FEEDBACK ON LATENT /CONVERTED HANDED DIAGNOSIS

Professional

In 2008, Professor Tommy McKay, ex-President of the British Psychologocial Society, in a Conduct Hearing, commented:

  • How did you discover the phenomenon of latent / converted handedness?
  • You are doing what no other psychologist [in the UK] is doing.
  • Do you have a view on why practice does not follow research?
  • Shouldn't all educational psychologists, clinical psychologists, forensic psychologists; indeed all psychologists know about latent or converted handedness?

Andrea Pecherek, Chartered Educational Psychologist and former Chair of the British Psychological Society Regulatory Affairs Board in the same Conduct Hearing, 2008 commented: 

  • I am completely unfamiliar with all the references that Dr Mathews cites and uses
  • No other psychologist [in the UK] works the way Dr Mathews does
  • I would like to work with Dr Mathews in the future
  • All children should have an Individual Education Plan like this one.

Judge Mort, 2005  "Why don't all psychologists know about this mismatch between the writing and the adept hand?"


Clients

Client feedback demonstrates the success of wrighthand.net's radical, and in the UK innovatory, evaluations, reports and behaviour change progammes for personal, educational, medico-legal, legal and business purposes.

Parents

Post evaluation feedback and before written report received.

Thanks very much for the summary report and thank you also for talking me through the issues last night. It was very helpful and gave me more confidence for the meeting with M's class teacher today.

Surprisingly the meeting went really well. She started by listing what M had been doing over the last few days. Basically having tantrums and getting frustrated over things like not being able to get all his stuff into his bag, kicking his water bottle in frustration, constantly playing with the velcro on his shoes, getting angry if he got the answer to a question wrong etc. etc. There was nothing 'major' and she was reluctant to talk about yesterdays outburst (on her part) and I did not push the issue. Although I did make the point that M had not got to sleep until 9.30 because he was anxious and that I thought this was because he had heard her comments.

Anyway we then told her about the family workshop and went through the points I had discussed with you. She was very supportive and could see the logic behind it. She is happy to support the transition between hands and also agreed to hold back on any intervention until we have the full report and have a meeting. She was supportive of an IEP to aid the transition and is going to follow up with the Head. So it all seems positive and S and I felt really encouraged by her response.

Thanks again for your help,

B

After evaluation report received and  before clarification questions

The IEP as far as we can remember was instigated early in year 2.

The Toe by Toe programme was started in the Spring term of year 2 (2007). He seems to find this fairly easy, its done in very short bursts about 5 mins a time so I don't think he is phased by doing it. Strangely he seems to have greater success blending to read nonsense words rather than actual words that should be more recognisable. He has an allocated teaching assistant who does this with him a couple of times a week and we are meant to have it home at weekends to do with him too.

The reception teacher uses the 'Thinking Wall in the same way as a 'naughty step' or similar; think it's unlikely that E would have been exposed to this as the teacher at the time was different. As a point of interest this reception teacher had a lot of illness and eventually left the year early, leaving the school rather in the lurch. This reception teacher struggled to cope with him as we recall, parents evening wasn't pleasant, we were often called in regarding his behaviours at this time. The messy table is where they use old bits of boxes and cartons to make things - we don't think the old teacher did this with E’s year. The messy table and the thinking wall are not something E is exposed to in year 3.

Our interpretation was of his wish to tell his teacher he is poorly is a way of trying to get out of or stop having to do what he is asked to do. Or even be sent home from - or not go to - school. Our best guess is its physiological.

