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Mirror Image Writing

Has anyone had experience with first grader (7 yr. old girl) writing numbers and letters backwards? My Grandaughter writes some but not all backwards sometimes but not all the time. Also once in a while she will read a word from right to left. I'm just wondering how common this is.

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Hi,

I have a friend who's daughter does this, she had her evaluated by several professionals. She learned that children see letters and numbers as three dimensional objects in space. Therefore words and letters can "float" in space and for them forwards backwards etc. is completely logical. Her daughter when prompted will put everything it the correct order and direction. But when she's feeling creative she'll make it look good "artistically"

It's always good to have the testing done to rule out other issues.

Best,
K

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Oh yah. TOTALLY common. In fact, it's so common Toys R Us, writes their R backward (because most kids do).

Most common letters & numbers to go backwards B, C, D, E, F, Q, R, S, P 2, 3, 4, 7, 9

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I used to be a specialist in the field of dysgraphia and dyslexia, back when it was pioneering work. As a teacher, I had a student in eighth grade who was failing and I decided to analyze what was wrong and found that she did ALL mirror writing. She was left handed as well. I asked her if anyone had ever noticed it and she said i was the first teacher who had ever noticed it!

The brain can do very strange things, and this is one of them. I'm pretty amazed if the school has not noticed this, since young children should be observed as they are learning to write so that they will form letters correctly. I would get your granddaughter tested by a specialist and it may be that she needs a special education plan.

My mother, who was a master reading teacher and taught first grade for many years, used to tell little stories to the children as they learned to write so they would do it correctly. I can't remember them all, but she might say "A little man wanted to go down town. He started off from his house and he went straight DOWN the path. But then he remembered he had forgotten his hat and he was so excited he jumped up so high he went all the way back in the air and landed at his door so he could grab his hat." (This was lower case "i.") I would think that once your granddaughter got a firm foundation writing the letters correctly -- and she would always move from left to right as she formed them -- it might help her start to form words from left to right as well.

Also, I would start her very early with correct "keyboarding" -- what we used to call typing. One of my adopted children did not do mirror writing but had a lot of trouble spelling words backward or just plain wrong (to would become ot if she was tired, and girl would be gril, for instance). I found out that sound was very important to her, so I told her she was like a tape recorder and she had to listen to the tape playing "in her head." I also had her use a typewriter (no computers back then). She would first look at the word and spell it either aloud, or "in her head out loud." Then she would say the word, and then spell it again. As she spelled it, she typed it. Taking the pressure off forming the letters correctly made a huge improvement in her spelling and writing. My daughter ended up getting a degree from Long Beach State and was on the Dean's list many times. She made her own little private 'spelling aids" that she used when writing, after getting permission from her professors.

You might want to check out Lindamood Bell, which is an excellent program for children with similar problems.

I have read some of the other replies now, and they all put it down to a temporary developmental problem. Yes, it could just be that, if it is only occasional. Perhaps I am over-reacting, but unfortunately, as I taught eighth grade, I found so many youngsters who had exhibited symptoms of reading and writing problems way back, and no one had noticed or done anything. By that time, they were entrenched as "losers" in the system and thought they were "dumb." It was so sad, and could have been prevented. So I would be very proactive with some supervised "game and story based" writing, keyboarding, and then get professional help if the problem does not clear up.

S. Toji

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Hi J., it's totally appropriate developmentally for kids to transverse letters, numbers, etc. until around the 3rd grade. Like it was mentioned just keep an eye out and try not to stress her out about it. I taught my students how to use their hands to create the "b, d, p, and q" shapes with their hands. Right hand forms the "d" and "q" and the left forms the "b" and "p". The physical cue helped some to stop and think before writing. Good luck!!!

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in 1st grade it is still pretty normal. i'd ask the teacher if you are concerned. But, my son did in 1st grade. I think doing more and more reading makes them more aware of how things should look.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi,

I have a friend who's daughter does this, she had her evaluated by several professionals. She learned that children see letters and numbers as three dimensional objects in space. Therefore words and letters can "float" in space and for them forwards backwards etc. is completely logical. Her daughter when prompted will put everything it the correct order and direction. But when she's feeling creative she'll make it look good "artistically"

It's always good to have the testing done to rule out other issues.

Best,
K

1 mom found this helpful

that was normal for my daughter. Remember vision already works backwards and they are learning control. You just need to go over it with them and show them how to write it correctly and sooner or later they catch onto it.

1 mom found this helpful

as a former 1st and 2nd grade teacher this is pretty normal. Most children work it out by 3rd grade. Writing is a very difficult skill. If it goes into 3rd grade you can mention it to the teacher and maybe request testing.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,

I think it is normal. My son (now 11) did this and my daughter (7) as well. Sometimes my daughter will have an occassional slip still. I vividly remember my poor husband declaring with both kids that he was sure they were dyslexic because they were inconsistant with how their letters and numbers were written.

She'll come around.

C.

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