Help with Letters and Numbers in 4-1/2 Year Son

Updated on August 04, 2008
P.L. asks from Santa Fe, TX
45 answers

My son will be 5 in December, so he won't start kindegarten until 2009, but I'm starting to get very concerned about his inability to learn his letters and numbers. He has trouble sitting still and focusing to begin with, but the other day I tried to get him to write a C for his name so he could sign daddy's father's day card. Every time he wrote it, it was either backwards or upside down. Same with his numbers. And he has a really hard time with counting - he used to count to ten, but now he can't get past three. We read lots of counting books and when we give him snacks he has to count them, but it just doesn't seem to be sticking. I really don't want my son to be behind before he even starts and have to struggle his whole life. He's an intelligent little boy, he just can't grasp the letters and numbers! It's so frustrating! Any advice??

I have to add that one of my main reasons for being so worried about this is because his name is Christopher, and I don't want the teachers making him Chris just to make things easier on themselves so they can just shove hm through the system.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

I.C.

answers from Houston on

Try doing something like a book with audio . Some times they have to hear it as a fun game ,this keeps them interested.If it does not work try getting a chalk board to write what he is learning as he hears the audio.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from El Paso on

Hello. I'm going to school to be a teacher and we just learned about the topic of word reversals. A lot of parents think that it's dyslexia when the child writes letters backwards or upside down. The reason emergent readers do this is because they are not familiar with the words enough to write them correctly.
I hope this helps and offers some peace of mind :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.G.

answers from Houston on

Hi P.,

I'd have to tell you not to worry. I have a 7-yr old that also had to start school late due to his bday. When I first took him I was a nervous wreck. He only knew how to write his name and count and refused to try to read with me and he wrote all his letters facing inwards, upside down, transposed, etc. It was devastating because my other two children learned everything in a blink of an eye. However, he's now going to 2nd grade and he is very smart, makes good grades, read at a higher level and an excellent student at school. At home, however he still acts like he cannot do anything on his own, instead of pampering his behavior, I've learned to challenge him and he works well w/challenges. I buy workbooks and give a him a challenge by the end of 1st grade this year he had his homework done all by himself.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Hey P.,
I could really go into a long detailed account, but here it is in a nutshell. Get your son academically evaluated. Find out what ISD you live in and contact them. If they won't evaluate him, ask for help in contacting someone who will.
I have a son, who turned 6 in May. We have been through hell with him. I had him evaluated last spring and his scores were average to below average. What you are going through now is what we've been going through for two years.
Backwards numbers, unable to do easy things but acing the steps beyond that. I'd ask him to do the same thing 5 minutes later and he acted like he'd never even seen it.
This has gone on since he was 4. I thought it was because I was trying to teach him. I figured he would be okay when school started, and it was to a point. But what we had to do get him there was just such a slow process and he still isn't where he needs to be. His 4 year old sister is doing things he just doesn't seem to be able to do on a consistant basis.
I know your frustration.
Here's what I think as an educator and parent. What you are describing are focus issues. Your son is probably a little ADD. Don't freak out and do not dismiss this.
You need to address this now. Don't wait and let counselors and his teachers lead you by the nose through the process. I know I had such a hard time convincing my husband of the possibility, much less the actual evaluation result.

Some Suggestions
1. READ Get as much information as you can about ADD.

2. CHANGE HIS DIET. Cut out sugars, cheese, yeast based products and ose's (frutcose,sucrose etc.) Keep a food diary and jot down changes. Does he stay on task for at least 4 minutes (1 minute for every year since birth), does he forget words or names he's always known, does he get irritable after eating? Things like that. Do this for a week and then introduce old foods back into his diet. Look for changes.

3. Get on the web and find some very basic educational games.
www.starfall.com has some wonderful games to help them recognize and pronounce letters, reading etc. We bought Blues Clues Preschool and Diego software as well.

4. Go to Walmart and pick up a few of the Teacher's Friend publications. Start with the Little Kids series. They have cut, color trace match, count and more. Start with what he knows so it's fun and comfortable. You want him to feel successful. Start building little by little.

5. Set up a schedule and go by it religiously. Set up an area that is for learning. Wake him up at the same time, eat breakfast and have school. Make it fun and have loads of breaks.

