Confusing b and d (only when reading) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 06-08-2011, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds (6) has no problems writing the write letter, but when he's sounding words out he reliably confuses the two. Any suggestions on how I can help him work through it or is it something he'll grow out of over time?

He's doing really well otherwise so I'd like to help him with this a bit as I know it would help him gain a bit more proficiency and speed.
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#2 of 8 Old 06-08-2011, 12:24 PM
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At 6, it is still considered normal to reverse them (whether it is in writing or sounding them out).  There are TONS of tools about helping with this confusion--but most pertain to writing the word.  My favorite though that works for reading is to simply pinch your thumb and pointer fingers together.  Keep the other fingers straight.  The left hand will look like a b and the right will look like a d.  Just as in the written alphabet, the b is to the left of d.  When reading, if you come to the word bob, you can quickly check your fingers to see which it looks like.

 

However, my dd (dyslexic) who still struggles with this (mostly with writing) had to come up with her "own" way to remember.  Nothing I offered (the bed rule,  b sees d, and many others) worked for her.  Maybe it is that way with other kids too.  The connection she made had to be her own.  (BTW: she came up with "B is the big B and b is the baby, see mom-- it is one head shorter.  So, she checks to see if it is facing the same way as the big B--if not, she knows it is a d.  Also, the word baby associates the sound for her.)

 

But, sometimes if she makes that mistake when reading, I will simply auto correct.  She might start to read "dasket" instead of "basket".  I will quickly, say /b/ and she will start over.  

 

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#3 of 8 Old 06-08-2011, 03:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pampered_mom View Post

Ds (6) has no problems writing the write letter, but when he's sounding words out he reliably confuses the two. Any suggestions on how I can help him work through it or is it something he'll grow out of over time?

He's doing really well otherwise so I'd like to help him with this a bit as I know it would help him gain a bit more proficiency and speed.



Totally normal for a 6 year old, and for us moms as well winky.gif. For how long has he been reading? DS (6.5) is a new reader and still confuses the two. I like the hand trick, but I will try it later, if the problem doesn't resolve on its own.

 


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#4 of 8 Old 06-08-2011, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, we'll just keep on then. I don't think I would have thought anything of it if he confused them while reading *and* writing, but found it a bit odd since it was just while reading. None of the hints I had seen really seemed to apply toward writing exclusively.

He's been reading for just shy of a year now, so still quite new.
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#5 of 8 Old 06-11-2011, 02:08 PM
 
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yep totally normal. He'll figure it out. :)


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#6 of 8 Old 06-11-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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As others have said, normal.  But I just wanted to say why: reading is pretty much the only thing where the direction of an object matters.  If I show you a book, it's a book.  If I flip it backwards, it's still a book.  He's spent the past 5 years with everything he sees staying the same thing whether he's looking at it front, back or upside down.  Now he's presented with a d, which when you turn backwards is something totally different.  Even worse, when you turn it upside down, it turns into something else entirely again!  Flip that, and it's a 4th thing.  This is practically sadistic, when you get down to it!

 

There's a reason the saying is "mind your ps and qs" instead of "mind your as and bs."  b, d, p, and q are particularly difficult, for this reason.  It sounds like he knows it... it's just that when he's busy concentrating on something else (reading the word), he forgets.  Don't worry: as everyone else said, this is completely normal and the best way for it to become second nature is just the kind of practice that comes from being a more fluent reader, and having letter directions be second nature instead of something that he has to work to remember (which he probably still has to do when he writes the letters, whether you see him doing it or not).


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#7 of 8 Old 06-13-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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To deal with letter reversals, use dot patterns for letter and number reversals.  Some children have difficulties isolating the lines and arcs that make up letters, so to them b, d, p, q seem the same.

A mother of a child with learning difficulties and a teacher by profession.
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#8 of 8 Old 06-14-2011, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I appreciate all of the ideas here. Today I noticed he was having difficulties with p as well. I've found that if I just point to the left or right when he's struggling a bit it seems to help. He doesn't like me "telling" him very much, but the simple hand motion doesn't bother him.
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