The Dominance Factor by Carla Hannaford

Most people know whether they are left or right handed, but do they know which foot, hand, ear, eye and side of the brain are their dominant ones? According to Carla Hannaford, there are 32 possible 'dominance profiles'  and we can all identify our own. Why is this important? She argues that at 9 weeks in the womb, we establish a 'lead eye, ear, hand, foot' and this happens at the same time as we develop the 'moro reflex', our protective mechanism, the instinctive reaction to possible danger that stays with us our whole lives, and is characterised by 'fight or flight'. 

In her book, Dr Hannaford makes some fascinating observations about our education system and how it favours particular profiles. Her assertion is that society's goal should be to make everyone 'fully integrated' so that during times of stress or new learning, we won't only rely on our dominant senses but use all our senses to help us develop and progress. 

As a dyslexia tutor and assessor, I understand the importance of dominance profiles. Perhaps, though, it's about time our whole education system recognised people's individual profiles and used them to understand how a person develops and what can be done to make sure that everyone learns. 

The Dominance Factor, Dr Carla Hannaford, PhD, 2011, Great River Book, USA.

Melissa Mansfield Dyslexia Tutor (Dartford)

About The Author

I am an experienced and qualified special needs teacher and assessor of adults and children with SpLD/dyslexia. I teach, administer dyslexia screening and tests for exam access arrangements. I have trained with the National Handwriting Association.

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