Right-brain / Visual kids often will write backwards. The image is recognizable to them at any angle. It is their gift. We must teach them to write words so that we can read them, too. (Most, NOT all, teachers tend to be left-brained.)
You can use sandpaper letters (3-5 inch letters cut out of sandpaper, mounted on tagboard) to help these children. Placing the letter under a table, box, cover, etc., and having the child trace it with their fingers (you guide the stroke order) is a trick that the optometrist taught me.
A wonderful resource for teachers/parents is "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child" By Laurie Parsons and Jeffrey Freed
Don't worry. For the most part, children learn to deal with OUR handicap and write properly.
This is a normal developmental stage in children's handwriting which tends to disappear as they get more accustomed to our print conventions. (Or, they could make like Leonardo da Vinci, and deliberately write in mirror image to avoid having others read their words.)
I am a special ed teacher, and I find that kids with weak directionality attempt to both read and write backwards well past the point where you'd commonly find this behavior. For them, it contributes to poor reading skills. English books require their eyes to be able to track consistently from left to right. These are kids who also start their notebooks on the last page and attempt to run bases in reverse order, and who always struggle with knowing left from right. It is a conscious effort for them to read and write following print conventions.
Basically, you have to look at the whole picture in order to determine whether any individual behavior is a problem. If the child can't recognize when the word is written backwards, then I would be concerned.
It is a developmental issue that should disappear with instruction in reading from left to right. My daughter wrote that way occasionally until first grade and then she switched it around. We did not make a big deal out of it and thankfully neither did her teacher. It was a bit alarming at first but she is now an incredible artist and just looks at things differently than the rest of us.
How about if you simply put a dot on the left hand side of the boarder and tell them, "This is where you start". I even put dots at the beginning of each line and usually they pick up pretty quickly. If you speak to an Occupational Therapist about this you would get some great cues as well.
I am a special education teacher who often sees elementary students writing backwards. I purchased a kit called "magic rulers" from a special ed. catalogue. The rulers guide the student to write letters correctly. We also memorize tricks for letter b (first the bat, then the ball) to remember how to write a "b". Another trick is to take your left and right hand and make fists in the shape of a "bed" to help with b/d reversals. When students learn cursive, reversals naturally disappear.
Some of the smartest people ever wrote backwards. All of DaVinci's notes are writen backwards. Albert Einstein was thought to have learning disabilities and dyslexia. I was constantly told by my daughter's teacher that she was dyslexic. After many many doctor appointments, we have learned that our daughter has a talent, not a problem. It isn't some kind of developmental problem or learning disability, it is a gift. My child doesn't have autism or social skills problems. She is a normal 7 year old with a gift. Help your child use it.
At the moment I am looking at a row of plastic alphabet letters on the floor saying 'nuf emos evah' - have some fun I am always finding little messages around the house written by son who is only 2 years old spelt perfectly only backwards , any ideas what I may expect from him???
If the child can and will write the "normal" way, what's the problem? I can write upside down and backwards....mirror image, and have always been able to do so.
It's a gift, talent, genetic thing, whatever. I'm an exceptional reader and not dyslexic.
I'm with the mom who points out the very smart people who have done this.
And....special education kids ARE special. They see the world differently than others. Thank God.
I am and when I was little (I'm 42 now) my K teacher thought lefties were just being stubborn and could write the other way if they tried hard enough. When she made me write with my right hand, it always came out totally mirror image.
Nowadays, like another poster, I can now write very well upside down, backwards, right or left handed in print and cursive. People who watch me in my small group are always commenting on how well I write things upside down so my students can read them right side up without all the switching and turning.
I don't think writing backwards is a serious problem. I am 26 and continue to write sentences backwards on occasion. I also accidentally try to read text backwards and drive on the wrong side of the road fairly often. It was never a major problem in school, though obtaining a driver's license was a little difficult.
My sister came to visit CA from NY last week, so I took her and my 5 year old son to the beach. My sister was writing in the sand next to Tyler and noticed he had written his name in mirror image in under about a minute. He did this with such ease; as if it were natural.
He has displayed extreme artistic ability since 3, so I wasn't too concerned until she e-mailed me a pic of his name in the sand.
I immediately started looking on line for Dyslexia links, but nothing I found described my son as having this writing problem.
Has your 7 year old displayed anything further as far a mirror image writing through the years?
My son's teacher is a bit fed up with him getting letters backwards so she now marks them incorrect and he loses marks over it after weekly tests. Prior to this problem she was a bit fed up with him being disruptive in class in a way that he couldn't really sit still and would come up with new habits clearing his throat for no reason...sniffing when he doesn't need to and during line up he would all of a sudden jump and when he walks he can't walk straight he'll hop and it got a bit annoying. However everytime I got him out of a habit he would replace it with another. The doctor says there is nothing wrong with him. He is very different from my other kids. He is left handed and I thought the backwards thing could be from being left handed.
