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Old 01.11.2011, 13:10
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Mirror Writing

Hi

My daughter who is nearly 5 has started to do mirror writing, ie, writing backwards.

She does a lot of words correctly then all of a sudden starts writing backwards.

Is this a normal part of brain development, or is it something to be concerned about?
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:12
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Re: Mirror Writing

Is she right- or left-handed?
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:16
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Re: Mirror Writing

.erutuf eht ni ereh no dom a emoceb reh pleh dluoc tI .lla ta siht htiw melborp a ees t'nod I ,yllanosreP

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Old 01.11.2011, 13:19
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Re: Mirror Writing

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Hi

My daughter who is nearly 5 has started to do mirror writing, ie, writing backwards.

She does a lot of words correctly then all of a sudden starts writing backwards.

Is this a normal part of brain development, or is it something to be concerned about?

I used to do that when I was that age. The teacher used to hit me.

I'd say it was normal and nothing to worry about (the writing, not the hitting).

(Actually, those that know me may disagree on the normal part).
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:21
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Re: Mirror Writing

My daughter who's now 7 and has finally started 1 klasse in a German school was doing this a lot. As she was in swiss kindergarten where they did not do any numeracy or literacy work I did n0t really worry and never corrected. After 2 months of primary school, problem solved. she did 3, 6 4, and 1 backwards.
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:25
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Re: Mirror Writing

This is very interesting, never heard of it before. To me it seems very beneficial, your daughter would seem to have a strong ability of complex comprehesion beyond the generic human reading and writing ability.

I'm no expert on the topic, but as long as she knows the difference between proper writing and her mirror writing, I think you should try and foster this talent with little games.

Introduce her to palindroms and anagrams. At a young age she could potentially develop some very unique critical deciphering skills.

Either that or she's possessed by a demon (being halloween time and all ).
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:27
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Re: Mirror Writing

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.erutuf eht ni ereh no dom a emoceb reh pleh dluoc tI .lla ta siht htiw meborp a ees t'nod I ,yllanosreP
!thgir ti teg ,hsoG .melborp delleps s'tI


Is it whole words, or just individual letters? I would try gentle correction, and positive reinforcement when done right. If it doesn't improve on it own, maybe schedule a meeting with, or phone the teacher. At that age it could be a simple misunderstanding, your child trying to be unique, or any number of innocent things.
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:36
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Re: Mirror Writing

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Is she right- or left-handed?
right handed
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:39
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Re: Mirror Writing

As far as I know, this is quite common. My daughter does the same sometimes, although less and less now. She is left-handed, too, which I've been told can lead to a tendency to do mirror writing.

I teach quite a few small children music, and when we are doing music theory games that involve writing letters and numbers, nearly all of them write some backwards at some stage. The distinction between drawing and writing is quite blurred, at least initially, and this can mean that, for small children, each letter/number is like a little picture. When they draw a house or a flower it doesn't matter whether they draw left-right or the other way around, and so it makes sense that at first they see letters or numbers in the same way. So, for example, an E could face either way and it would still make sense for them.

I've read of a few different strategies you can use to help them get it all the right way around. For example, putting a sticker at the top/left of a page will remind them to start from the left and move to the right. There are other things you can do as well (if only I could remember what they are!). You will find lots of stuff on the web about this, too.

But I do remember that just about everything I've read says that this tendency will also disappear, so I really wouldn't be too worried.

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Old 01.11.2011, 13:40
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Re: Mirror Writing

The ability to "fluently" mirror write over a long period (as opposed to the odd letter or word reversed for a short time) is not exactly a part of normal development but is a sign that the left and right handedness of the brain is still being formed/developed, which, at 5 years old, is quite usual.

I would leave it a while .. just put it on the list of those little niggly things to keep an eye out for. If it persists, becomes constant, your daughter is quite unable to distinguish (when she is old enough to) between mirror letters/words and correctly written words, then I would ask your class teacher and perhaps discuss the matter with the school educational department. Very rarely (and I stress very rarely) it can be the sign of something more, but it really is a very small number of children for whom it is actually a sympton of something more. Just keep an eye on it for now.
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:40
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Re: Mirror Writing

i am not desperately worried, but her father is severely dyslexic.

She can write her name in full, 9 letters, but sometimes does it all correct, then the next time does half correct then the other half mirrored.....

