There are many things, I watch when children are at play!
When children below three years play with the peg board in the consultation room, I watch keenly how they use both hands for the play! The position of the opposite hand and foot is also something to watch for!
Every time when I watch a toddler use the left hand by preference, I enquire if any member in the family is left handed. If there is none, I take an extra effort to find out if the child uses the left hand because of pathology on the right side of the body or whether he is naturally left handed!
Most parents insist that children ought to use the right hand for the daily living activities. A naturally left handed child is terribly disadvantage by this insistence as the child would have to struggle with the dominance of the cerebral hemispheres. In majority of the situations the dominant cerebral hemisphere is the opposite to the side of handedness. Imagine the physiological challenge the child has, if he has to change to using the right hand because of insistence of teachers and parents, when actually his dominant cerebral hemisphere has predetermined him to be a left handed!
One of the causes of some children having a poor start with writing or struggle along in writing is because of the enforced change from natural left handedness!
What the body has designed to do is the best!
M.C.Mathew(text and photo)