His teacher is very very disappointed because she reckons he is one of her top students . We are always told he is smart , intelligent whatever ..... but with these problems I'm afraid he willl never reach his full potential.
My 5 yr. old nephew is writing words backwards and from right to left. My sister is extremelly worried about this, so I told her I'd help her out. I read above about the lady who purchased the "Magic Rulers" workbook, and I'd really like to know where I can buy it. I've googled it, but can't seem to come up with much. Any help would be appreciated.
I had this problem when I was small around the age 6-8 years. It went away but I am dyslexia. Look at the writing if they leave letters off at the end. Is it hard for them to retain something... Really Watch and learn. Dyslexia is not bad at all you just have to work hard and have great parents...
Hello, based on the description of your child I believe he falls under PDD (pervasive development disorder). He has to move, it helps him to think or process what is going on around him. Instead of "breaking" him of the habit help him to create one that is "acceptable" in public. I would also get him to see a Child Neurologist to help you and him better understand how he thinks.
I have a child and husband who have Asperger Syndrome and another child that is autistic, ADHD and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Because of early detection I have been able to work with my children to help them find ways to function in a "normal" world. It isn't easy and does take a LOT of patience and time but these kids can function and excel beyond your imagination. We discovered my husband had Asperger while reading up on my daughter's diagnosis of Asperger
I don't know what state you are in but once you have him diagnosed you should be able to go to the school district and get an IEP (Individual Education Program) that will give him special support/services to help him with whatever issues he is dealing with. You also have the right to ask the school to test him.
I know from experience that once you begin to understand how his brain is wired things will start to make sense. Good luck.
I also had this problem with writing mirror image, i was thought to be "special needs" and had all the tests........came back it was completely normal! I thought it may be something to do with being left handed?
When I was 1st learning to write (age 3) my mom told me that since I was left handed, I would need to do everything backwards that right handed people did. Being very literal, I assumed this meant writing as well, so I started writing everything mirror-imaged. It took my mom a long time to figure out why i was doing that, they thought something was wrong until I TOLD her-- BUT YOU SAID DO EVERYTHING BACKWARDS!
Remember when. getting high meant swinging at the playground the problem about boys was cooties mom wasyour hero and dad was superman your worst enemies were your siblings; race issues were about who ran fastest war was just a card game Life was SAMPLE and CAREFREE.
My daughter just started doing this as well. She just came home with a worksheet where she was suppose to write the letters before and after the given numbers and letters. She was very consistant in that every one, letters and numbers were backwards.
In other words, if 18 is given she would write 19, 18, 17. If H is given, she wrote I, H, G.
When I asked her, she said she had no idea it was backwards. She also (I have been noticing) that she writes her name at the top of the paper backwards. (although she doesn't do that all the time.)
Hi i was reeding you comment on the internet because this is the first time i look this up on the internet, i was verry concern because my oldest kid who is 6, is been writting both backwords and the right way, and I believe that is also something good instead of being bad, i was wondering if you happen to know a web page about this, or somehow an e-mail from a Doctor that you know that can help me to give me more information about this. I will really Apreciate.
I started this as something to amuse me when I was bored in school as a child. I am smart and creative and I must of been a printer in a former life, or it is a naturat trait for a left hander. Encouraging the child to indeed write ALL his letters backwards...maybe will flip a switch in his brain to correct his problem of just doing one letter or number here and there. I developed the abilty to FOCUS when I would practice this art of writing mirror image backwards. It is fun, It fills the dull boring moments waiting for the doctor to call my name or gotta sit still while the preacher is talking...
Hi shari my daughter who just went in first grade recetly had a problem which I just discovered about inverted writing I told her this morning to write Apt 3b 8 times and all 8 times b was writen correctly but 3 was writen inverted,also what i observed that yesteday when she was dancing on this song "hoe down throw down" which she learnt by watching it on youtube like 2 months ago and yesterday when she was doing it herself and i was watching her at the same time looking at the screen... she was using the other half of her body.... like if they threw their left arm out she would throw her right arm, they moved their right leg, she would move her left... like all opposite....
Should be concerned about this or just keep teaching her to do it correctly every time she writes backwards.Please reply to John5983@allstate.com.I apprecite it.
Hello I'm having the same Issue with my 6 yr old daughter and I'm really concerned about it,she is a brilliant kid but this inverted writing is driving me nuts she is also dancing the other way when she watches some dance on the TV,was someone able to help you or were you able to Fix this with your child.Please repl to firstname.lastname@example.org I really apprecite your help.
1. "weak directionality"
2. "This child may have Dyslexia or some type of processing problem."
