32 answers

Writing Backwards

My daughter who is 4 and in preschool writes backwards; her name, anything she asks me to spell for her she writes it backwards. Is this something I should be concerned about. My parents are giving me a hard time about it and now I am getting nervous.

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Thank you everyone so much! This makes me feel much better!

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It is very normal at this age. Just as writing is a learned behavior, so is writing/reading from left to right. It will come with age!

My son not only wrote his letters backwards he would write them from the bottom up. My daughter also wrote backwards letters when she began to write as well. This is a very normal stage in the development of writing.

Talk to her preschool teacher and see if she has any suggestions for you. But you shouldn't worry too much.

It is perfectly normal :-). My daughter, who is 4, is in pre-school and is starting to learn to wrtie her name. She writes several letters backwards consistently, which had me a little concerned. Her teacher said it's normal for all kids to do that, as well as another teacher and her director.

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Your daughter may be dyslexic. I am dyslexic and I didn't write everything backwards, just some letters, but Leonardo Da Vinci was dyslexic and he wrote everything backwards. For a long time, people thought he was writing in code. If she is dyslexic, expect her to have a little trouble in school, and you may need to get outside help for her. Don't think for one min. that Dyslexic means she is stupid. Quite the contrary! Einstein was dyslexic as was Edison and they are considered two of the smartest people in history. In fact most dyslexics have bigger brains then "normal" people. All it means is that when she thinks inside the box for her, she is thinking outside the box for everyone else. It also means that she may have trouble reading and writing. Hope this helps!

This is normal until age 7-8.

Hey Ann Marie;

First off, she's four. Don't panic, just keep a vigilant eye on it. I can't figure out why.... but people always seem to be so critical -- even worse when they are family. I would bring it up on your next Dr. visit but in the meantime - enjoy your little girl.


Almost all children transpose their letters. However, you could talk to your daughter's teachers and see what they think. If they find it to be unusual, you can take your little girl to the doctor:)
Good luck

How exactly is she writing??? Is she writing her letters upside down, or from right to left? Dislexia (sp?) might be the case. A lot of kids do this. They usually get passed this. If it's just her letters being written backwards and not writing right to left, then I wouldn't be concerned. She'll get over it. Best of wishes,G.

When I was younger I use to write transpose my b's and D's.I was diagnose with dislexia (very common) and took a special class in elementry once or twice a week. I don't seem to have that problem anymore.

Once she starts school bring this to here teachers attention so that they can correct it early. Don't worry about it!


my 28 year old son alwyas wrote backwards and sometimes upside down. this is a kid that learned to read at age three. he also insited on wearing his shoes on the wrong foot. he did this until third grade because his teachers were so hard on him. i guess it was like the nuns at my catholic school slapping my hands witha ruler because i was left handed ( the sign of the devil). i was asked by the school to have him evaluated and the evaluator told me that kids who do this are extrememly creative and that they can write normally but they just dont want to. they like to stand out, even though they don't really understand exactly why they do it. my son is the first born and was an only child for 13 years. he has always been very opinioated and charming. he is a leader and is very creative. he loves adventure. he is alsways the first to try anything and he doesnt stop until he has done it better than anyone. very detail oriented. tried college but it wasnt for him he is too non conforming. but he is now a contractor and is building beautiful custom adobe homes. one of his homes goes for 1.5 million but they are only 1500 sq feet. dont worry about your child . let her be what she is. if you fight it she may have more problems later in life because of that. i think she will grow out of it on her own and grow up to be a leader and creative person.

It is perfectly normal :-). My daughter, who is 4, is in pre-school and is starting to learn to wrtie her name. She writes several letters backwards consistently, which had me a little concerned. Her teacher said it's normal for all kids to do that, as well as another teacher and her director.

Some children take until they are in 2nd grade to fully grow out of the writing backwards stage. Do not be concerned. I have been a teacher for 5 years. I have had many parents concerned about their child's writing backwards. Some helpful hints to help her find her direction....
When she starts her name on a paper use a hilighter to write an x on the side of the paper she should start at. Also writing her name in hilighter the correct way so she can trace over it. Write her name the correct way next to her creation and ask her if she sees the difference. Ask her to make hers look like yours. And make dots for her to connect with her name like dot to dot. Don't worry she will feel your stress take it in stride and give her time. At second grade if she is still creating things backwards talk to her teacher about testing. And Kudos to you for having your child knowing how to write her name at age 4! Wow! I get kindergarteners in my class who have no idea how to write their name.

