Laterality and Directionality


Laterality is where an individual is instinctively aware of their left and right. It is imperative that there is an awareness of the body’s midline, that is the invisible line that runs vertically through the body.

Without this self awareness an individual may:

- switch hands so they do not cross the midline of the body
- a right/left hander may write to the midline of the page and leaves the left/right half blank
- body shifting – rotates the body as not to cross the midline
- non dominant hand is not used for support

Laterality has to be developed before directionality.



Directionality is the ability to identify up, down, ahead, behind and any of the combination in addition to your left and right.  Directionality is where a person is able to project these directions into space, for example the ability to give another person directions.

Without directionality skills:

- learning to read can be difficult, the letters b, d, p and q all look similar unless you are aware of their orientation.
- difficulty in following and giving instructions i.e. writing their name in the top right hand corner.