3. "but with these problems I'm afraid he willl never reawhatever issues he is dealing withch his full potential."
1. The first comment is ironic, children are naturally ambidextrous; they haven't had "directionality" imposed/forced on them. Their teachers and parents are the one's who are shortsighted because they have only one perspective; the children are fighting to maintain two.
2. In a world where left-directed writing would be the norm, it is right-directed writers and readers who would be considered dyslexic.
3. If you destroy half of a child's use of his brain and body, you naturally take away his full potential.
I thought this would be common knowledge by now. I met a lady who wrote beautiful handwriting, but you have to hold the writing up to the mirror. She had a terrible time in school, since this was 'back in the day', she was highly intelligent, just wrote backwards.
NOW, this is the funny part people, she was a member of MENSA, and so am I, and I have partial dyslexia. It is so sad, that this is still not fully understood and missed in the 'group' mentality teaching.
Read my post here. Dyslexia does not mean messed up. They used to tie left-handed peoples hands behind their back, so they would write 'normal'. Please, please understand that just like people think MENSA members are all scientist, teachers, this is not true. It's a bigger world than the 'school' yard mentality teaches.
I would advise the parents of the child to have the child tested for a form of dyslexia known as strephosymbolia, this is no joke, I have students on the web who have the same visual disorder because all text appears backwards to them thus by fliping the text to the mirror image it appears normal to them.
As a mom... reading your email just about breaks my heart.
I have been where you are and I hope what I share with you both encourages you and helps point you the right direction to re-examine the situation with some ??'s.
I am a mother of a son (whom is now 30 years old) with ADHD. The ADHD diagnosis was made in first grade. His educational experience was (sadly) a continued struggle of trying to find ways to help him succeed both academically and socially. And even though we did everything the professionals (doctors/psychologists) recommended (medication, diet modification, behavior modification, academic tutoring, bio-feedback therapy and counseling on an on-going basis), his school years were both difficult and frustrating times for him.
From MUCH personal experience... what I am CERTAIN of is that you MAY have a teacher problem! No offense... but not all teachers are equal.
If you have a teacher that is communicating to you that she is "fed up" with reversals (which is common in early child development) I have to question what the teacher is communicating to your son (??).
From 1st through 12th grades, my son had only 2 teachers that had the disposition/patience and compassion to work with a child that was challenged (academically and energy-wise). I found it very interesting that for these two teachers - my son not only cooperated, but flourished in their classroom! The RIGHT teacher makes all the difference in the world!!!
Furthermore, if a teacher relays to any child that they are "a failure" or "a problem" -- they will either do one or two things: 1. act out publicly (to save face -- which in my opinion what your son may be doing) or 2. comply (and silently suffer until they no longer believe in themselves).
My personal advise is to "have your son tested for ADHD" (as my son also struggled with sitting in class without disrupting, walking and standing in lines, keeping still, following rules, difficulty following directions, social codes and interaction/communication -- in essence he was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole... he was and is different from all the other kids. But let me stress that he is a wonderful child and that being different is OKAY!
Most ADHD kids are also a bit dyslexic. They are also just kids that learn differently... which also is okay and should be communicated as so.
Left-handedness has little to do with his behavior. I am personally left-handed and a mirror reader and mirror writer... which usually just points to great creativity and visual thinking.
Appreciate your son for the individual that he is... its okay that he's different from your other kids. Focus more on what he does well, encourage him -- learn to be his advocate (your the only one he has). He may never be an academic wiz kid... maybe he's your "creative" one -- which is great too.
But whatever you do... let him know that "you're there for him" and don't be afraid to dialog with his teacher about any concerns you have about her relationship with your son... again, remember an advocate works for the "BEST" outcome in a situation.
Deep breath, hug your boy a lot, talk to his teachers (as often and as long as needed), stay tuned in to the situation daily... encourage, encourage, encourage -- and he'll reach his potential.
I have been working with PI (Print Inverted) students for the last two years and have had great success just letting them do what comes naturally. I have found that up to 25% of some of my classes ( 6 children out of 24) read and write MUCH better upside down than right-side-up. If forced to read and write the "normal way" they fail miserably.
BY FORCING THEM TO DO SOMETHING THAT IS NOT NATURAL FOR THEM, I BELIEVE TEACHERS ARE ACTUALLY CREATING DYSLEXIC STUDENTS.
When these kids are allowed to hold their books upside down they read absolutely perfectly. They sound out words the same way "standard readers" do and actually do much better on Spelling Tests and story writing if allowed to write upside down from the bottom right to left. When you turn their papers over they look absolutely normal. In fact, they make no reversal mistakes and their papers are actually NEAT!
If allowed to do what comes naturally I've found that eventually they "flip it over" on their own and can soon do it either way.
