2nd grader mirror writing - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-02-2010, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my dd just started 2nd grade and continues to reverse letters and numbers with mirror writing at times. do any of your 2nd graders/7 year olds still write like this? Should I be concerned?

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Old 09-02-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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Reversing letters and numbers at this age is very normal. I don't know if mirror writing is as typical. Wondering if she is left handed?
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Is she left handed?

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Old 09-02-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I'd check into this, I don't think it's typical to mirror write in second grade.

I notice there are no lines on the page, perhaps lined paper would help. I was also going to ask if she's left handed.

I copied this from an education site. The question was about a four year old.

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Answer: At four years of age, the presence of mirror writing is generally nothing to be concerned about. To understand why, it's important to know how the ability to write from left to right emerges in a young child. A young child first develops what's called laterality. This is an awareness of "leftness" and "rightness," or at least that the body has two sides. This internal awareness then matures into what's called directionality, which is the recognition and appreciation of right-left, up-down, forward-backward, etc.

Your daughter is still at this later stage, and because it's not fully developed, she can just as easily go from left to right as she can from right to left, and it all feels the same to her. At this stage, she doesn't even realize that she's printed her name in the wrong order. Her young brain just says, "Hey, hand...write Kayla's name for her, okay?" Her brain hasn't learned how the writing is supposed to look yet, and it doesn't much care whether the letters go this way or that. All her brain is concerned about at this stage is the order of the letters. So off goes the hand, and out comes ALYAK. As Kayla and her brain see more models of her name written correctly, she'll first say "Hey, that doesn't look right!" and later, "It's backward!" as the concept develops.

However, if mirror writing persists as she gets to be about six or older, then we might have something to worry about. This is especially true if any close family relatives have a history of learning disabilities. If the persistence of reversals, inversions (upside-down writing), or mirror writing are common when a child is seven or eight, this might be a sign of neurodevelopmental immaturity. This means that the brain has not developed at the rate we would expect for her age or indicates an early symptom of a learning disability (a visual processing disorder). However, such visual perceptual disorders don't usually show up as mirror writing, but rather as intermittent distortions in individual letters or numbers (backwards R, 3, 5, etc.) beyond the age when these disappear normally in most kids.

You don't want to make a big deal out of the way Kayla writes her name. Just let it happen and she'll probably self-correct. Make sure she has plenty of opportunities to see her name in print. You might want to get some tracing paper and trace a name that has been printed in the right order. Or you can have her write her name in a sand-filled cookie sheet after you have put the letter K along the left-hand edge. If she displays other signs of an early learning disorder (age-inappropriate word or language usage, excessive motor clumsiness, rapid frustration with simple tasks, etc.) then you might want to talk to a psychologist who specializes in the early identification of learning disabilities.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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my dd is in first grade - will be 7 in december so in a few states she might have been able to be a 2nd grader...

she still reverses 3, 6 and 5 on occasion - I know I did too in first grade and I have no LD at all - I'm watching it tho

I remember people getting a little bent out of shape about my 3 reversals and thinking "really? if it's that big of a deal I'll be sure to do it right!" and I stopped...

I sort of think my dd does when she rushes...
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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yes, she's left-handed. is it more common for left-handed kids?
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Old 09-03-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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It is more common for lefties, brain organization is different and she may have language centers in both side of her brain. Or, she may be mirroring what she is seeing a right handed person do. You might try having he watch while sitting across from her instead of next to her. Other things like marking the page where she should start and end may help too. Her teacher should be able to help with this. Another thing to consider is dyslexia. Other indications could include inverting numbers and letters, trouble with reading, late talking, etc. Of course all of this is common enough it could be unrelated. In your place I would probably look into having her tested.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:57 AM
 
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I would try to get her to do some Brain Gym exercises. You can get a book from the library or Amazon or search for exercises on the web.

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Old 09-03-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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was her writing like this in first grade too? I would be concerned. I would want to have that investigated. What has her teacher said? My second grader's teacher has said that it is normal for kids in the first few weeks to revert to some typical reversals, from summer slide, but they get back to normal after a few weeks.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Did she have a hard time learning to read? Does she find reading very tiring? Does she find subtraction significantly harder than addition? Does she find writing stuff out almost painfully hard?

Reversed writing is a classic sign of dyslexia, and left handedness is much more prevalent among dyslexics than it is in the general population.

