19 answers

5 Year Old Writing Letters and Numbers Backwards

My 5 year old is finishing kindergarten and is still writing some of his letters and numbers backwards (his teacher calls them "reversals"). Just last week he told me that a 2 and a 5 were the same number. A friend said that kids think of letters and numbers like anything else - a chair in any position is still a chair. Is this something I should be worried about or just wait for him to outgrow it? thanks!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the reassurance! We will just keep a close watch on his progress and work with him over the summer. Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I go through it constantly--even when my 5 year old has demonstrated she can do it right. She'll revert unless she gets daily practice. I was told it's normal...let's hope so!! The problems are 3, 5, 7, b, d, and z.

Hi J.-

This is completely normal. Some kids do this into 1st or even second grade. If a teacher was worried he had a problem, I think they would say so... especially if you asked. they cannot diagnose. they cannot tell you he has dyslexia, but they can tell you it is worth looking into. All of my children reversed letters for a time. My third grader DOES not reverse letter... my point is that most outgrow it. Schools have kids writing and reading VERY early these days and it is over-taxing their brains.

More Answers

Half of my son's 1st grade class was doing that part-way through the school year. Now with just a few weeks left in 1st grade, though, almost all the kids are writing correctly and not doing it. My son still reverses a few letters once in awhile (mostly when he's rushing) and he'll be going into the gifted & talented program next year. It's normal and nothing to worry about at this age.

Children's eye muscles have not developped enough at this age to reliably see the letters and numbers correctly. Reversals are perfectly normal at this age. I'm sure that he understands the difference between 2 pieces of candy and 5! If he doesn't then you do have something to worry about. There are other symptoms of dyslexia, if letter reversals are the only problem, then he's just fine and he'll out grow it in a year or so.

Hi J., I am an occupational therapist and work alot with kids and handwriting. This is totally normal for your 5yr. old. Especially wiht 5,2, p,b,d,q. Just keep practicing the correct form, tracing, etc. and they will do great! This could be something to address with your school OT for next year if you think it may help to have OT in school. Your child would need an IEP, but would be something to think about. Hope this helps.

Hi J.-

This is completely normal. Some kids do this into 1st or even second grade. If a teacher was worried he had a problem, I think they would say so... especially if you asked. they cannot diagnose. they cannot tell you he has dyslexia, but they can tell you it is worth looking into. All of my children reversed letters for a time. My third grader DOES not reverse letter... my point is that most outgrow it. Schools have kids writing and reading VERY early these days and it is over-taxing their brains.

My daughter started out the year doing the same thing. I'm seeing very little of it anymore, just with the letters and numbers that are similar to each other like b and d, 2 and 5. My daughter is turning six this month and I've stopped worrying about it because I have seen a big change throughout the schoolyear. I would say not to be concerned unless he hasn't gotten any better about it. If and when it is a cause for concern his teacher will let you know

My daughter did that too. I was told it's perfectly normal.

As a previous K teacher and now SAHM of five, it is totally normal! The more exposure he has to letters & numbers, the more he will 'get it.' Don't worry! :)

I would keep an eye on it. Sometimes it is just normal until they understand which way it goes. In my case I was dyslexic (sp?). Good luck to you!!

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.