I BELIEVE THAT THESE KIDS ARE GIFTED, AND IF THE TEACHER DOESN'T SCREW THEM UP BY FORCING THEM TO DO IT THE "NORMAL" WAY, THEY WILL EVENTUALLY FIGURE IT ALL OUT FOR THEMSELVES - AND BE EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS IN THE END!
My daughter is almost seven and she has autism spectrum disorder. She has lots of letter and number reversals, she also tends to start at the right side of the page and finish at the left.
It looks quite amazing to see a string of numbers written in a mirror image.
Ive been told that a special optometrist and occupational therapist can help with these things.
Its like being unable to see blue text on a red background etc, its all very indepth. the visual testing needs to be done.
My daughter is almost seven and she has autism spectrum disorder. She has lots of letter and number reversals, she also tends to start at the right side of the page and finish at the left.
It looks quite amazing to see a string of numbers written in a mirror image.
Ive been told that a special optometrist and occupational therapist can help with these things.
Its like being unable to see blue text on a red background etc, its all very indepth. the visual testing needs to be done.
I have to agree with snwbrd62's message. I have a child that has pdd. he was first diagnosed in the middle of the autism spectrum but now, doesn't meet all the requirements for it. He also has adhd and central auditory processing disorder. He wrote his name backwards often as a child. He still reverses his letters and I have suspected dyslexia all along, but could not get an answer from the school because they said it was too early to tell. I just noticed my daughter writing her name backwards yesterday, and thought that she may be dealing with dyslexia too. She is very smart, yet struggles sometimes with reading. She plays around alot when required to do any reading. I think it is because she is having trouble? Think she is also dealing with adhd and possible aspergers? Having her evaluated in a few days.
My, almost 7 year old, daughter writes almost everything that she "sounds out" backwards- mirror imaged. She can even write the alphabet starting with "Z" and work her way to "A". I am a little concerned. Not worried, she can read, comprehend and does great in school. She is extremely creative and does well in her piano lessons. I'm not concerned with her ability to learn, however; she does need to learn how to write correctly in this society. Having family members with dyslexia that was my first thought but I recently heard of dysgraphia. Her teacher and myself are paying closer attention to her writing and she will be giving her spelling words send home to write as a type of homework assignment for practice. If she still is not able to write them easier the correct way, then I plan to have her tested. I am a musician and see things differently than my husband, I can use both my left and right hand well. My daughter is right handed- naturally. With all my kids I set their toys in front of them and let them show me which was natural for them, left or right handed.
Ha! When I was six and in first grade, I wrote backwards and upside down (mirror image). So a sentence like "I love my cat" would have been ".tac ym evol I." Except it was also upside down. I did have beautiful penmanship.
I was also left-handed. My teacher had seen writing like that before, and was not concerned. And of course, when I was in first grade, dyslexia was unheard of, at least where I grew up (I'm not dyslexic). By the end of the year I was writing the proper way. Never looked back. I can still read other people's papers upside down, though.
I teach a student that fits this description. He has been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. It causes them to have verbal and motor tics that they can't control. The student I teach clears his throat, sniffs his nose hard, is in constant motion (wiggles feet, etc.) and struggles with controlling his impulses. This student is also left-handed.
Their tics can change from month to month so it matches what you said about replacing one habit with another.
The doctor is wrong. Take your son to another doctor.
I'm 36. I have been writing backwards (COMPLETELY BACKWARDS, mirror image) all my life. I have elematary school material with my name written backwards from as far back at JK. Although, clearly, I am able to write forwards however, it's much slower and a little sloppier. Backwards, I have perfect cursive. Even now, material that only I refer to or read will always be backwards because it's just plain EASIER and faster. I'm left handed however, I tend to do some things "right handed", for example, sports.
I always just assumed that this is some sort of dyslexia, but, who knows.
If anyone does, please fill me in!
I'm 36 years old father to a 5 year old son. When I was a small boy, I have problems writing my name properly as i will jumble up the letters but i can read what i write properly (except everybody else). When I was 13, my teacher told me that my writing is horrible and I start learning to write again but failed to correct it with my right hand. I tried writing with my left hand and to my surprise, by default, my left hand writing will be in a mirror image (right to left). I have to control to get it right and my left hand writing is better than my right hand. If i do write with my both hands simultaneously, both writing will mirror each other. I even can do my signature with my left hand in mirror image.
Now, I realized that my son is writing and reading upside down. He don't have problems identifying left from right or top and bottom. But when he writes A it will be upside down. Almost all of the letters he will write it either upside down or mirror.
He's very active and he will get easily bored if you try to teach him for more than 30 minutes.
Never been to any doctor yet to check because I thought it's just normal for 5 years old like him.