6.Get a poster with a grid on it and put some very attainable goals as well as some slight challenges. Let him pick out stickers. When he achieves a goal, let him put the sticker on the poster.

This will take consistancy and tenacity on your part. I am serious about getting him looked at. If nothing else, do it to rule it out.

Email me if you'd like. I've been where you are and it helps to have someone to ask questions and get honest feedback. My parents were teachers for a collective 55 years. I've taught for 11 years. My mom is my sounding board. She's not always on target, but she leads me in the right directions.
Good Luck!

E.
[email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.G.

answers from Houston on

A website that promotes early literacy that I love is www.starfall.com. My son loves playing the free games on that site, and they also have free printouts. Sesame street also offers educational games online also http://www.sesameworkshop.org/

I really like the "chicka chicka boom boom" book for help with letter recognition. My kiddos also enjoyed the leap frog videos (letter & word factory).

As far as counting, what about memorizing nursery rhymes like "1,2 buckle my shoe..." and the one about ten little monkeys jumping on the bed ("one fell off and bumped his head...")

I also had trouble writing backwards around that age, it is pretty common, but it is something I grew out of with time and practice.

It is great that you are working with him but remember learning should be fun, and make sure to quit any lessons before he becomes frustrated. I have one sibling who learned to read at age 3 and another that didn't learn until she was six in first grade and they are both successful college grads (and good readers) today.

HTH.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Killeen on

okay...here's the thing. There is a possibility that your son is dyslexic. However, it is very difficult to decide about this early as so much can be written off as normal develpment...

I suspected my oldest was dyslexic at a very early age, but only becasue I grew up with a younger sibling who was dyslexic and I recognized many of the signs right away. However, I put off saying anything to her or anyone until she was in the first grade because I know they can grow out of a lot of developmental things. I finally realized I was right in my suspicions when she not only was not getting any better as she progressed through school but in some areas she regressed.

I MADE the school test her in the first grade and it took 6 months of convincing to get them to do it. They normally will not test for it until they are older or are showing signs of struggling which they determine to be low grades. I told them I was not waiting for my childs grades to suffer so she did not want to come to school anymore, for them to "decide" there might be a problem.

Dyslexia is not a form of retardation or other special needs of that ilk. Rather it is simply that your child sees words and numbers and processes them differently than the "norm" Most schools provide in class help with this. You will find that more children than you realize are getting this special help to teach your child to cope with what he sees.

So...my advice is to watch your son carefully, are his problems getting better over the next year, or does he seem to be reverting more and more?? If so have him tested in the 1st grade. It will be a fight, but one worth having...

Another thing, try getting a colored see through page to put over any text he is looking at. This sometimes helps the child to focus better and the letters/numbers to "stay put" for them. You might have to try a couple of different color "filters" before finding one that works for your child, or this may not help at all. But they are inexpensive and if it works, it is absolutely worth trying.

If it works the schools WILL allow you to provide it for any "reading" he has to do...

Good Luck... ;-) if you have any further questions about this possibility let me know and I will see if I either know it or can get it answered for you...

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Austin on

Take it one thing at a time. Recognizing/Saying the letters is great for now. Then work on the sounds they make. Then work on writing them.

Also, in the meantime, help him gain better fine motor control (which he needs to write well) by having him "play" with things that require finger dexterity such as playdough, lacing boards, stringing beads or pasta, etc. This will help tremendously when he's ready to start writing. Oh, and help him use "proper" finger grips when he colors or paints to help build up those muscles. A lot of people don't realize that we have to give those little fingers workouts before they can write with ease and legibility.