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Old 09-03-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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Yeah i was thinking about dyslexia, but don't panic, leonardo da vinci was dsylexic and wrote backwards too, that's what I keep saying to myself when my 8 year old starts writing backwards - and my 5 year old, but then he writes backwards and starts at the right side of the page.

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Old 09-03-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ewe+lamb View Post
Yeah i was thinking about dyslexia, but don't panic, leonardo da vinci was dsylexic and wrote backwards too, that's what I keep saying to myself when my 8 year old starts writing backwards - and my 5 year old, but then he writes backwards and starts at the right side of the page.
That would NOT be comforting to me!
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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My ds would mirror write and also had significant reversals at age 7. We had him evaluated by a developmental optometrist at that time (we were suspecting dyslexia) and found that he had significant visual issues - even though he had 20/20 vision. We were completely flabergasted - I had never suspected a vision issue.

There is some thought that some children don't develop 2-D vision until about age 10. Until this time, figures are very 3-D. This sight has great info -- you may want to dig in a little deeper.
http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspo...r-writing.html

This all said, I'm still not completely sure that dyslexia is not an issue, although it was ruled out by the dev. optometrist and ds completed several months of vision therapy successfully. He will still reverse letters and just this past summer he wrote a passage in mirror writing. Although his other issues of fatigue while reading have significantly diminished.

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Old 09-03-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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My 4 year old dd is a lefty. When she writes it's mostly mirror writing unless I am hovering over her and remind her to start on the left and remind her which way the first letter goes that she wants to write. It is much more common for lefties to mirror write. I would suggest googling it. I found several sites with lots of good info on it. I'd list the ones I found but my bookmarks are on a flash drive that is missing at the moment.

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Old 09-04-2010, 01:21 AM
 
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This all said, I'm still not completely sure that dyslexia is not an issue, although it was ruled out by the dev. optometrist and ds completed several months of vision therapy successfully. He will still reverse letters and just this past summer he wrote a passage in mirror writing. Although his other issues of fatigue while reading have significantly diminished.
An optometrist should not be ruling out dyslexia. Though he may find vision issues that are possible causes of the difficulties that would tend to point to dyslexia, this does not rule out the possibility of being both dyslexic and having vision issues. I have both.

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:41 AM
 
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Mirror writing is more common in lefties because it's easier to read what you write if your hand is moving away from it.

I'd ask the teacher and see what they thought. If it persists, you might want to pursue an evaluation for dyslexia and vision issues. My brother mirror wrote up until 3rd grade and did have dyslexia.

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Old 09-04-2010, 04:42 AM
 
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it's also possible she could be clinically ambidextrous ... try having her write with a pencil in each hand (on 2 sheets of paper lined up to left and right) and see what happens! they thought i had dyslexia in school until some wonderful teacher gave me 2 pencils, i wrote forward with my right hand and backward with my left. there's no "cure" for it, in fact it comes in VERY handy throughout life! i just had to switch hands whenever i couldn't write legibly (sometimes still do!).

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Old 09-04-2010, 09:38 AM
 
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An optometrist should not be ruling out dyslexia. Though he may find vision issues that are possible causes of the difficulties that would tend to point to dyslexia, this does not rule out the possibility of being both dyslexic and having vision issues. I have both.
Yep -- I know - and thank you for pointing it out. I talked to a dyslexia tester, and we consulted about ds. She suggested that we had a thorough vision exam by a dev. optometrist first since ds had some red flags for dyslexia, but not all of them. He was an early self-taught reader, understood/grasped phonics, and other abilities that weren't as indicative of dyslexia. Dyslexia was also ruled out by a pediatric neuropsych. when ds was 5, which was 2 years before we saw the dev. optometrist. I have a suspicion that ds is 2E with extraordinary compensation abilities. I think at some point within the next year or two we'll need to do a complete neuropych/educational exam again to see if ds has hit the wall yet with his ability to compensate. It's a tough position to be in when you think there's a bigger problem, but the medical community just isn't able to pull it out.
Hope I haven't just hijacked this thread......

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Old 09-04-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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it's also possible she could be clinically ambidextrous ... try having her write with a pencil in each hand (on 2 sheets of paper lined up to left and right) and see what happens! they thought i had dyslexia in school until some wonderful teacher gave me 2 pencils, i wrote forward with my right hand and backward with my left. there's no "cure" for it, in fact it comes in VERY handy throughout life! i just had to switch hands whenever i couldn't write legibly (sometimes still do!).
Ambidexterity, like left handedness, is more common in dyslexics than the general population. So being ambidextrous in no way rules out dyslexia.