I have a daughter who can simultaneously write with either hand forward, backward and upside down forward or backward. I mean any combination concurrently. She learned of this while attending Hood College a few years ago when one of her professors asked her to try. That is, after she took her final exam and wrote everything backwards.
I don't write backwards, but I do have a tendency to read things backwards. Street signs, store names.. even adverts on tv. Sometimes my brain will get caught up on sounding out a really long word backwards like "Insurance" = "Ec-nar-us-ni" kind of makes me sound latin lol but I don't notice I'm doing it until I've finished. It's not dyslexia, it's just the way my brain works. I didn't have reading problems, infact in 3rd grade I was reading at an 8th grade level, I was the top speller in my class. I've had this.. psychological talent for as long as I can remember. Your kid does things that aren't 'normal', his/her brain works differently.. it doesn't mean they have a disorder, or some kind of 'problem'. They're different, rather than trying to make them conform to what society thinks is 'normal'. Love them, cherish them and nurture their gifts.
This acutally has more to do with brain-dominance than anything. Most of us are left or right brained and have a dominant side. For example our hands, feet, eyes and ears all have a dominant side. If a child/person is cross dominant, than these types of problems arise. If a child is right dominant in foot, hand and ear but left eyed dominant they are cross dominant and when looking on a page to read or write will start on the right side instead of the left. Most children do not develop dominance fully until 8 or 9 so things can be done, like putting stickers on where to start, to "train" them to use certain conventions such as writing letters correctly or starting to write/read on the left side of the paper. Most children do outgrow these things, but you can do things to help them feel more successfull when they are very young-which is important to their confidence in learning and school.
I strongly agree with the teacher who is concerned that "correcting" children who write in a nonstandard direction may be at risk of developing dyslexia. I am the parent of a left-handed mirror writer. When he was three, he could easily tell the difference between right and left. He was better at it than I am. He also strongly preferred to "mirror write" from right to left. He knew what he wanted to do and which way he wanted to go. No problem.
Now he is seven. At the end of four years of coaching (rather gentle coaching) to teach him to go the "right" direction, he seems to be losing his sense of the difference between right and left and reverses "b" and "d". I am concerned that he has suppressed his naturally strong sense of direction because he has been taught that there is something wrong with him.
In Israel, some right-handed children write Hebrew from left to right (backwards) because it is more intuitive for them. Their teachers simply read their homework in a mirror. This seems far easier than trying to change the child! and far less likely to be harmful.
My husband and I attended our 5 year old's Open House last night where we discovered, as we were reviewing some of his work over the course of the school year, several writing exercises where the writing is completely mirrored. We both had never witnessed this when he did his homework or simple study exercises at home. That brought me to this forum; I was trying to browse online to find out if others have experienced this themselves or with their children. Just wanted to research this as I've never come across this before.
well, my child is very good at writing backwards and i encourage it but when it comes to school i think that they should not be aloud to do it. if the teacher is capable of marking and reading the work in class then it really is up to the them and the parents decision. They should still be taught how to write normally for tests like SATS exams especially because they are sent off to their secondary school/s and put on their records to be put into grade groups. i am very used to having the odd child that writes backwards because i am a secondary school teaching assistant. Most are put in lower groups than what they are capable of doing.
I am 36 y/o. When I was a child, I could read backwards or upside down and I wrote from right to left. My teacher worked with to see the words left to right and write them from left to right. I have a child now that does the same thing---people want to put a dyslexic label or "learning disability".
My child is brilliant, she just sees the world differently. I have no doubt she will be able to read like the rest of the world. I graduated valedictorian of my High School, got accepted into Ivy League school, graduated college, getting ready to start my Ph.D. program and have a 172 IQ.
Don't label children!!! Everyone has different learning strengths and weaknesses!!!
I DID do a google search which led me to this thread as I AM a concerned parent of a brilliant now 4YO who spells his name completely backwards (mirror image) and thinks it looks normal. He also "pre-reads" from right to left. For example, when he wants to turn on the light on the oven I tell him that it is the button that starts with the letter "L". He consistently picks out "Cancel" rather than "Light." I don't know whether to be concerned or not. I looked up symptoms of dyslexia but he doesn't exhibit any of the other signs. However, he IS left-handed (somewhat ambidextrous) and very smart for his age so I am happy to see so many people here talking about these traits (right-brain thinking and creativity/brilliance) going together. So far, I simply stress that we read from left to right in this country and try to reinforce that while reading books, etc and haven't worried too much about it. I now have a good feeling that it is probably something that he will grow out of or adapt to a left-brained world! Thanks again.