Dear A.,

I was a teacher for many years and seven of those years were teaching kindergarten. I wouldn't think you should panic, as backwards writing is a common problem with pre schoolers. If at the end of kindergarten she still writes backwards, I would take the recommendation of her teacher. You will probably be advised to take her to an eye doctor at that time. Please don't make your daughter frustrated about it, because it will only make it worse. You didn't say whether she is left or right handed, but that can make a difference too. Left handed children are more prone to backwards writing. You might sit sith her and put a sticker on the left side of the paper where she is to begin and write down the first letter for her yourself to see what she does with it.

You sound like a caring, loving, concerned mother, and I applaud you for being an at home mom.

Kathy Shaeffer

It is very normal at this age. Just as writing is a learned behavior, so is writing/reading from left to right. It will come with age!

I don't think it is something to necessarily be worried about at this stage. My daughter did the same thing (and still does from time to time and she will be 6 soon) and even though I was a bit worried about it, her teacher doesn't seem terribly concerned. She said it is a sign of creativity and it is common at a young age. Most educators are not concerned unless they are still doing it after they are through first grade. Blessings to you and your family.

My son not only wrote his letters backwards he would write them from the bottom up. My daughter also wrote backwards letters when she began to write as well. This is a very normal stage in the development of writing.

Talk to her preschool teacher and see if she has any suggestions for you. But you shouldn't worry too much.

I don't think you should be concerned. My son is 5 going on six. He only attended a few months of pre-school so at the beginning of the school year he used to write everything backwards too. especially his name & he would also start writing on the right side of the paper instead of the left. I just had to keep reminding him & so did his teacher. I would make him write it over whenever he did it backwards. He has gotten a lot better at it & now only occasionally will he write some letters backwards, but I have noticed that other kids in the class do that too. I think it's normal since they are still learing. If your still concerned I would ask her teacher about it.

I found article from Internet regarding "Five-Year-Old Writes Backwards",according to Shari Nethersole, M.D. "There is nothing wrong with writes backwords. The brain does not completely from the concept of left and right until somewhere between ages five and eight."

Please see the article for detail.


Hi. I was a Kindergarten teacher before I had my son. Right now do not worry if your daughter is writing backwards. It is normal to write all kinds of different ways before really learning. One thing to do to help is to show her how to write. Make sure you are behind her so she can see the correct direction to write. It you are writing across from her she will see the writing going to same way she is currently writing and won't know it is different. You can also point to words while you are reading and talk to her about how when she writes the words should go the same way as when you read to her. Don't worry right now though. When she gets to Kindergarten if she keeps it up for too long you might worry but right now she is experimenting so it is perfectly. Just encourage her write as much as she wants however she wants to write. Her teachers will be thankful. Hope this helps some.

I agree with the other posts in that it is normal for her age. But if you are concerned, and she struggles with this in the future, I would look into programs like Brain Gym,(at most book stores) and my favorite, Bal-a-vis-x. ( http://www.bal-a-vis-x.com ) These are excellent programs to help with visual tracking, and overall brain function. I use bal-a-vis-x on a daily basis, and I am 35. It helps with stress and clears the mind when you really need to focus on something. I have seen AMAZING results with this program with students. Your daughter is a little young for the full program, but it would be good to learn on your own to teach her as her abilities grow.
Also, Handwriting without Tears ( http://www.hwtears.com ) is a program my daughters Preschool used, and I would highly recomend it. There are a lot of ways in the program that you and your daughter can have FUN playing together, while learning her letters, and writing them correctly. Unfortunately, they just had their training here in Phoenix, and the next one is not til October, but you can still order stuff online. I highly reccomend the sing along CD's, the roll a dough, and the stamp and see screen, (mostly cause you can use it in the car, the magnet pen tool is shaped to teach proper grip of a pen, and there is no mess like using the chalk boards. I dont like holding chalk. )
Again, I would not be concerned, but these are some tools youi cn use if you would like to help her along.