As far as learning to recognize the letters goes I recommend the "Letter Factory" series from leap frog. Also, their fridge phonics game is pretty cool (annoying to grown ups, but fun for kids). Also, teacher stores will have a flip chart/CD that has a song for each letter. You could work on one letter at a time, learn the song, the name, the sound, etc. Also, as you're driving down the road, point out the letter of the week as you see it on buildings and signs, etc. Have him do a letter hunt at the grocery store (also great for numbers!) - just use each chance you can think of to point out how we use letters and numbers in our everyday lives! :)

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi P. :) I have two very fast points to make.. :) and I do so with a huge smile.. your story led me to go into my own scrap books and look back at the work of my kiddos.. first off mommy he is 4.. you remember when you were 4? kids now days are expected by society to learn so much so fast.. I looked at my kids 1st and 2nd grade work even.. they are 19 and 16 now, but the point is neither of them were perfect even then.. when my kids started school that was teh thing they STARTED learning in kindergarten.. maybe he is picking up on your frustration and its a sore subject now.. If he is smart like you say i would bet on it even. my daughter now is considered academically gifted, this from the kid that was held back in 1st grade cause she couldnt read yet :) My son graduated early and is in the military doing very well. I guess my point is, you will have alot of time to worry about his choices, learning potential, mistakes you may or may not be making. Just relax and let him be 4 :) if he is not ready for school at 5 fine! let him start at 6.. no pressure, no streess = no self esteem issues.. If there is still a problem then hooked on phonics is a great system they also have hooked on math. But ill bet its just a matter of non interest and maybe a bit of stressed mommy. I am dyslexic myself and upside down and backward letters is a sterotype.. just relax, make it all a game and take life on his terms! :)))

Have fun mommy

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Killeen on

they all do that do some degree backwards ,but i'm more concerd that he could count and know he cant please take him to a DR for testing ,,something is just not right i think
L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Houston on

As a special ed. teacher, I would recommend that you talk to the school that he will be going to and see if they can evaluate him.

My first recommendation (from experience and from evaluations) is that boys are held back a year in the beginning for maturity reasons. Some people will argue this, and that's ok, but I've seen better results with boys that were held back.

There are books at the Dollar Store, WalMart, etc. that have letters and numbers which are traceable. Look for the ones with arrows. Some children will write backwards and upside down, and this doesn't necessarily mean a disability....I repeat, this doesn't always mean a child is dyslexic, etc.

Don't get frustrated or angry with him about it, just try again. You can make silly songs about letters that you can sing with him as he writes. The sillier, the better. If he is having problems with attention, try it for a few minutes at first....and then build up the time increments. You can use stickers as an award, but I wouldn't recommend using other things as you want him to feel good intrinsically about what he's doing.

Don't do it when either of you are tired and frustrated. It will only make things worse!

Best wishes!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Austin on

My girl is now 10 and still will sometimes write a letter or number backwards. But she makes straight A's, so I don't stress about it much. It's actually kinda funny at times. I know she won't do it forever, and yours won't either, so take a deep breath, smile, and know that it'll just be a cute reminder when he's 10 or so. :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.D.

answers from Austin on

We bought the Leap Frog magnetic letters for the fridge and this really helped our son (4 1/2) learn all of his letters. It's not just the letters, but also a little box thing that you put one letter in at a time and it tells the letter and the sound it makes. "E says EEEE and E says EHHH. Every letter makes a sound, E says EEE and EHH."

My husband would tell our son, "Show me a letter that you don't know and I'll tell you what it is." It think that was a big key in our son learning all of the letters. Now we have the Leap Frog Word Whammer (just got it) and it's the same concept only it works with 3 letter words and rhyming.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.D.

answers from Houston on

P., as an educator, believe children learn to write when they are ready, if you are really concerned ask the Dr. and see what he says. I teach children from ages of 3-6 in my classroom, I have some children who write at 3 1/2 and others you cna hardly read at 5, go with your gut, your his mommy and NOBODY knows him better then you, but believe me youknow what is best! About your other concern about the teacher shortening your child's name, just politley tell them , you prefer that he learns to write his entire name. If they are a good teacher , they will respect your words and your wishes, agian you're the mommy and you know best!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.P.

answers from Houston on

It's common for children to write Cs backward. Just keep practicing with him. It's great that you make him count his snack items. Does his "regression" seem to coincide with your pregnancy with and the birth of his little sister? Many children will revert to the beginning in certain areas of development when there's another baby looming.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.J.

answers from Houston on

The thing that sticks out to me is you saying he used to be able to count to ten but can no longer!

Children should not regress in skills like that. I'd be most concerned about the loss of skills! Talk to his pede.

Also, have his vision checked.