My younger sister clears her throat, blinks constantly and hums. It can be very very annoying, but she doesn't even know she is doing it. She just does it. When she gets upset or stressed she does it more. Its a sign of OCD, nothing life threatening. She is above average in all her classes, something that can happen with kids with different sorts of "disabilities". His teacher should try to ignore the little things he does and help him focus on his studies. I am sure he is a vert brilliant kid. We all have to keep in mind that some time kids are too smart and they don't know what to do with all their knowledge. Some kids can't explain what is going on in their heads, it doesn't mean they have a problem, they are just a little smarter than we are.
I am a 32 years old and let me assure you i can naturally write cursive backwards as smooth as if i was right handed , i have done this every since i learn cursive, wich by the way got me in trouble with all my teachers because the couldn't understand why i would do that.
I am18 and i can naturally write backwards as good as i do normally, i been doing it for God knows how long. i also hum, clear my throat and blink constantly...unconsciously. it annoys everybody but i can't help it. i love math and I'm great at school so that means i'm pretty normal. you shouldn't always label behaviors you don't understand as some disorder, we are all different in our our way.
What a breath of fresh air! My son is in preschool (again) this year due to his perceived potential learning disability(ies).
He's been in occupational therapy for about seven months because he struggles to hold a writing utensil correctly (he was born not wanting his hands to be touched), let alone write on a line. On the flip side, though he struggles to read words, his comprehension is off the charts.
Yesterday, when I picked him up from preschool, he signed out by writing his name perfectly from left to right, the all letters facing the correct way -- though the letters were all in reverse order -- T-E-R-R-A-J -- and all the while another kid told him he was doing it wrong. My son did it despite the other kid.
I immediately my son's work as a stroke of creative genius (how many other 5-year-olds can do that on purpose?!) and now I'm setting up conferences with his teacher and occupational therapist because I believe we've all been on the wrong track about him all along.
I came to this forum for just that purpose -- to determine why this could be a good thing -- and I came along your post. Perhaps I'll try to make mirror copies of his stories in order for him to be able to read "normally."
I do not believe children are born ambidextrous. They are born either left hand, right handed or both. I have three children my oldest and youngest are right handed and my middle child is left handed. They choose on their own what hand will feel correct to colour and write with. Some people use their left side of their brain more and some use their right side more which means nothing on weather they are right or left handed but does mean that people are naturally one way or the other. The majority of people are right handed but my lefty is as intellegent and capable as any other child his age. He is 7 now and I've notice he is writing his numbers backwards. I am a litttle concerned but think with positive reenforcement he will get the nack for correcting this because he has improved on correcting direction he writes his letters.
As for children doing things the oposite way as on tv I would not be concerned about this too much. If you are, ask your doctor but it seems to me it' natural which is why when you watch a workout video the instructor facing you says left while using her right arm because when someone is facing you her left is on your right side you brain plays a trick on you.
I am curious about dislexia a bit however if this is really a sign (lefties writing in mirror image?) My oldest is PDD-NOS Autistic and I am pretty sure my lefty does not fall in this catagory, and I am sure he does not do this on purpose.
P.S. It would be extreamly difficult to turn a lefty into a righty or vice versa. Forcing a child to be the oposite of what come naturally to them could cause problems down the line.
I googled this simply because I was curious about my 5 year old son's ability to write his name perfectly...backwards. He's been getting a lot of practice w/ name writing-just having started kindergarten, and he can write his name just fine "forwards" as well, but I've seen a couple examples of him writing his name in perfect mirror-image. I was actually *impressed* by this, and was dismayed to find people relating this to "disorders" and "learning disabilities". And here I thought my kid had a talent or a unique perspective.
He's also a leftie. Couldn't help but notice that this seems to be a common theme with "backwards writing". I think it's a shame that this tendency gets labeled as a disability. Sure, it's important that kids get help in learning to write in a way that their "right to left oriented" culture can understand...but to someone who learned to write in Arabic or Chinese, it would seem crazy to regard such kids as somehow "defective"!
Left-handed, or ambidextrous people are supposed to have more going on their right hemispheres than the rest of us ordinary left-brainers. Since this is the hemisphere associated with creativity, artistic ability, intuition, and original insight(ie-"thinking outside the box"), I can only conclude that such "backwards" tendencies indicate special *gifts*, rather than handicaps....and that many of us are too "disabled" by the narrow, habitual chitter-chatter of our arrogantly dominant left-brains to recognize this as such...
I question whether or not he has the ability to slow his brain down enough to allow his behavior to conform to a structured environment. At home, you wouldn't notice this behavior as much, because children are free to do their own thing: play, be silly, etc.
However, in a structured environment that requires focus and attentive behaviors, he may not be able to do that. As a teacher, I would reccommend that you ask your pediatrician for the ADD/ADHD screening evaluation. It wont hurt anyone to fill it out. It's just a survey that asks when and how often you observe certain behaviors. There is one for his teacher to fill out as well. It is then scored, and the pediatrician can tell you if your child would benefit from a perscription that will help your son to slow down a bit.