Goof Luck.

i'm no expert but i have heard of other children that have done very well in school writing backwards. they'll test her in kindergarten. probably not till then . my d6 year old daughter is dislexic and they wouldn't test her until the end of kindergarten.... good luck

My first daughter did the same thing and when I spoke to her teacher I was told that it is very common for that age, that is is very normal and that it shouldn't really show improvement until mid-1st grade. My daughter is now finishing the 1st grade, has stopped doing that and is excelling in school. I wouldn't worry yet, but a talk with the teacher should help put your mind at ease!

I think alot of kids do this when they start writing. My friends daughter does but she writes some the right way. If your really concerned talk to her teacher and of course the pediatrician.

I am a preschool teacher and there is nothing to be concerned with. We call it "mirror image". She will outgrow it. You may find that she wil stop doing it for a while and then start back up.
I hope I put your mind at ease:)

My daughter did the same thing. It's completely normal. One thing that really helped is that her school (Montessori) has different stations like pouring or tonging different things from one cup to another cup & all is done from left cup to right cup to help their brains learn left TO right (for reading, writing & such). Maybe you could let her practice pouring buttons/beads/rice/water or tonging puff balls. A lot of the kids at her school - that is one of their favorite stations.

My daughter is 4 and writes her name backwards alot too. Her teacher said that it's normal, i thought it was odd. But she does do it the right way too, just sometimes she gets mixed up i guess. Try not to worry:) Maybe ask her teacher to work with her a little more too.

When you say 'backwards' do you mean that the word itself is spelled back to front (i.e. olleh) or the lettering itself? If it's the lettering, it may be dyslexia, although I've never heard of every letter being reversed with that condition. Nonetheless, dylexia in varied degrees is very common and VERY treatable. With the right doctor, children learn to re-train the brain to correct what it interprets that it sees, and there aren't any stigmas attached that should make you or your daughter feel badly about the condition. One of my best friends has had it for 30 years and she's the coolest, most well-adjusted woman you'd ever meet.

I'd suggest seeing a dyslexia specialist to run a test or two and go from there.

Good luck!


A while ago i was going through boxes at my moms house and found our old "school work" from when we were pretty little i noticed that letters and some number were written backwards so i asked my mom about it she told me it is completely normal for children to do this it is part of the nornmal development and learning process i believe her because we (my sisters and i)turned out just fine and had very good school grades all through school. if you still have questions try and see what her preschool teacher says (as long as she/he is a real teacher)
Happy Parenting

All kids do that I think. My son who is 4, did that for awhile too. And my friends daughter did it at one time too. Once she really gets the hang of her letters and writing, it will stop. They are still young enough to get confused

I think it could be perfectly normal but if your concerned you can call APS and have her tested to see if she has any kind of learning diorder such as Dyslexia. MY son is threee and he always writes his B,D, and N backward I had him tested and he's fine but I did like the peace of mind. Plus early intervention is key.

Hi there. Sometimes it is normal but if it is all the time I would have her checked for dyslexia (not sure if I spelled that right). My brother-in-law has had it since he was a small child. When he see's letters and numbers some of them or all of them look backward's. He went to a special school for it and he has learned to deal with it. I don't think it ever get's better but they can teach you to live with it. He is an adult now and living a very good life. Best Wishes to you and yours.

This is COMPLETELY normal, and it's actually a good thing! It is a developmental milestone that children go through when learning how to write. Kids have to experiment with their writing in order to understand how our written language works. Praise your daughter for her writing efforts and she'll be writing left to right in no time. :-).

Hi A.-
It is normal at this age. Just read to her, using your finger to point to each word. Say, "We start at this side of the page, and we read to the end of the line, then we go down to the next line." When she writes her name, say, "Oh, you do that so well; see if you can write it like we read, so other people know what it is." Write it out in printing with dots for her to trace. Lots of praise. It may require a few repetitions. No worried or negative remarks alowed. S.

This is very normal. You have nothing to be concerned about. Both of my daughters would write their name in mirror images; which to me seems a lot harder. They stopped doing it somewhere before there 5th birthday.

This is so normal. My daughter wrote a lot of things backwards in preschool. She's in kindergarten now and still writes a few of her letters and numbers backwards. They'll straighten out with practice.

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