We also believe E is a bright boy who struggles to show this in the traditional academic way. We have long held the view that he is battling a specific learning difficulty or a dyslexia of some type. He often has a problem with authority and rules - he possibly thinks them absurd as you seem to suggest. We look forward to reading your report and your suggestions for ways in which we can help him. . Thanks again,

Thanks again,

M&V

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One headteacher's radical & innovatory practice is another's mal-practice

Of particular interest are the two related set of testimonials - one from a parent and one from a aeadteacher - in relation to a complaint made by a headteacher who objected to the form and content of the evaluation and report commissioned by parents of a pupil of her's. The third-party complained that the evaluation and report did not conform to the practice of reasonably competent educational psychologists. Not only was it not an educational psychology assessment but it was confirmed in the Hearing that no psychologist in the UK, whether educational, counselling or forensic seeks to eliminate a potential mis-match between the writing and the adept hand as contributing to intractable personal problems. Perversely the panel found this radical, but hardly innovatory -in the light of Dr Sattler's work- practice evidence of mal-practice warrenting exlusion from the British Psychological Societies Register of Chartered Psychologists. The only sensible conclusion to be drawn from this decision was the protection of too many vested interests.

 

Parents' testimony

We recently received a letter from Dr Peter Mathews asking whether we would consider acting as witnesses against a charge of professional misconduct made recently against Dr Mathews by a head teacher.

First of all we can confirm that, last year, we engaged the services of Dr Mathews to carry out a psychological examination for educational purposes in order to help our son, M, at school. This examination was followed by a report and a subsequent meeting between ourselves, Dr Mathews and M’s teachers and head teacher.

Following the initial examination, Dr Mathews diagnosed M with latent left-handedness and issued a report containing material relating to this condition and also recommendations for us and the school on how to encourage M to use his left hand, which Dr Mathews claims to be his more adept hand. This was followed up at the meeting with the teachers at which we discussed ways in which M could be helped in the school environment.

Since the meetings, we have kept in contact with Dr Mathews, mostly by email to discuss M’s progress.

Throughout our dealings with Dr Mathews, we have had no cause for complaint about his conduct or professionalism. Whilst we are not entirely convinced that M’s latent left-handedness underlies all of his behavioural difficulties, we have continued to pursue many of Dr Mathews’ suggestions. We have found these to help M and ourselves to approach situations differently and avoid no-win situations with considerable success.

Although we are unable to comment on the validity of latent left-handedness we can certainly say that his input has been beneficial to our family and for that we are grateful to Dr Mathews. In particular, we have learned a great deal from the positive way in which Dr Mathews has engaged with M and this has helped us to change our own approach for the better.

Mr and Mrs S

Headteacher's testimony

I am writing with reference to your letter dated 10th May 2008 requesting whether I would be prepared to act as a witness for you against the charge of professional misconduct made by a Headteacher against you.
I have read your letter carefully and with interest but unfortunately must decline your request for me to act as a witness in this case.
My reasons are as follows: I have only had a short professional acquaintance with you, as a consequence of parents of a pupil at this school engaging your services. Whilst I was entirely happy with how we all worked together to support your work with this pupil I do not feel I have enough personal knowledge of your professional work to comment further.
The issue of latent/converted handedness I found very interesting and I recognise and understand your need to pursue the research and raise the profile of the "condition" in order to be of benefit to those who may need it. I'm afraid my personal knowledge of the issue is limited to the articles accompanying the pupil's report and the discussion we had at the meeting, therefore" I feel it is insufficient for me to make a valid contribution to any debate about the issues involved.
Finally, I feel that your request would place me in a position where there would be a conflict of interest with the person who has made the allegation, since that person is a member of my own profession, and therefore I feel that it would be inappropriate for me to be seen to be in conflict with their views.
I am sorry that I can't be more helpful on this occasion.
C.L. (Mrs) Headteacher: 13/5/2008

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Adults

Dyslexia Inquiry
I am looking for an psychologist to carry out an assessment for dyslexia. I am 36 years old and I am currently in my 3rd year of my AA T accounting qualification. I have sailed through the financial accounting side of the course, but have had terrible problems with the costings side of the course. I struggled in the 1 st and 2nd year with co stings but manged to scrape through (through sheer determination, dedication and hard work). I have two costings papers to sit in June and I am only going into my third lesson on Thursday and just the thought of my next lesson makes me feel extremely anxious....

