In 1925 the American MD Samuel T. Orton suggested that laterality plays a role for the development of reading problems. This hyphotesis has since been questioned by other researchers. We think that Dr. Orton was right, but we also think that he forgot auditory laterality or ear preference and the significance of a right ear advantage (REA) for language development.
Since Dr. Orton published his ideas, some educators and psychologists, though, have been aware of the question:
”How does a child’s handedness influence the rate at which reading development takes place?”
It is an accepted fact that a greater relative number of left-handed persons have reading and spelling difficulties than do right-handed persons. Therefore, some sort of connection must exist between handedness and language development as documented by Maggie Mamen among others.
(Laterality Patterns in Young Fluent Readers. Brain and Language, 30, 81-92, 1987).
However, the connection is so difficult to map out that most educators have chosen to ignore it.
(From: Kjeld V. Johansen (1991): Diagnosing Dyslexia: The Screening of Auditory Laterality. ERIC, Indiana University. Order no. ED 326 845).
Recent research has shown that auditory laterality is involved in other problems than difficulties learning language - such as autism and schizophrenia.
Auditory laterality is not ”linked” to handedness or footedness - but influenced by it.
The screening of auditory laterality using pure tone audiometry and dichotic listening is an integrated part of our assessment procedures.