Who needs to know?
Why focus on the mis-match between the writing and the wright or adept hand?
- There is a writing hand and there is an adept hand.
- The writing hand is readily observed,
- The adept hand is the hand able to perform novel complex manipulo-spatial tasks with seemingly effortless ease
- Sometimes the writing hand is not the adept hand: this indicates a mind-body mismatch
Why focus on writing?
- Writing is what defines human beings as uniquely different from every other animal
- Writing and drawing or more generally ‘graphicacy’ -defined as ‘the ability to capture the mind’s eye-image externally (on the page) with seemingly effortless ease’ – can be characterised as a complex mind-body task.
- Illich & Sanders argue that the mind is shaped by the tools it uses to think with. And the singular tool in the history of human beings is the alphabet, as the title of their book suggests: The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind
- Any errors or difficulties in capturing the mind’s eye image on the page with seemingly effortless ease is indicative of doing so with the non-adept hand.
- Writing, under (emotional) examination conditions (broadly defined), provides the measure of individual academic success and school – college (education) effectiveness.
The mis-match between the writing and the adept hand is a core mind-body condition. But it is not mono-causal – meaning the form presenting problems take is contingent on other factors. What the condition ‘causes’ is a sense of being ill-at-ease. And in true Freudian ‘projection’ manner, the cause of the ill-at-easeness is often projected onto others.
It should come as no surprise to discover, then, that it is implicated in a wide variety of presenting problems. It follows that ‘everyone’ should know of the condition, its implications and consequences. Here we focus on:
- Teachers Students
- Ex … Service Men
- Human Resource Professionals
- The Legal Profession
- Education Authorities
- Speech Therapists
- The Media
Children - Parents
Whatever a child’s problem – dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, ASD, giftedness, behaviour difficulty, conduct problem or undiagnosed-learning difficulty-it is assumed that as a parent you will already have raised or tried to raise your concerns with the relevant pre-school, school or post-school child-help agencies. Wrighthand steps in when parents have made little, slow or no progress in resolving their problems or concerns.
- preceded by completing pre-session questionnaires
- conducted as home-based family workshops
- often supplemented by a participant observation at school / college
- followed-up with a personalised education programme
- followed-up with a 3- way meeting amongst parents, teachers and evaluator when necessary
- followed-up one-year later to confirm progress
This radical approach is also of benefit:
- with children’s non-educational problems: for example, post traumatic stress disorder e.g. 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: whatever the ‘it’ is eg social, intellectual, emotional or physical or a combination of all four facets.
Where progress is not made, the behaviour tends to labelled rather than remedied. But in Munich, Germany, teachers are alerted to the possibility that writing with the wrong hand is at the root of many such pupils’ difficulties.
At the pre-school age teachers can identify the adept hand for example during ‘sports’ activities. Which hand holds the spoon in egg-and-spoon races: does the other hand come in to help, does the egg keep dropping? At the beginning of formal schooling teachers are again in an ideal position to identify the adept and non-adept by noting pupils’ confidence and competence when ‘thinking with pen and paper’. Identifying and treating this handedness issue should it be present, ought to be a standard for teaching. Holding the pen with a fist grip and poor handwriting are the easiest signifiers to spot.
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 are 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 can:
identify the obstacles to you fulfilling your potential
prepare a personalised 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 problem-free lives, but also 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 are not using the correct tools to resolve them.
Whatever the nature of the adult difficult, wright hand evaluations and treatment programmes are framed within a holistic model of human functioning. This assumes 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 whether any facet is out-of-kilter, establish core world view and ability to handle unfamiliar tasks. ‘Treatment’ programmes are based on self-education principles.
This group is strictly speaking an opportunistic group. To date it has comprised some who have directly sought help. The greater number has comprised those trading as doorstep ’hawkers’ under the auspices of rehabilitation programmes. When they have completed their door-step patter, I ask whether as part of the exchange they would be prepared to satisfy my curiosity over how they handle a simple task. Without exception they agree and proceed to self-declare, during the course of the task, that they are left handed, when they have believed themselves to have been life-long right handers.
Human Resource Professionals
Are you concerned with employees’ fitness-to-work: or having difficulty trying to comply with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) law and current Equal Opportunity Act legislation when making reasonable adjustments in the workplace for employees who present with dyslexia, dyspraxia or other disability.
Businesses in general seek to maximise the efficacy of their employees and company success, through their conditions of employment. This 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. Many of these cases involve spending much time disputing whether, and how, the disability was declared when signing the employment contrac. The actionable dispute is over the issue of whether reasonable adjustments have been made. In the workplace.
In these cases litigation is often conducted as a zero-sum game. Yet it is more often the case that both parties are correct in some respects. Sufficient behavioural evidence exists to justify a claimant’s disability label; and 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.
Writing – wright hand mis-match – a hidden condition
There are few, if any occupations, where reading and writing in some form or other is not required. It is therefore not surprising to find one problem· 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 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 throughout 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 will be spent making ‘unreasonable’ adjustments which eventually result in spending yet more time and money and engaging in endless litigation. There is currently no legislation dealing directly with this condition, its associated difficulties or treatment.
The Legal Profession and Penal Institutions
County Court Judge Mort asked “Why don’t all psychologists know about the mis-match between the writing and the wright hand?” Because of the implications and consequences of the condition the question can be posed to members of the legal profession too.
No one seeks a solicitor’s help because they write with the wrong hand. Why should they? On the surface; this condition appears to have little to do with the reason why anyone seeks help from 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 recovery from post traumatic stress disorder. Wrighthand.net has established a reputation for identifying this unacknowledged body-mind condition as a co-factor in the presenting problem, 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.
Briefing instructions which fail to include a request to confirm or reject whether a client writes with the adept hand will lead to:
- inadequately drafted sentencing guidelines
- inadequate reasonable adjustments being made in the workplace
- grossly inadequate Individual Education Plans resulting in trans-generational learning, difficulties
- treatment programmes neglecting the interplay between RTA induced trauma and an underlying ill-at-easiness.
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 alternatively called converted or latent handedness
- know that labelling the condition as handedness is short hand for a general ill-at-ease body-mind problem
- be aware of the implications of the writing – wright mismatch 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 the mismatch
- know that the condition does not figure in the DSM-IV, The lCD-10, in the Disability Discrimination Act nor in SENs legislation
- know that Dr Barbara Sattler has been identifying and treating the condition since 1987 with her team of consultant practitioners in Munich. German
- know that a proposal had been made to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence for “the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of latent / converted handedness”. Unsuccessful!
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.
Education Authorities are in effect behaviour-change agents, involved, one way or another, with the welfare and education of children. As such they need to be aware of the following mind-body states
Why include speech therapists among those who need to know about the consequences of not writing with the adept hand? On the surface, any connection with the mis-match between the writing with the non-adept hand seems at best remote and at worst absurd. But this is to miss the point that in both instances we’re talking about brain functioning. Speech therapy confronts two interrelated problems speech (articulation) and language (thoughts into words). A proto-typical problem is that of treating stuttering and stammering.
The best ‘connection’ I can offer is to cite the case of a primary school aged child who had been receiving speech therapy for his stuttering for some years without success. He wore a peaked ‘baseball cap’ during the workshop. One of the tasks was for him to say what he thought “communication” meant. He immediately started stuttering “c … c… c…communication”, as we would say, “to get the word out” while his right hand immediately shot up to his cap to swivel it round his head!
One interpretation could be that he couldn’t concentrate (and therefore was also suffering ADHD). Another is that hand (in respect to thumb) and tongue (in respect to speech) are directly connected, as they must be to be able to write what we say! They are of course also in close proximity in their sensori-motor representation in the cortex of the brain.
Any speech therapist who doesn’t seek to eliminate the mis-match between the writing and the adept hand when treating the presenting symptom will guarantee prolonged treatment. They will do so because they’re ignoring a core brain-processing problem.
It is not immediately obvious why the Media needs to know about the condition. Media interviews are generally framed as ‘talking heads’, presumably because it’s out of mouths that ‘truths’ are uttered. Ideally one needs to observe the interviewee writing and executing ‘wright’ tasks. Two examples spring to mind: Osama bin Laden and Donald Trump. Photo-footage of Osama bin Laden shows him holding his rifle with his right hand with his left hand on the trigger. Footage of him writing is extremely rare, yet where it exists it shows him writing with his right hand. His cultural background emphasizes the hegemony of the right, although it doesn’t call it that! There is a mass of photo-footage of Donald
Trump writing (signing documents) and engaged in a variety of ‘whole body’ tasks. He executes his spikey signature with his right arm from his shoulder down. And so many of his whole-body actions are left not right biased
What Is the Problem
What is the Mind-Body-Mismatch Problem?
Find out More
Who can Identify it?
Why focus on the mis-match between the writing and the wright or adept hand
Find out More
Path to Discovery
Awareness and Advocacy
Treatment and Implications
Identification and Support