You are here

Backward Writing

Though they may look like a younger child's mistake, occasional letter and number reversals by kids 5 to 8 are very common, says Amy James, former teacher and author of the Knowledge Essentials series.

Children often switch images that resemble each other, like s/z, b/d, and 6/9. They usually outgrow it by the second grade.

Most students pick up letters by reading and writing them on the page, but if a child is reversing regularly, it could be that he's not a strong visual learner.

So try other ways of teaching him: A kid who learns best by listening may sharpen his skills by saying how the letters are formed as he writes them. And a kinesthetic learner (one who processes things by movement and touch) may respond to tracing letters in a tray of sand or shaving cream.

Some children who reverse letters do have developmental delays; if yours does it consistently or if it persists past age 8, talk to his teacher and request an evaluation, says James. Otherwise, just keep a sense of humor and an eraser handy