Users and the nature of our expertise
Wrighthand is for those who are just curious about the role of the hands, the hegemony of the /right/ and Pepper's world-views in handling seemingly intractable difficulties. Solving personal / interpersonal difficulties involves exploring with clients the links between cultural right / left world views and their roots in egocentric right / left lateralisation. One conjecture is that those who see the left and right hand operating together for the mutual benefit of the self also co-operate with others for their joint benefit: and those who see the left and right hand contending for sole supremacy also seek supremacy over others. User groups include:
- Children - Parents
- Human Resource Managers
- Legal Profession
- Local Education Authorities
How current expertise evolved - working with and for the above user groups:
- identifying obstacles which prevent individuals, teams and organisations from fulfilling their potential,
- constructing personalised self-education programmes,
- accepting that difficulties come in bundles and affect more than just the individual,
- debugging intractable problems in a puzzle-driven and task-oriented manner,
- using criterion-referenced functional tasks, not norm-referenced psychometric tests,
- informing other professions / occupations about latent / converted handedness, its implications for assessment and consequences for individuals, family, work-place and society.
This site will be of little value to those who only want answers to 'closed' rather than 'open-ended' questions.
Children - Parents
Whatever a child's problem - dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD, giftedness, behaviour difficulty, conduct problem or undiagnosed learning difficulty - it is assumed that parents will already have raised or tried to raise their concerns with the relevant pre-school, school or post-school child-help agencies. Wrighthand.net steps in when parents have made little, slow or no progress in resolving their concerns.
- preceded by completion of pre-session questionnaires,
- conducted as home-based family workshops,
- often supplemented by a participant observation at school / college,
- followed-up with personalised education programmes,
- followed-up with a 3-way meeting amongst parents, teachers and evaluator where necessary,
- followed-up one-year later to confirm progress.
Wrighthand.net can also help:
- where not all children's problems are educational: to quote just one example, post traumatic stress disorder caused by involvement in or witness to a road traffic accident.
- when parents are dissatisfied with their child's schooling, and have chosen to home-educate.
Teachers are, or rather ought to be, behaviour change agents par excellence since the essence of teaching is to induce pupils and students who cannot do something to be able to do it, whether the 'it' be social, intellectual, emotional or physical or a combination of all four facets.
All teachers are therefore in the ideal position to identify problems with 'thinking with pen and paper'. Such problems hint at latent / converted handedness. Identiftying and treating this handedness condition, should it be present, ought to be a 'standard for teaching' . Handedness is a shorthand label for describing the structure and function of the brain, its ability to organize what it sees, hears and feels into coherent action. Whenever the non-adept hand is used, particularly for writing, multi-faceted teaching-learning difficulties arise which cross academic boundaries and professional allegiances.
Are you hoping to or already attending college or university? Are you getting the grades you deserve, or rather getting the grades you need? Irrespective of whether you intend following or already are on a vocational or academic course you need to obtain value for the time, money and effort you invest. If you feel you are not fulfilling your potential or your talents have not been acknowledged wrighthand.net can:
- identify the obstacles to fulfilling your potential,
- prepare a programme of activities to handle the obstacles,
- prepare reports detailing the above for those who 'need to know'.
Life's difficulties -in relationships, at work, with stress, depression, generalised anxiety, bi-polarity or simply 'I don't know what my problem is problem," are tackled from a self-efficacy perspective. The assumption is that few individuals, if any, have an entirely problem-free existence, and that not every difficulty constitutes an enduring well-being difficulty. Only those difficulties we had yesterday, last week, last month, last year and longer, can be called intractable. Their continued existence, despite our best efforts to resolve them, leads to one of two conclusions: either there is no solution or that we have not yet found the tools to resolve them.
Whatever the nature of the adult difficulty, wrighthand.net evaluations and treatment programmes are based on a holistic model of human functioning. One implication is that if something is found to be out of kilter with any single facet - physical, intellectual, emotional or social - closer probing will almost certainly reveal other facets to be out of kilter too.
Initial evaluations identify out-of-kilter facets, core-world views and abiity to handle unfamiliar tasks. Treatment programmes involve prompted self-education.
