All of us grow up hearing that everyone has a dominant hand. You can be either right handed or left handed. Every now and then, we would run across someone that was ambidextrous and thought that was so cool! I didn’t hear the term Mixed Dominance or Cross Dominant until this year and learning about it changed my life!
What is Mixed Dominance?
You might have heard that it doesn’t matter which hand you use. To an extent, this is true. Each of us do have a tendency to lean toward a specific hand. But did you know that we lean toward a specific foot, eye, and ear too?
What side of the body we use for each of those things is called our dominance. If we end up using our right side for some things and our left for others, we become mixed dominant. For instance, if you are right handed, but you are left eye dominant, that is mixed dominance. If you are left handed, right eye dominant, but have left ear dominance, you are still mixed dominant.
What’s the Big Deal?
You may be thinking that this is not a big deal. What does it matter anyway? This is the myth that needs to be corrected! Being mixed dominant can create problems that you aren’t even aware of.
Here are a few characteristics of someone who has mixed dominance. You decide how it affects our lives!
A person who is mixed dominant:
- Has trouble following directions or cannot follow a series of directions.
- Has inconsistent recall. They can remember something on one day, but cannot the next day.
- Has trouble understanding certain concepts and seem to have holes in their memory.
- Lives in their emotions: Emotions seem to control each situation.
There are other traits of mixed dominance, but these are the ones that seem to effect learning and functioning in the home. There is definitely a correlation between Mixed Dominance and Developmental Delay.
How Can I Check Dominance?
Checking for dominance is actually a fairly easy thing to do.
- Hand Dominance – Whatever hand you naturally write with is usually your dominant side. You don’t want to change this!
- Eye Dominance – With your pointer fingers and your thumbs, make a small circle in front of your face, arms extended in front of you. Look through the circle with both eyes open at an object. Slowly bring your hands to your face. Which eye is looking through the hole? That is your dominant eye!
- To change your eye dominance, you must wear an eye patch over the eye you don’t want to be dominant. Every time you read or do an activity where your eyes are focusing on something, put on the patch. This should be about 4 hours a day. You can also take a pair of sunglasses, punch out the lens for the dominant eye and tape over the other lens. It can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to change this!
- Ear Dominance – Put your phone on the table and have your child pick it up to answer it. Which ear do they listen with? When playing a whisper game, which ear do they lean toward you to hear? What ear do they put on a door to hear something on the other side? That will be the dominant ear.
- To change ear dominance, wear an ear plug in the ear you don’t want to be dominant. Wear it all waking hours. Silly Putty also works as a great ear plug! Again, this could take 6-12 months to switch.
- Foot Dominance – What foot do they kick a ball with most often?
- To change foot dominance, continue practicing with the correct foot!
FYI: My son has an eye cross dominant, my daughter has an ear cross dominant, and I have a cross dominant eye as well! Once I tested myself, it was easy to see the characteristics I’d been dealing with all my life!
Is It Worth It?
Only you can be the judge of whether correcting dominance is worth it for your family. For me, the traits I see in my children (and me) make it worth taking the plunge to change. It took a lot of research and guidance from a fantastic group that teaches the neurodevelopmental approach to education before we took the important steps to correct. I’ve also seen some amazing testimonies from others who went through the correcting process!
Little Giant Steps does a fantastic job of using neurodevelopment to change behaviors and educational issues. We used them to help diagnose and work with our son, and ultimately the whole family! We have already started seeing results.
*They usually go to the Teach Them Diligently Conventions, so keep your eye open next convention season for discounts and more information!!
After testing your family, share your results below!