C.E.

answers from Dallas on

There are a lot of children that enter kindergarten without knowing their letters and numbers that well...its great that you keep working with him. give him some time, encouragement...and i also recommend leapfrog toys...my 19mth old LOVES the letter one!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from Shreveport on

Leap Frog Letter Factory and Leap Frog Math Circus!! My daughter can't write yet (2 1/2 yrs) but she can recognize letters and count to 10 in order. She isn't always consistant but that will take practice. I have to say this one time TV worked in our favor. She watches them in the morning and within in a week she could count. They are $10 at Target. I had a friend who recommended it to me and it worked for her son too! Hope this helps ~M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.W.

answers from Houston on

We had to deal with this same thing with our son at that same age.
Dyslexia is-----Difficulty reading, writing spelling & remembering.
Get him tested very soon. What a lot of people do not reliaze how smart Dyslexia kids really are. They are our inventors, creative and high IQ's.
You may want to take him for a vision test with an eye doctor. A behavior optometrist would be a good start. They specialize in not only Dyslexia but other vision problems.
I do not know where you live but I can give you a name of one in Houston, Tx and Angleton, Texas. If you live in another area, I could still give you the name of one in Houston and they could referred you to someone in your area. I think University of Houston Medical branch can do this also.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Houston on

there is a State wide program that you can get an evaluation for your son. This program is called Early Childhood Intervention. This program will evaluate your son for disabilities and then if any theropy is needed they will come to your home and if he is in daycare, they will also go there for the theropy. The phone number is 1(800)628-5115. They will give you the leads that you need and then you can go from there. It is great that you are getting help before he gets into school so he can be on the same level as other children and then he will not struggle and get behind. They do charge for this service depending on your income, but if you can not pay, they will not turn you down.Best of luck to you and your family!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.C.

answers from Houston on

Hi Pam,

Cpngratulations of your new four month old and what a wonderful life to have a beuatiful family as yours. I am a tacher of Early Childhood Students ages 2-6. Your son is normal. He's very bright and just does not want to be pushed right now. Give him space first to get used to his new family addition. We don't understand how children think, but they do revert backwards when a new additon to the family comes, be it by birth, adoption or guest in the home. Be fair to him and let him continue to welcome his new addition to the family. It's a stranger to him getting attention and love from mom and dad that he's not used to. It's very normal, ask any doctor, teacher of young children and psychiatrist. He's very normal. It's enough pressure having a new family member, then mounting pressure to learn. Keep introducing things to him a little at a time. It will stick and one day he will just blurp out all the things you've been teaching him. Remember to put god first and thank God for such a wonderful life. Be blessed and enjoy such a wonderful life, you are truly blessed.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from San Antonio on

My daughter just finished her first year of kindergarten and although she knows all her numbers and letters and can even read, I still catch her writing some of them backwards. Give it some time and it will get better. As far as attention span goes, what helped for me was cutting out the TV time. I don't know if your child watches a lot of tv or not but mine used to. If you think about it, the TV trains for 5 min. attention, watch show for 5 min than commercial, watch show, then commercial. Not good at all. Of course, there are times when TV is a necessary evil.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi P.,
You must get the leapfrog dvd called "the letter factory". go to amazon and get it. my 2 year old learned them all rather quickly. (same weekend)
also another great dvd is they must be giants. got o amazon and find.
good luck,
S. C
mom of 1 lil girl 2 1/2

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi P.-

Does your son have a Magna Doodle to write on? My son was much more willing to practice writing his letters on that than on paper. Also will he be attending preschool in the fall? If so, make sure you talk to them about their curriculum to make sure they will be teaching all of the things that he will need to know for kindergarten.

Good Luck,
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.P.

answers from San Antonio on

I would not stress so much about this. It is normal for kids to write letters and numbers backwards. I think it's great you are working with him. Kinder classes have a variety of kids. Many don't know colors, letters, or numbers. It will come when he is ready. He may be able to count, but just doesn't want to. I have had that issue with mine.

You are doing great. Keep doing what you are doing, but don't worry. He is accomplishing a lot. You will be surprised how much he will learn and develop by the time kinder is here.