Human Resource Managers
Are you concerned with employees' fitness-to-work: or trying to comply with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) law when making reasonable adjustments in the workplace for employees presenting with dyslexia, dyspraxia or other disabilities.
Businesses in general seek to maximise the efficacy of their employees and company success, through their conditions of employment, which includes a legal responsibility to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees. Two additional pieces of legislation cover these responsibilities.
But problems can still arise, even where employees claim they have declared their disability and where businesses have strained to make reasonable adjustments in the workplace. Many employers still find themselves having to face Employment Tribunals against claimants' charges of unfair dismissal. Although many of these cases spend much time disputing whether, and how, the disability was declared when signing the employment contract , the actionable dispute is over the issue of whether reasonable adjustments have been made.
Although litigation is often conducted as a zero-sum game, it is more often the case that both parties are in the right: sufficient behavioural evidence exists to justify a claimant's disability label and that reasonable adjustments have been made. Separately, however, they often fail to resolve the fitness-to-work question because one underlying cause of the complainant's body-mind 'disability'' has not been identified. This body-mind condition is not specified in the DDA; although it is covered indirectly under the 'to be discovered' paragraph. This explains in a nutshell, why most reasonable adjustments in the workplace fail to resolve the fitness-to-work dispute.
Health and Safety Regulations
First, employers have a general duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees so far as is reasonably practicable. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require all employers to assess and manage all risks to which employees are exposed at work including any risks of stress related injury. By complying with the regulations employers will not only reduce the incidence of work-related stress in the workplace but will also be protected from claims for psychiatric injury that may arise from breach of the regulations irrespective of negligence. There is much guidance on managing stress and risk management: in particular, identifying the specific stress risk hazards in your workplace, deciding who might be at risk, evaluating the actual level of risk, recording what action needs to be taken to avoid or reduce the risk, and monitoring and reviewing to ensure your human resource measures are effective.
Disability Discrimination Act
Second employers have duties under the Disability Discrimination Act. Many believe that the Disability Discrimination Act refers only to physical disability. However, the Act also provides for mental health conditions that prevent a person from carrying out their normal work. The Act makes it clear that employers cannot discriminate against an employee on the grounds of a disabling mental health condition. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of an employee whose mental health condition lasts longer than 12 months.
Again there is plenty of advice available on the internet over what 'reasonable adjustment' means. Moreover, while it is not necessary for the disability to be precisely defined in medical terms eg, dyslexia or dyspraxia, in practice such labels carry much weight in unfair dismissal Employment Tribunal cases.
Latent / Converted Handedness: A Hidden Condition
There are few, if any occupations, where writing in some form or other is not required. It is therefore not surprising to find one problem-area, often cited by business leaders, is the standard of employees' written communications. This is so, even when reading and writing are not the key features of employment. The main source of this and other apparently unrelated difficulties is that they are not writing with their adept hand. Irrespective of whether the adept is their left or right hand, this was not observed and corrected throughtout their schooling.
Human Resource Managers will be indirectly aware of the consequences of the mis-match between the writing and adept hand, where it exists. They will be unaware of its singular cause and therefore not be able to make appropriate reasonable adjustments. The result is that much time, effort and money is spent making 'unreasonable' adjustments which eventually result in yet more time and money consuming litigation.There is currently no directly relevant legislation dealing directly with this condition, its associated difficulties or treatment.
No one seeks a solicitor's help for writing with the non-adept hand. Why should they? On the surface this condition would appear to have little to do with the reason for anyone seeking the services of a solicitor. Yet the condition is associated with a variety of presenting problems involving civil and criminal litigation: repeat offending, rehabilitation, conflict resolution, and delayed recovering from post traumatic stress disorder. Wrighthand.net has established a reputation for identifying this unacknowledged body-mind condition as a co-factor in such cases, working with solicitors involved with:
- the Ministry of Justice's concerns: pre-empting anti-social behaviour becoming criminal and reducing recidivism rates,
- Employment Tribunals, when complaints of unfair dismissal are made against employers, or the adequacy of reasonable adjustments in the workplace are queried under Disability Discrimination Legislation,
- challenging the adequacy of educational provision under Special Educational Needs Legislation,
- identifying and explaining the enduring nature of post traumatic stress disorder resulting from road traffic accidents.