I know this sounds scary and Im not by any means saying that this is what the outcome will be. I do however, want you to look at it from your son's perspective. He gets into trouble frequently at school. He wants to please his teacher, but he cant. He wants to not disturb the other students, but he cant control his spontaneous actions. It is (even if he cant say so) very frustrating for him. If you fill it out (and you have to do it honestly) and it comes back there is nothing wrong, then you know it is a choice he is making and other measures such as a motivation chart, or some other extrinsic motivator, can be utilized to redirect his choices to more school appropriate behaviors.
As a 1st grade teacher, I field this question from alot of concerned parents. Reversals are a part of life in the 1st grade. Even into 2nd grade sometimes. Letter and number reversals when writing do not always indicate dyslexia. When students are young (K-2) their brain hasn't learned directionality yet. That's why so many kids do it. It is no big deal. HOWEVER, if your child is in the 3rd or 4th grade, then feel free to discuss it with his teacher. In my school, we dont even test students for dyslexia until the 3rd grade.
I have learned to be mindful of other variables that indicate dyslexia - like really poor handwriting, poor spatial planning, high orally but low reading... These things factor in as well.
Yes, I'm 38yrs old and when I started writing I used my right hand. I wrote perfect if u held it in a mirror. lol I wrote from right to left, My teacher started making me write with my left hand, and it worked out fine. I do have slight dyslexia.
Hope that helps.
We've never been able to figure out if my son was left or right handed. He does it all with both hands and has no preference for one over another. It's not like he does one thing with his left and another with his right hand- he continues to switch back and forth throughout any given activity. Just recently I've noticed that his hand writing with his left hand is absolutely perfect but when writing with his right hand the letters start from right to left and are also inverted. I definitely think it's a neat talent and it appears that he must see the world as most of us do but has a unique ability to see it from another angle as well. Just not sure if I should encourage him to write left handed since it is perfect or help him to correct the right as well. Since one is perfect then why make any sort of issue- except that when he writes with his right hand and it is all backwards his teacher takes that as a sign of him being sloppy, in a hurry and not caring enough to do it correctly since she knows his potential. I've just recently discovered what was causing the difference in the writing. Now, what to do with it and how to best help him utilize his unique talents but in a way that is most beneficial. And very curious as to what it may mean exactly. If anyone has any answers or links- please share! Thanks so much!
I'm ambidextrous, in the full sense of the word, and have also written backwards since I can remember. The first incident publicly was in school, grade 1, where I was asked to write a letter to my mother (to gauge my level of writing skill); I wrote a lengthy letter with my left hand, all backwards. This wasn't intentional at the time.
There were many ridiculous assumptions made that I had a learning difficulty, that I had dyslexia, that something was wrong.
I like to think of it as a sort of bi-lateral brain function; I can wrote both backwards and forwards with left and right hands; it's a fun skill but nothing more. I would urge all teachers not to provoke or scare children, rather encourage this rare skill. All it means is that our brain hemispheres are well balanced; we are good at both maths and languages, communication and design.
Overall this is not a freakish concern. I write this in the hope that any parents/teachers that find other children that can do this, to either leave them be, or encourage it. Do not discourage or presume.
Interesting to read everyone's take on this. I have a sibling who could always mirror write, and now my 4 yo daughter is doing it - it appears to be a genetic factor inherited through the x chromosome according to something I just read. My sister never had tics or anything, although a very bright person. My little girl is bright and attentive, although a strange habit of liking to sniff people. I notice that some people who mirror write also sometimes they see sounds and hear colours! Oh, well, good thing we are more accepting of differences these days, and can appreciate that these can be considered skills.
Ever since I was a child I was labeled as ADD / ADHD. As a grown man with children of my own, I am quite convinced that everyone meets the criteria of ADD / ADHD to some extent. I wouldn't be so quick to put your child on medication. Diet is a huge factor in behavioral problems... and while all of these children may be budding geniuses, they also need to function in society in order to be successful.
I'm not sure there is a one answer fits all for every child, but while they should be encouraged in each of their special talents, they also need to learn to control impulses and behavior, they need to learn how to do things the way society requires... even if it isn't what comes naturally.
I wouldn't worry to much as long as your child is moving in the right direction.
I have a daughter that is almost 6 that writes with both hands... sometimes she wants to write right to left and reverses letters sometimes. She is sweet and smart and brilliant in her own way, but that won't help her with first grade... and beyond.
We're just taking it a day at a time. reading with her and trying to help her move in the right direction.
P.S. I think it's funny on this discussion about letter and word reversal to have to type these random patterns in order to post... I've tried to enter it 3 times already - apparently not correctly.
It is quite interesting to read a lot of what everyone has been posting about their children, students, etc. I'm 26 and what a professor once called me as a "mirror writer." I write from right to left with inverted text. When I read right side up, I tend to start left to right, but the next line, I want to read from right to left and just continue a squiggly trail or else i lose my place or skip lines. I tend to mix numbers if i read them right side up. From a young age, i was constantly "corrected" by my teachers. Naturally, my teachers treated me as if i was a bit off. In junior high, the same thing. I earned satisfactory grades, but it was a struggle. In High School, I had an English teacher who noticed how long it took me to write things. So during lunch she told me to write down what she said and repeat it back to her and she wouldn't look at my notes. So i wrote naturally and from that point she encouraged me to write the way that felt best and rewrite it afterwards. I started to do that and I retained a good 90% of everything I learned. She also had me read my books upside down and I never reread or skipped a sentence.
In college, I did the same thing. I had difficulty in math, so I decided to start looking at my tests and homework upside down and viola!!!! I started passing each of my classes with B+ or better. Once I finished calculus, I realized that i wasn't as bad at math as i believed I was.
I currently work as an accountant for the government to where I have to read off numbers with precision to people and I read all of my documents completely upside down and it's come in handy, as i can talk directly towards people and show them things without having to flip the paper around.
Now, I've had multiple tests done on my brain for any damage or anything odd and nothing has ever come up. I have a super useless left hand, so i am completely right side dominate.
I am 55 year old female, who has always been able to read and write backwards and upside down. -- I was also an A student who graduated with a 3. 78 GPA. I can also write forward and right side up - as the majority does.
It is not a handicap, nor is it a disability. It is a gift and an ability that few possess.
Back in the early 50s when it wasn't allowd to be left handed, my brother would write half way across the paper with his left hand and stop in the middle of the page and finish with his right hand on the right side of the paper....He hated School and never did finish, he joined the Navy and they let him use his left hand
I see children using their left hand, like our grand children and I encourage them to do the best they can...also the writing backwards will change in first to third grade.
I'm in my first year at university and on placement. I have been working closely with a 10 year old girl and have noticed she writes the date backwards and any words I write down for her to copy the spelling. She doesn't write in a mirror image she will write from the right hand side of the page, for example the date, beginning with r then e, b, m, e, v, o and finally an N when it's on the page it looks correct but I'm wondering whether this method is a warning sign to a further concern?
WOW I am just shocked to hear your Son's Teacher is "feed up with him". I hope this Teacher is no longer Teaching him. Penalizing a child for this is outrageous!!! I am a Teacher and I feel this Teacher shouldn't be teaching any students! Its one thing for a Parent to get annoyed with a behavior his/er child displays. But, a trained professional?? That is not OK.
You also stated your son is very smart. The Teacher acknowledges his intelligence and yet try's to penalize him for his "disruptive behaviors"? He obviously doesn't have significant control over it or he would reign them in himself. As no child wants to be notably different like this. So it's not his fault. Many children have "ticks" like you have described and in the scheme of things his teacher can't get past throat clearing, and hopping in line?
Teachers should have unlimited patience and compassion for children of all needs. In my opinion there are much much bigger fish to fry then to nit pick at a child's ticks, mistakes etc. If he writes something backwards all that needs to be done is privately point it out when they are seen and help him to do them correctly. And when clearing his throat and other "ticks" appear, again privately remind him he has done them and hopefully in time they will fade on their own. If a child is punished or scolded for things like this they will get worse or just change form to something new. That's because of anxiety from being humiliated. Could you imagine if someone was always pointing out your flaws and mistakes in front of all your peers?
As for the issues you described they are small in comparison and with patience and compassion he will get them under control! Good luck with everything!
Hi. I'm 34. I applaud you and your post. I'm an autodidact who can write and read both left-right and right to left. I used to file things backwards on my book shelf when I was 12 when my teacher corrected me. I often have trouble taking a test especially when reading's involved for a long time. What happens is that I want to read it backwards because reading it forwards becomes so tiring to my eyes. I've never been diagnosed with ADHD, autism, dyslexia or anything. I've always excelled in my classes and have done so very well that often my troubles have gone unnoticed. I tried writing with my left hand as well, and I do that just fine, however I can still write either way.
Dyslexia is a nueriological disorder that people are born with not created by a certain way of teaching. They have to be taught specifically and in a structured way for them to learn. You are correct that they are exceptional students and very intelligent but have to be taught in a different way to be successful!
My son is eleven and gets perfect grades in school but sometimes write entire paragraphs backwards. Not sure how or why. He is an avid reader with photographic memory. So it would be nice to know why he does this.