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Hand dominance
Carla Grobler

Hand preference usually starts to develop by the age of 3 years.

Hand dominance should be fully intact by the age of 5 years 6 months old.  By now your child should use 1 hand, dominantly, for all of the tasks he performs.

If your child is still switching hands to perform tasks there might me an impairment with laterality and/or midline-crossing.

Poor laterality has a negative influence on bilateral integration (using the 2 sides of the body together to perform 1 task) and/or fine eye-hand coordination.

Approximately only 1% of the population is truly ambidextrous – in all the other cases impaired laterality is present thus a child ends up with 2 unskilled hands.

To determine if your child’s dominance is fully intact let him perform the following tasks and note which side he prefers.




If you observed that your child is still swapping his hands while doing activities and your child is in Gr. R, please take him to be evaluated by an occupational therapist. 


Carla Grobler, Occupational therapist, www.carlagrobler.co.za, carla.grobler@vodamail.co.za

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