If briefing instructions fail to include a request to confirm or reject whether a client writes with the adept hand:
- sentencing guidelines will be inadequately drafted,
- adequate reasonable adjustments in the workplace cannot be made,
- Individual Education Plans based on formal Statements of Special Educational Needs will be grossly inadequate and lead to transgenerational learning difficulties,
- treatment programmes wil neglect the interplay between RTA induced trauma and an underlying ill-at-easeness.
Those working within the legal / penal professions should:
- be aware of the possibility that a client's writing hand might not be the adept hand,
- know that the condition is called converted or latent handedness,
- know that labelling the condition as handedness is shorthand for a general ill-at-ease body-mind problem,
- be aware of the implications of latent / converted handedness for the conduct of psychological assessments and the consequences for human conduct in general,
- ensure that expert witnesses -whether medical consultant, therapist or psychologist- can recognise, diagnose and treat latent / converted handedness,
- know that the condition does not figure in the DSM-IV, the ICD-10, in the Disability Discrimination Act nor SEN's legislation,
- know that Dr Barbara Sattler has been identifying and treating the condition over the past 20 years with her team of consultant practitioners in Munich, Germany,
- know that a proposal is being made to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for "the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of latent / converted handedness".
The condition can and generally does have profoundly all pervasive negative consequences. It is for this reason that failure to confirm or eliminate the presence of the condition when conducting personal, educational, medical, medico-legal or legal evaluations, has such profound consequences for the success or failure of any recommended treatment.
Evaluations for legal purposes have been / can be conducted:
- in high-security custodial settings where special authorisation is required to allow the use of the evaluation tools,
- in the work-place,
- in the familiar setting of the client's home.
Local Education Authorities and Behaviour-Change Professionals
Local Education Authorities are involved one way or another with the welfare and education of children. They have worked principally through teachers and educational psychologists.
Participatory observation reveals the existence of four body-mind, or rather hand-cerebral hemisphere, states.
|Matching handedness?||Adept: hand-body|
|right||harmony: within self and the world||harmony: with the world but not within self|
|left||disharmony: both within self and the world||harmony: within self but not the world|
Teachers are but one category of behaviour change agents. Those who accept the practical knowledge distinction between a writing and an adept hand, and who also reject head-versus-hand and theory-versus-practice dichotomies, may wish to login as a user with access to library material and subscribed to licenced material with a view to ultimately obtaining practitioner status. Further information can be gained via the User tab or below.
Wrighthand.net is currently located in Warrington, Cheshire, UK. The precedent for doing things differently in Warrington was established long ago with the Warrington Academy 1756-1782, a prominent dissenting teaching establishment.
Wrighthand.net focuses simultaneously on a major body-mind problem manifesting itself as a mis-match between the writing and adept hand, in the context of an over-arching world-view perspective. It is therefore able to tackle a variety of difficulties generally regarded as discrete: personal, educational, medico-legal and legal. It does so under both single and joint instruction.
Expertise: three-fold backcloth
Expertise is, in its simplest terms, measured in terms of breadth and depth of experience. It evolves through interaction with others in a reflecting, theorising and modelling manner. It cannot be trained by blindly and unquestioningly following old rituals. Its academic aspect is marked by scholarship and speculation.
From a childhood perspective, quoting from Lourie & Lourie who wrote, nearly 40 years ago:
“Child-help in this country is still provided through a confused set of fragmented services. We parcel children out to institutions on the basis of social, legal, and sometimes diagnostic labels that neither describe the child nor offer a prescriptive base for treatment. A new, universally accepted classification system for children is needed: institutions now defined by category must be replaced by functional institutional arrangements.
- We know that childhood difficulties begin in infancy, yet our child programs concentrate on events beginning after this critical period,
- Our programs do not follow research findings. We concentrate on those likely to be cured rather than on the tough cases.”
They said this about provision in the USA: yet it seems just as true in the UK today. They went on to say:
“Most observers agree on the following conclusions about present child helping systems:
- Service delivery arrangements are geared more to professional and field needs than to the needs of children,
- We deal with crises more than prevention,
- We reach only a fraction of the need population."