God bless you and your family!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from San Antonio on

A couple of quick suggestions- Leap frog videos and computer games. Working with him one on one is great but sometimes it can be boring. There are multiple leap frog video and learning games for your computer (not just leap frog) that will make it fun to learn and he won't even realize he is learning. Just make it sound fun yourself. Not now we are going to watch a learning video or play a learning game.You'll be surprised how he will catch on and as he learns more it will be easier to get him to sit down and practice it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi, my son is also 4. He will be 5 in September and we are in a similiar situation. He refuses to learn his colors. I was finally able to get him to count to 10 but it was a long battle. If you get any advice that works will you please pass it on to me. I am desperate. Thanks, my email is [email protected]____.com

L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.J.

answers from San Antonio on

P.,
Many times children will not do what their parents want when it comes to learning. I knew my son was intelligent and things weren't "sticking"--I enrolled him in a good Pre-kinder program and he really excelled--after he learned how to behave in a classroom!! Not only did it help him with his socialization, it also helped him with his letters and numbers. Remember also, he is only 4-1/2---very short attention span.
If you sign him up for school you will get some free time with your new one:)
C. J

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from San Antonio on

my daughters love the LeapFrog DVDs...pop those in for him...especially if you have one in the car.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Beaumont on

I had trouble with my kiddos when they were starting to learn and one thing I discovered is boys seems to learn slower than girls....they are more interested in the mechanics of things, it seems.
There is a great learn to read/numbers program for really young ones in the A.C.E curriculum...Accelerated Christian Education. See if you can find a few of those books somewhere, they are very repititious....but that is good for young ones.....I found that my kids all learned in different ways....my oldest couldn't retain info if he read it, but if I read aloud to him, he got way better grades, because he understood it better. My daughter recalled her info better if she read aloud to herself...try some different teaching methods...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.R.

answers from Houston on

If there is anything I could take back, it would be the years I worried about my 4 year olds academic achievement.

My daughter is now 7, and was always behind, and as another strike against her she was the only english speaking child in a Spanish speaking school. She was late to talk, count, just about everything!

Just let it be, and try to relax as much as possible. They feel our frustrations and it hinders them more. Even 4 years old they have the feeling that they are not pleasing mommy and daddy.

Just to help you relax a little, I HELD BACK my daughter to make sure she was the oldest in the class, and after 2 years of school she was right on track. Now that she is 7 she is reading and writing in 2 languages, doing great in math, amazing really. This was the girl who was last to speak, count, and was the bottom of her class. She is now at the top of her class.

Your son may excell in his school environment and learn to love learning. There is also the peer pressure which may help him want to achieve. Do not worry, but most of all don't let him pick up on the fact that you think he is behind because it will make him feel like he is failing you.

Time will tell, and if all else fails remember there is always Sylvan Learning center for the subjects he may require additional help.

Best wishes, I wish I would have let my little girl learn at her own pace! She ended up being a really hard working girl with the team spirit of a trooper. Just let him be him! He is only 4 and has a whole life of deadlines and pressure ahead in his little life. Enjoy the summer with him being him.

Deb

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.F.

answers from Waco on

Hi P.,
My son is 5 almost 6. We did 2 years of preschool at a private school. It is probally a maturity issue, just be patient with him. Preschool or a mothers day out program would be great to prepare him for the classroom. Also the Leapfrog videos are FANTASTIC! We have letter factory, talking words factory and math circus. I bought them on line at leapfrog.com. My son love these videos and the repetition is great for them!
Good Luck and God Bless,
K.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Austin on

Leap Frog has a DVD/video series called Leap Frog Letter factory, Leap Frog Word FActory, Leap Frog word factory 2(Code word Caper), etc. My son and daughter both picked up their ABC's in just a couple days!! My DD is 2 and new her whole alphabet at 19 months. The videos are phonetic and very catchy. They love to watch them over and over! I have even made copies for friends. They love them too.
As for him writing his letters backward. It's normal for them to transpose letters and numbers and to write them backward or start words on the wrong side of the page. He'll learn. As far as not grasping it, I think he knows more than he's letting on. My son does the same thing. He's almost 5 (in October)and will be starting Kindergarten late too. He acts like he doesn't want to learn for me either, but he will as me what something says and I will tell him to figure it out. Then, he tells me what the sign says. So, I know he can read, he just doesn't want to do it for ME!!
Try the videos, they are awsome.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.F.

