ages 7 and 8. His father, King George V, was an intimidating, stern man and insisted that he write right-handed even though it was obvious he was a dominant left-hander. In adult life he was an excellent athlete and played left-handed golf and tennis to championship standards. The personal secretary to King George VI, Sir John Wheeler-Bennett, was also left-handed and recorded how the teasing by right-handed children and the sense of being different from others produced “bitter humiliations, infuriating inhibitions and frustrations and orgies of self pity” (28). Hopefully such misplaced zeal has now disappeared from our school systems, particularly since it is recorded that a left-handed child's stammer immediately stops if forced right-handed writing is abandoned.

    Not sure if that was referenced at all in the film "the kings speech"

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,126 ✭✭✭Reoil

    I get a warning for saying the word "bollocks"? :confused:

    Mod: you got a warning for a less than useful post, and the way you expressed it. Please keep discussion civil in this forum. If you have any further issues please contact a mod by pm rather than debating on thread.