From an adult perspective, Efran, Lukens & Lukens stated in 1990:
"We illustrate how people create meaningful lives for themselves by drawing distinctions and sharing narratives. Along the way we grapple with concepts that confuse people in their attempts to understand how they operate - ideas such as free will, purpose, choice, control and change. We also redefine the term emotion, showing how older conceptions that divide a person's functioning into separate cognitive, behavioural, and affective components perpetuate misunderstandings about the nature of conflict. Finally, we bring the threads we have been developing together and describe therapy as an educational processs - an enquiry into frameworks of meaning..."
From a professional bodies' perspective , who regulates the regulators?
The almost total ignorance of the existence, causes, consequences and treatment of latent/converted handedness in the English-speaking world places unnecessarily burdensome costs, both emotional and financial on individuals and their families. It does too on the entire education, legal-judicial, penal, health-care systems and industry itself; in short, on society as a whole.
At best, this collective ignorance and, at worst, institutional denial has two sets of consequences affecting us all. First, there is no public duty of care by any professional body to check whether latent / converted handedness contributes to intractable well-being problems. It follows that help is only available through wrighthand.net and Dr Sattler's Consulting Center for Left Handers and Converted Left Handers, in Munich, Germany. Second, without attention to this detail, all other assessments of personal well-being will be incomplete and therefore compromise the effectiveness of any behaviour change programme.
Wrighthand.net confronts the ignorance of latent/converted handedness and the denial of its consequences by professional educators in education itself, medicine and the law.
Wrighthand.net's expertise evolved in three contexts:
- in face-to-face sessions with children and adults with a vast range of behaviour change difficulties,
- in home / work-based workshops in the UK and abroad, and
- with past pupils, students and colleagues.
Three conclusion have been reached
- the essence of wrighthand.net's expertise, involves acting in a pedagogic manner - all parties learn something new during the course of the evaluation / treatment,
- professional bodies and academic disciplines embody institutional structures which have differing mind-sets, differing views of each others' worth, and operate with either change-oriented action-driven or compliance-driven talk-oriented ideologies,
- an unacknowledged and therefore under-utilised pool of practitioner talent exists which lacks formal professional or academic qualifications.
The recent past:
- Regional Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
- informing others about (a) the need to adopt a puzzling approach when handling intractable problems (b) latent / converted handedness and (c) the integral role of differing world-views.
- Wrighthand.net is now developing its network of practitioners by tapping into an unacknowledged pool of existing talents.
Previously - most recent first.
- The emergence of converted / latent handedness, as a debilitating condition, while working as a chartered psychologist who:
- acted as an expert witness conducting and reporting results of evaluations for education, medico-legal and court purposes,
- acted under both single and joint instruction for Court Reports, Education and DDA Employment Tribunals,
- conducted individual, couple and family CBT-oriented psychological counselling for a variety of presenting symptoms.
- was an external examiner to Warrington Collegiate’s Media and Communications Degree Programme
- conducted voluntary work with ex-longstay learning disabled adults: Warrington Integrate
- Realising that
- the deprofessionalisation of professional education was occurring, while working as a:
- Special Needs F.E. Tutor (PT) North Cheshire College
- Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Education (Psychology) Padgate College of Higher Education/North Cheshire College:
- the similarities amongst differently labelled dys-ability groups is greater than their differences, while at the:
- Medical Research Council Speech & Communication Unit, Edinburgh: Investigating the Relationship between Motor and Cognitive Skills using Soft-Sign Neurological Tests.
- working directly with pupils' parents is an integral part of teaching their children while working as an:
- Assistant Teacher (Supply): St. Michael's JMI, Highgate, London,
- Remedial Teacher: Holloway Comprehensive School, London,
- Assistant Teacher: Netley Junior School, Camden, London,
- Assistant House Father, Hutton Poplars Children's Home, Essex
- the deprofessionalisation of professional education was occurring, while working as a:
- A hesitant start had been made working as an insurance clerk at the Sentinel Insurance Co., London
- Teachers' Certificate: Borough Road College, Isleworth, Middlesex - 1964
- B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology; Birkbeck College (Part Time), London University - 1968
- M.Ed. Birmingham University (Part Time) - 1983
- Ph.D. Birmingham University (Part Time) - 1987
- Available to subscribers