answers from San Angelo on

My first thought is to consider that he may have a learning disability rather than a learning disinterest, so don't be too hard on him. It will be a while before you can determine this, but I have a suggestion that will help both of you. I am not a professional, but my daughter was the first in her school to ever skip kinder, so something must have stuck! The way I started my children out with learning is to sit with them and play the computer games at sesameworkshop.org You click on "games and more." You can sit and play games together. They have matching games like "click on all of the socks on the clothesline and put them into elmo's basket;" as well as sorting games - put all of the blue dogs in one pen and all of the green dogs in the other pen." While these basic games seem like they are only teaching elementary concepts, they are really preparing for Math...like making patterns with pigeons and Bert! If he can master these basic games and skills, you can work on getting farther with the letters and numbers, but remember you have to have a base upon which to build. It is not uncommon for four-year olds (and some five year olds) to draw or even read letters backwards...that is why b and d are so difficult to learn for most kids...there is just that part of the brain that takes longer to master. Make learning fun and be sure to keep it positive even when it gets really frustrating to you or your son will grow to believe he can not accomplish anything and that all his attempts at schoolwork are just disappointing you. Praise works wonders...good luck to you both.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.C.

answers from College Station on

At his age, children often reverse letters and numbers, flip them, etc, because they are not ready for print yet. If he is exposed to counting and reading books with you, he will do great in kindergarten. He may be feeling stress from your concern, and he doesn't like that feeling, so he doesn't want to count for you. At 4 or 5, counting, reading, writing, etc., should only be done in a fun, experimental, and exploration type activity.
You can help him learn eye-hand coordination skills which will help in all areas of school, by crawling, jumping rope, tricycling or biking, hopscotch, or any other activities that involve crossing the midline of the body- left to right or right to left. All those things that we used to do when we were little, were actually helpful for development! Good Luck!
M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.N.

answers from Beaumont on

Dear P., I am in no way insinuating that there is a problem with your son's cognitive skills. I am no expert, except to say that I raised 6 kids and am an assistant now in Resource Math in High School. My point here is that there are many forms of dyslexia, and a trained teacher or counselor can give you the true picture. I encourage you to have your little guy tested if this persists. Let the people equipped to recognize any difficulties do their job.

Hope this has been helpful. God bless ! Have a great day !

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.J.

answers from Corpus Christi on

If you haven't already, you need to get your son evaluated ASAP. It could be that some of the other posters are correct and it's something that will work itself out in time...but ONLY an expert can tell you if that's the case or not. And if it's not, then your son needs to be evaluated immediately because early intervention is the key. The earlier he receives help, if needed, the better off he is going to be. Don't wait, don't try to solve this on your own--get him evaluated. I believe the evaluation is free (the number for ECI you were given below is the one to call). And if the evaluator says there's nothing wrong, then great. If your son does have some difficulty, though, the evaluator can get him started on the right path now.

We had a similar situation with our son, although his problem was speech. At 18 months he only spoke 4 words (the norm is 7-30). Now, it could have been that there was nothing wrong, but my husband and I insisted he be checked to be sure. Frankly, his pediatrician was in no way qualified to make that assessment. Our insurance covered the evaluation, where it was determined that therapy was not necessary--he was not saying many words, but his understanding of them was within limits for his age. It was at the low end, so my cousin (who just got her masters in early childhood education) recommended I put him in day care for at least a few hours a day--even when he did start speaking a "normal" amount of words, he was very hard to understand. If you can, that might be the answer for you. My son started when he was a little over 2, and the improvement was amazing. His speech is so clear and he talks just like his peers. And, he's learning so much. Like you, I worked on the alphabet and numbers and everything at home, but my son had no interest. Once I put him in with his peers, he started soaking knowledge up like a little sponge. For my son, he needed that peer interaction; it might be good for your son too. Now he goes to "school" 4 days a week and he absolutely loves it.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from San Antonio on

I'm no expert, but it sounds like he has dysgraphia. My nephew has it, and an adult friend of mine has it. To allay your concerns, just call your local Elementary school and he can be assessed for free. Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.I.

