Printing backwards

deee_gwDecember 15, 2001

My four year old has gone from occasionally printing letters and numbers backwards to whole words and sequences of numbers in mirror image. She is okay when copying something she can see but when she is writing something from memory it has been coming out completely backwards. Is this normal for this age? Thanks.

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My son did this when he was 4 and in pre-k. He is now 6 and in first grade. Sometimes he still writes something backwards, but not very often.
I was concerned but all of his teachers have said that this is normal and a stage. In my son's case, they were right.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 11:22AM
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Yes I think it's normal. Both of my sons wrote backwards at times from 4-6.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 9:39PM
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yeap my dd 5 did this about a few weeks ago her whole name was backwards and at the teracher parent confrence i brought it up she had a book showing the differnt styles of writting at each age and yes that was at that age.she said she would keep a eye out and stuff but no other proublems so far dd even read sighns backwards like number sighns,lol.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 10:29PM
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It's normal enough. It would be more problematic if, even when copying an image before her, she could not get the perspective correctly. Beginning learners don't have a lot of old images of letters and things in their heads yet. One way to think of it might be that it takes some time, life experience, and practice (practice, and more practice) to get information more organized for recall.

Try not to act overexcited (positively, or with concern) when she does it in front of you. That can cause her to want to write backwards more often. Over time, and with practice she'll probably do it less and less. It's not surprising if she had a propensity for getting single letters or numbers backwards when working from her memory, that with longer sequences they all come out backward.

by itself it's normal in the development of writing skills to have to learn/train the ability to get information sequenced and oriented 'normally' and that takes some time and practice

    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 1:02AM
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Yes it seems normal that a child of 4 would write letters backwards. Maybe writing a word backwards could be expected too. (Especially one from his memory)- try yourself writing these words the child knows by memory from time to time for her/him to copy. This way the child will form a habit or writing the letter going left to right.

Sounds like your child is doing great-for a four year old!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2001 at 8:34PM
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My step wrote many backwards from age 5-6 and at 7 he started to improve, 8 was perfect. Funny he wrote backwards with his right hand but almost all letters were correct when writing with his left.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 9:18AM
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I'm not sure at what age it was 'caught,' but a close friend of mine has dyslexia. There are ways to help if it's noticed soon enough.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 10:36AM
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My 3 1/2 year old just started writing his name and he does this as well. When it's in front of him to copy, there's no problem, but when he writes the letters from memory, the E's are almost always backwards. Also, the middle line of the capital E he writes as two parallel lines, even when copying. He said that he just likes it that way!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 3:22PM
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It is a very normal stage that kids go through and they seem to start "overnight". I remember when my son did it after writing perfectly for many months. My daughter was more of a worry, in that she never wrote frontwards. It was a real struggle in kinder to get her writing correctly. No signs of dyslexia, but she (at age 11) still forms letters from bottom to top - possibly this is just because she's a leftie though.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 5:17PM
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My 5 yr dd started doing this at 4. Her preschool and kindergarten teachers both told me this is normal and many kids do it. They say that it stops by the end of 2nd grade usually. If not then they check further. Both teachers were aware she and other children did this. They do it so easily too. My dd even spells her name backwards out loud to mess with people.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 11:15AM
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I agree with Mary,
Four years old is too young to think the child has dyslexia.
If the child is in 2nd grade and is still doing letters backs especially words then he/she should perhaps be tested. But at four years old this is very normal for any child learning to print-especially younger children. It is all a process that many children go through, as Mary said teachers can tell you that. No need to get alarmed about dyslexia, now. The child seems quite normal to me.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2001 at 4:52PM
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My son is a leftie and wrote backwards 'til grade 5 we knew he had no problems because if we told him there was 4 mistakes he could find them and fix them,but his teacher asked if we would like him tested .I told him that was fine but I knew he was okay,anyways long story short I explained that when he got to grade 6 and they did the major test that if he stil wrote backwards he would be held back a year while his friends would go onto tne next grade ....maybe 5 mistakes after that lol His teacher was amazed but as a leftie he still shapes lots of letters from the bottom up.Lefties are more known for this then righties.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 3:39PM
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NORMAL behavior.........if it continues into his teens, perhaps he's GIFTED !!!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:38AM
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