Or, she will write a word and just do one letter the wrong way round. She is just learning to read and write now at her ecole maternelle. But it's interesting and I am wondering if anyone elses kids do it....
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:53
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Re: Mirror Writing

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The ability to "fluently" mirror write over a long period (as opposed to the odd letter or word reversed for a short time) is not exactly a part of normal development but is a sign that the left and right handedness of the brain is still being formed/developed, which, at 5 years old, is quite usual.
That was why I asked. You have it very often with kids that are left-handed due to the fact that teachers don't know that a left-hander needs to have his/her paper at a certain angle, not straight.
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Old 01.11.2011, 13:54
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Re: Mirror Writing

I brought up the exact same thing with my daughter's teacher last year and she said it was a very common thing for young children.

As well as mirror writing some letters and numbers, some children have a problem mixing up their d and b as well as their p and q (maybe that's where the saying "minding your Ps and Qs" comes from?).

She told me not to worry too much and it will resolve itself, which it has.
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Old 01.11.2011, 14:04
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Re: Mirror Writing

Mirror writing is very common among left-handers who are trained to be right-handed. (Could you have unconsciously switched her?)

Leonardo wrote his notes in mirror writing (*) probably because he was forced to be right handed as a child.

That said, at age 5 it shouldn't be a major worry. It normally straightens out after a couple years.

(*) Scholars who say it was to keep his notes secret deserve the kicking they get. Duh.
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Old 01.11.2011, 14:40
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Re: Mirror Writing

Out of interest, what side of the page (left or right) does she write on when she mirror writes?

I ask because I quite often had pupils (5-6 year olds) who would mirror-write their name in the right hand corner of the page. I always felt it was because they had grasped that you start your writing with the edge of the paper... so if they'd started writing on the right hand side, they naturally worked backwards.

As others have said, mirror-writing words, or letters (b,d p,q) and numbers is quite common at that age. I was told (by several special educational needs coordinators) to tell worried parents not to be too concerned until the child reached 7 (as letter-reversal can be a sign of dyslexia, but this cannot be 'properly' diagnosed until 7).

Of course, if there is a history of dyslexia or something similar in the family then you may want to get more concerned now... but assuming that there is not any such history I'd make a note, keep an eye on things and see how it goes...

I would say don't make too big a thing of it, but that rather depends on your daughter's school's approach to teaching writing. e.g. I taught in schools that used the 'emergent writing' approach - we accepted anything the child identified as being written as 'writing', and then picked out the positives, and then talk about how to improve the writing (alongside teaching letter formation, spelling etc.). But the theory was to encourage children to write, to accept their 'writing', to model the correct way and to allow them to develop their writing skills over time, as opposed to saying 'This is writing, and this is what it must look like.' So with mirror writing I'd ask the child what their writing said, maybe comment on the spelling and then gently point out that some of the words / letters were backwards, and model how to write them forwards. But with a more tracing-over-and-copy-writing approach, where everything has to be right first time, the reaction would be different... So perhaps also ask your child's teacher how they react, so that you are both giving her the same message.
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Old 01.11.2011, 14:48
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Re: Mirror Writing

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Hi

My daughter who is nearly 5 has started to do mirror writing, ie, writing backwards.

She does a lot of words correctly then all of a sudden starts writing backwards.

Is this a normal part of brain development, or is it something to be concerned about?
My son (also right-handed) does the same with certain letters. I've gently tried to show him how to do it right but he seems to prefer writing certain letters a different way.

He also likes to colour in the round spaces of "o" "p" "d" etc.

It doesn't bother me - looking through my old school books from when I was 5 I also had weird writing (backward "g"). I think they don't yet conform to the "norms" or writing and still see it as a creative activity.

Technical skill will come later.
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Old 01.11.2011, 15:14
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Re: Mirror Writing

Yes, my daughter had it as well, not sure if it has a formal name, but a kind of soft dsylexia. Same as Mel07, asked teacher, and it was very common at that age, and indeed she grew out of it after a year of two. I always corrected her, so that she knew correct from incorrect, which the teacher agreed with.
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Old 01.11.2011, 15:17
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Re: Mirror Writing

!ahahahahahahawb, terces a s'ti dna etorw I tahw swonk esle ydobon neht sdrawkcab ti etirw I fI.
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Old 01.11.2011, 16:06
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Re: Mirror Writing

⅄onɹ sǝɔɹǝʇ ıs sɐɟǝ ʍıʇɥ ɯǝ
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Old 01.11.2011, 16:41
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Re: Mirror Writing

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ʇɹɐǝɥ ʎɯ ɹǝʇɟɐ uɐɯ ɐ ǝɹ,noʎ
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