answers from Odessa on

Hello P.,

You are such a smart mom to be thinking about this at your son's age. All the things you mentioned are Warning Signs of Dyslexia. I am a Testing Specialist in Midland, and your "story" is what I hear from parents every week. Go to a great website and watch a free video, www.brightsolutions.us. The video is "Could it Be Dyslexia?". After watching this video, if you see more signs in you son there are some things you can do to help. He needs to work on phonological processing skills. Rhyming, counting syllables, learning the sounds the letters make and more! I hope this helps!. Early intervention is key and will help your son be successful when he enters Kinder. If I can help, please email me. If you can't see the video on your computer, email and I'll mail one to you. L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from El Paso on

I also have a 4-1/2 yr old daughter and I am also concern about her not been able to grasp all her letter and numbers by the time she goes to school. She will be starting Pre-K this fall. What I've been doing it's to get a piece of paper write her name with dots so she could follow the dots, that way she connects the dots and her name appears, I also do that with any numbers or letters. Also you might want to consider buying a connect the dot computer game or book. They are fun and I am sure your son will enjoy it. My daughter only does it for 5 or 10 min, unless she wants to continue.
This is working for me, I hope it will work for you.
I am a student, mother of four, three boys and a beautiful gril, married for 13 years.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

I have had the same concerns with my son who is now 5 and will be starting kindergarten this next year. My husband is an occupational therapist and has worked with him. He says he is developmentally on target. Yet - I am an educator and think otherwise. Our education system is pushing our kids to do things that are not really developmentally age appropriate. So, don't be concerned about any mental problems with him or anything with just the above concerns. My daughter just finished 1st grade and sometimes she still writes a letter or number backwards. None of the teachers seem concerned - they just want her to work on it. Just keep working on it calmly without pressure. He'll most likely be fine. He may not be Einstein - but he will be normal. If you ever notice anything else - keep noting it and asking the experts. That never hurts - they do get annoyed with me though :-) You don't want to ignore things as something could be a sign of something else - but what you are describing does not sound too urgent. Just keep thinking about it and researching without worrying.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.B.

answers from Houston on

I am appalled at the people who are responding to you saying he may have a learning disability! Give him time, he is not in school yet, so it's not structured learning environment. There is no competition that he has to know these things before school---school is where he will learn these things...in due time, the right setting. Kindergarten is where they will learn and practice writing their names, numbers....It's good that you are working with him on this, but don't push too hard or else he'll hate it!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Houston on

Have your son evaluated for dyslexia. It is a learning disorder that can be very very successfully overcome w/ early and regular intervention. Many school districts have people already in place to assist dyslexics. One of the most common symptoms of dyslexia is writing and reading letters and number backwards and upside down. It is in no way indicitive of low IQ, or lack of ability, these are people who just see and learn differently than most. Having him evaluated for any other type of LD may also be something you want to look into if he is not found to be dyslexic. You want to make sure he gets all the help that he needs before he has time to fall behind.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.K.

answers from Houston on

the only requirements for children entering kindergarten is to be potty trained, know colors and basic shapes. if they can write their name that would be a bonus, but it is not a requirement, they need to be able to follow basic commands and not be overly disruptive.
my son is extremely intelligent, but has trouble sitting still and following commands so i have decided not to send him to school and am instead teaching him at home, using a fantastic online curriculum called time4learning.com.
they do it from preschool right through to high school, it costs 19.99 a month and it takes things right from the basics.
you could try using it for a few months if he likes to use the computer and play games, it is a full curriculum, including science math etc.
you can cancel any time.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Corpus Christi on

We always made games of numbers. Have you ever played Go Fish with your son? Use regular cards not picture cards. Yatzee is also awesome for learning addition and multiplication. We must have done something right because our son now going into 7th aces most math. ;) If you can make it a game they can sit still and even enjoy. Monopoly is good for learning $$, Clue for reasoning skills, even 21 has addition lessons - just be creative and use something other than the TV or Computer. "Old Fashioned" games work better than any of those because they are also learning to interact with people and not to cheat! Enjoy!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.W.

answers from Austin on

Hi. I teach first grade and I used to teach Kinder. Have you tried Leap Frog letter Factory? There is also a math one. They are great. My kids are three (will be four in Sept) and they love them. Give them a try. I hope this helps. Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches