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What is your hand dominance?
Right-handed from birth 19%  19%  [ 37 ]
Right-handed from birth 19%  19%  [ 38 ]
Left-handed from birth 11%  11%  [ 22 ]
Left-handed from birth 11%  11%  [ 22 ]
Born Ambidextrous (equal or near-equal use of both) 8%  8%  [ 16 ]
Born Ambidextrous (equal or near-equal use of both) 8%  8%  [ 16 ]
Became Ambidextrous (partial or complete) 8%  8%  [ 16 ]
Became Ambidextrous (partial or complete) 8%  8%  [ 16 ]
changed hand dominance from one to the other 3%  3%  [ 6 ]
changed hand dominance from one to the other 3%  3%  [ 6 ]
None of the above 1%  1%  [ 2 ]
None of the above 1%  1%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 199

polymathpoolplayer
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16 Aug 2009, 11:46 pm

I am ambidextrous, being an accomplished pianist who started at the age of 3. I started as a rightie.
I can't thread a needle left-handed but can do just about anything else.

While I have not seen any studies on this subject I believe it probable that more people on the spectrum are either left-handed or ambidextrous than the population as a whole.

Thanks for your assistance and for your interesting anecdotes!



DarrylZero
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16 Aug 2009, 11:57 pm

I was born left-handed, but my mother converted me to right-handed. I have very clear memories from early childhood of trying to eat with my left hand or draw with my left hand only to have my mother switch the utensils from my left hand to my right hand and say, "Wouldn't it be easier this way?"

I'm predominantly right-handed, but in some things I'm ambidexterous to a certain extent. For example, I found I can operate a computer mouse with my left-hand without too much difficulty. I switch hands when shaving or brushing my teeth. For a while, several years ago when I was younger, I had taught myself to write left-handed, but I can't really do that anymore.

I could play piano, but I didn't learn until I was an adult, and I never really learned how to play each hand independently; it was more of a coordination/timing thing. I play guitar right-handed, which never really made much sense to me because it felt like my left-hand was the one doing most of the complicated, dexterity-demanding work.



Brittany2907
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17 Aug 2009, 12:02 am

DarrylZero wrote:
I was born left-handed, but my mother converted me to right-handed. I have very clear memories from early childhood of trying to eat with my left hand or draw with my left hand only to have my mother switch the utensils from my left hand to my right hand and say, "Wouldn't it be easier this way?"


I remember my mum doing the same to me regarding the utensils. However I have always written with my right hand, I think it was just with the utensils that I used to get confused about which one goes in which hand.


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mra1200
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17 Aug 2009, 12:05 am

some things I do with my left, some with my right. Not sure if it counts, but I learned to throw a baseball with my left after I broke my right arm. I can still thrown pretty well lefty and prefer to since its more natural for me to catch things with my right hand.



DarrylZero
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17 Aug 2009, 12:10 am

Brittany2907 wrote:
DarrylZero wrote:
I was born left-handed, but my mother converted me to right-handed. I have very clear memories from early childhood of trying to eat with my left hand or draw with my left hand only to have my mother switch the utensils from my left hand to my right hand and say, "Wouldn't it be easier this way?"


I remember my mum doing the same to me regarding the utensils. However I have always written with my right hand, I think it was just with the utensils that I used to get confused about which one goes in which hand.


I don't know if this is the same thing, but when I eat with a knife and fork, I have the knife in my left hand and the fork in my right hand. I've noticed this is the opposite of how nearly everyone I've seen eat. I don't remember ever being corrected on this. I think I read somewhere that the way I eat is common in Europe, but I'm not sure about that.



Brittany2907
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17 Aug 2009, 12:14 am

DarrylZero wrote:
Brittany2907 wrote:
DarrylZero wrote:
I was born left-handed, but my mother converted me to right-handed. I have very clear memories from early childhood of trying to eat with my left hand or draw with my left hand only to have my mother switch the utensils from my left hand to my right hand and say, "Wouldn't it be easier this way?"


I remember my mum doing the same to me regarding the utensils. However I have always written with my right hand, I think it was just with the utensils that I used to get confused about which one goes in which hand.


I don't know if this is the same thing, but when I eat with a knife and fork, I have the knife in my left hand and the fork in my right hand. I've noticed this is the opposite of how nearly everyone I've seen eat. I don't remember ever being corrected on this. I think I read somewhere that the way I eat is common in Europe, but I'm not sure about that.


That is that way that I used to eat and is what my mum was trying to correct. It was awkward for me to use my fork with my left hand and I struggled to use a knife with both. I now eat with my fork in my left hand because I guess I've just gotten used to it. I didn't know that people in Europe used their utensils differently - I guess it's not only the toilet flush that is the opposite. :lol:


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polymathpoolplayer
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17 Aug 2009, 12:17 am

DarrylZero wrote:
I don't know if this is the same thing, but when I eat with a knife and fork, I have the knife in my left hand and the fork in my right hand. I've noticed this is the opposite of how nearly everyone I've seen eat. I don't remember ever being corrected on this. I think I read somewhere that the way I eat is common in Europe, but I'm not sure about that.


Actually in Europe they'd hold the knife in the right hand, the fork in the left, cut something into a bite size, then eat with the left hand with the fork being rotated towards the mouth so the back of the fork is at the top; this would be generally opposite to what you described.



DarrylZero
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17 Aug 2009, 12:32 am

polymathpoolplayer wrote:
DarrylZero wrote:
I don't know if this is the same thing, but when I eat with a knife and fork, I have the knife in my left hand and the fork in my right hand. I've noticed this is the opposite of how nearly everyone I've seen eat. I don't remember ever being corrected on this. I think I read somewhere that the way I eat is common in Europe, but I'm not sure about that.


Actually in Europe they'd hold the knife in the right hand, the fork in the left, cut something into a bite size, then eat with the left hand with the fork being rotated towards the mouth so the back of the fork is at the top; this would be generally opposite to what you described.


OK. I think the difference I've seen is that in the US they switch the fork from the left hand to the right hand before eating. Great, something else I need to observe more closely before it drives me nuts. :roll:

I may have to mention this one in the YMBAAI thread. :wink:



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17 Aug 2009, 12:36 am

I'm right handed from birth and beyond.



Halvorson
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17 Aug 2009, 12:59 am

A study was done on this topic back in 1992. The results:

Hand preference and hand skill were assessed in 20 children with autism, 20 normal controls and 12 children with mental retardation. 90% of the normal controls and 92% of the children with mental retardation showed concordance for hand preference and hand skill (i.e. the preferred hand was also the more skillful), whereas only 50% of the children with autism showed concordance of preference and skill, the remaining 50% preferring to use the hand which was less skillful. Children with autism also showed a lesser degree of handedness and a lesser degree of consistency than the other groups, although this was unrelated to the discordance of skill and asymmetry. A developmental model of handedness is proposed in which the development of handedness as preference is ontogenetically prior to the development of handedness as skill asymmetry, such that in normal children the development of skill asymmetry occurs as a secondary consequence of the establishment of preference. The causal sequence is disrupted in autism, so that although preference is established, it does not subsequently result in concordant skill asymmetry.

992: McManus I C; Murray B; Doyle K; Baron-Cohen S
Handedness in childhood autism shows a dissociation of skill and preference.
Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior 1992;28(3):373-81

Basically, autistics don't use their better hand more often. Add that to the long list of eccentricities.



DarrylZero
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17 Aug 2009, 1:05 am

Another observation. I have a couple of stims (I think) and they both generally happen with my left hand. One is a regular pattern I tap on the top of my thumb with my index, middle, and ring fingers (If you've seen "Ben X" he does something similar with his right hand). The other is running my hair between my fingers. I don't know what, if any, impact this has on your hypothesis.



polymathpoolplayer
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17 Aug 2009, 1:13 am

Halvorson wrote:
A study was done on this topic back in 1992. The results:

Hand preference and hand skill were assessed in 20 children with autism, 20 normal controls and 12 children with mental retardation. 90% of the normal controls and 92% of the children with mental retardation showed concordance for hand preference and hand skill (i.e. the preferred hand was also the more skillful), whereas only 50% of the children with autism showed concordance of preference and skill, the remaining 50% preferring to use the hand which was less skillful. Children with autism also showed a lesser degree of handedness and a lesser degree of consistency than the other groups, although this was unrelated to the discordance of skill and asymmetry. A developmental model of handedness is proposed in which the development of handedness as preference is ontogenetically prior to the development of handedness as skill asymmetry, such that in normal children the development of skill asymmetry occurs as a secondary consequence of the establishment of preference. The causal sequence is disrupted in autism, so that although preference is established, it does not subsequently result in concordant skill asymmetry.

992: McManus I C; Murray B; Doyle K; Baron-Cohen S
Handedness in childhood autism shows a dissociation of skill and preference.
Cortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior 1992;28(3):373-81

Basically, autistics don't use their better hand more often. Add that to the long list of eccentricities.


Thanks for that study however in my mind the sample is too small to draw any inferences.



barbedlotus
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17 Aug 2009, 1:14 am

Brittany2907 wrote:
DarrylZero wrote:
I was born left-handed, but my mother converted me to right-handed. I have very clear memories from early childhood of trying to eat with my left hand or draw with my left hand only to have my mother switch the utensils from my left hand to my right hand and say, "Wouldn't it be easier this way?"


I remember my mum doing the same to me regarding the utensils. However I have always written with my right hand, I think it was just with the utensils that I used to get confused about which one goes in which hand.


I got so mad at my aunt for doing this to my son. He uses both hands to draw and eat, and I really see it as taking away a natural gift by forcing him to use one or the other. I'm right handed when it comes to writing, but nearly everything else I do with my left.



polymathpoolplayer
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17 Aug 2009, 1:15 am

DarrylZero wrote:
Another observation. I have a couple of stims (I think) and they both generally happen with my left hand. One is a regular pattern I tap on the top of my thumb with my index, middle, and ring fingers (If you've seen "Ben X" he does something similar with his right hand). The other is running my hair between my fingers. I don't know what, if any, impact this has on your hypothesis.
When I stim it's usually small things like circular motions of a left finger either on a desktop or on a part of my body. Not sure if there's any correlation either.



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17 Aug 2009, 1:21 am

barbedlotus wrote:
I got so mad at my aunt for doing this to my son. He uses both hands to draw and eat, and I really see it as taking away a natural gift by forcing him to use one or the other. I'm right handed when it comes to writing, but nearly everything else I do with my left.


Another important reason to encourage someone to become ambidextrous is as follows: studies have show it increases IQ, most likely by involving the hippocampus of the non-dominant hemisphere to have to learn and repeat more actions, hence increasing the total amount of the brain being utilized to make the brain more flexible (and perhaps more efficient).