N : 21/1/2008

After receiving evaluation report
I have had such a hectic month. When I looked at the report, I thought oh my god how will I ever get the time to sit down and read all of that! I’ve finally managed it. I can’t believe the difference in my selfl confidence since receiving my diagnosis (particularly the dyslexia and dyscalculia). I have been so frustrated all these years, not being able to grasp things first time or as quickly as those around me. This has always made me feel so inadequate. I just knew in high school that I had a major problem learning maths. I kept telling my teacher but she just would not listen. Its funny when I told one of my friends about my diagnosis at college she said " But I always thought that you were really intelligent'!". Its like people don't believe I have dyslexia because I can read and write, this is just like the reaction of my maths teacher. I think its something I will have to put up with all my life. I just said its nothing to do with how intelligent I am I just learn in a different way to you, I have to find my own way to learn most of the time and this generally takes a bit longer than the average person. There is a plus side to this though that counteracts the slower learning, once I grasp something there is no stopping me, I work extremely quickly. All the exams I have sat so far I have done in half the allocated time and came out feeling extremely confident. (probably a touch of ADHD!!!)

Anyway, I can't thank you enough, you have finally told me why I have been struggling so much all my life. When my mind goes blank now I put my pen in my left hand and touch the paper with it and it does actually help me. I haven’t got the tine at the moment as you can imagine to learn to write with my left hand to see if this will help me, but at the end of the course I am definitely going to give it a go!

Thank you so much!

N : 11/3/2008

Defending an assault charge
[ ] many thanks for all your support, you have no idea the help that has been given.
B H : 8/1/2006

Fitness to work
Thanks very much for your kind advice and the pointer to Dr. Sattler's website. I appreciate your advice re DDA. I'm quite au fait with the DDA (as revised 2005) and will ensure if it escalates to that point I have taken all necessary steps.
A R : 5/7/2009

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Employment Tribunals (DDA)

Joint instruction - after report received
I write to inform you that this case has now concluded and that the parties will not require any further assistance in relation to this matter. May I take this opportunity to thank you for your assistance.

Eversheds LLP : 1/2/2008

Single instruction- after report received
Just to let you know that the Respondent has conceded that Ms B is disabled. Many thanks for your help.
Belshaws Solicitors Ltd : 28/8/2008

 

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Crown Court Cases: Recidivism

  • Context: this case was prompted by a High Court Judge wondering why the young offender continued to re-offend in spite of all the 'special' help he had been given. Clearly something was missing in his evaluations.
    "Today this matter came before HHJ Mort who, after considering the matter (and remembering your last report) spoke to GSL who agreed to allow the defendant to be produced at Minshull St Crown Court for 2.15pm on [date]. GSL have agreed to allow you and A S to attend in the cell area to undertake the assessment (which will be overseen by a member of GSL). - Draycott & Browne Solicitors : 18/9/2008"

  • Thank you very much indeed for your very detailed and helpful psychological examination. -Brian Koffman & Co : 18/1/2005

  • Thank you very much indeed for your detailed and helpful report in respect of this matter. Mr P who defended L W has asked me to pass on his regards to you and confirm how helpful the report was in dealing with mitigation. - Brian Koffman & Co : 20/4/2005

  • Thank you very much indeed in respect of the above named. You will be pleased to note that on [date] the case was listed for sentence and the Judge sentenced Mr E to a Community Rehabilitation Order for two years. Mr E was extremely pleased with the outcome of this hearing and extremely relieved that he did not have to go back to prison. He has asked me to thank all those involved in assisting him obtain this sentence including yourself. - Brian Koffman & Co :3/6/2005

  • Glad I have been able to help you. I have learnt that Trafford Borough Education didn't really have a clue as to what B's learning difficulties were and that in the morning session you had identified what the problem was, something that I would not of recognised or thought about, and that they never identified with all tests that they had done over the years. - W (Parent of Crown Court defendant): 17/7/2008

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