There does seem to be a belief amongst educators that "fixing" the ambidexterity will cure reading difficulty . My sister was told by a special ed teacher that my ambidextorous nephew would not be able to learn to read till they got him to stop switching hands.

Admittedly, I did stop switching hands at around the same age that I started reading somewhat smoothly, but I view it as a bit of a coincidence. At a certain point, my write hand was just strong enough to handle the writing load that it was being expected to do, and I just didn't desperately need to use the left one as well as badly. Of course I was chastised every time I was caught switching, so once I was able to manage without the left hand I would. This just happened to correspond with the point at which I started reading more smoothly. It also corresponds with the point at which the evaluation of reading skill switched from reading out loud, to reading comprehension tests, so that probably made it appear that I had a greater leap in skill than I really did, since they were actually basing it on a separate skill (comprehension vs decoding.)

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Old 09-04-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I was going to say what many have said, it could be the righty lefty thing. My daughter is usually right handed, but she can write left, and she is left eye dominant--swings the bat, etc. lefty. She usually does mirror writing when she is in a hurry and only numbers, not letters, and she can read aloud really well (we do every night)....we are all so unique and our brains are neat!
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Old 09-04-2010, 05:12 PM
 
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it's also possible she could be clinically ambidextrous ... try having her write with a pencil in each hand (on 2 sheets of paper lined up to left and right) and see what happens! they thought i had dyslexia in school until some wonderful teacher gave me 2 pencils, i wrote forward with my right hand and backward with my left. there's no "cure" for it, in fact it comes in VERY handy throughout life! i just had to switch hands whenever i couldn't write legibly (sometimes still do!).
I hate to burst your bubble, but most people, if they're asked to write simultaneously with each hand will easily be able to write forwards with the right hand and mirror write with the left. I'm incredibly right handed and do this 'party trick' in class for my students. They're always amazed. (OK, and I jut repeated it by 'air drawing', much to the amusement of my family!)

And as eepster pointed out, dyslexia and ambidexterity are often correlated. But just because they co-occur, doesn't mean that there is a causal relationship between ambidexterity and dyslexia. It's more likely to be an underlying something that's leading to both.

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Old 09-04-2010, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did she have a hard time learning to read? Does she find reading very tiring? Does she find subtraction significantly harder than addition? Does she find writing stuff out almost painfully hard?

Reversed writing is a classic sign of dyslexia, and left handedness is much more prevalent among dyslexics than it is in the general population.
She's having a hard time learning to read. She has difficulty tracking and struggles with sounding words out. We've had her eyes tested by a developmental optometrist and she has problems with tracking, directionality, and laterality. There was also a huge discrepancy between her visual perception/memory (tested as a 13 yo/11yo) but when visual motor memory she scored a year behind. He recommended vision therapy but we don't really have the funds to spend $75 for 30 min. sessions.

I haven't really noticed a difference between addition and subtraction. But I've noticed she still confuses fast forward/rewind, before/after and if she means yesterday she'll say tomorrow, stuff like that.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:17 AM
 
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She's having a hard time learning to read.
I would talk to the school about having her tested for dyslexia.

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Old 09-06-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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Both my boys are lefties and both of them did this for quite a while, DS 2 is 7 and still does. It was more frustrating with DS 1 but with DS 2 I am more relaxed about it. DS 1 did it up until reading "clicked" with him and now he only reverses 3, 5, b, d, q and p sometimes but most of the time does them right, just has to be reminded now and then.

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Old 09-06-2010, 01:13 AM
 
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My daughter is 7½, and admittedly a little behind in the language arts department. She still has a LOT of trouble with flipping certain letters and numbers (3s, 7s, 9s, Bs, Ds, etc.) I'd never seen her "mirror" write completely, though, until the other day. Out of the blue she signed her name to a picture and it was completely backward. Every single letter AND the letter placement. Just like in your picture. I'd never seen anything like it! When I asked her about it, she seemed confused. She didn't notice anything wrong with it until I pointed it out.

It should be noted that sometimes my daughter will try to read things that way; sounding out from the wrong end of the word-- sometimes even pulling sounds out of the middle. Because of all of the above (and the fact that she still doesn't read beyond struggled sounding things out, for the most part) I am fairly convinced that she has some special learning needs. Learning disabilities like Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia all run rampant in our family. We haven't had her formally evaluated yet, but I'm pretty sure that the backward writing and such at this age is out of the realm of "normal" development.

At any rate, I hope you guys are able to sort it all out.

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Old 09-06-2010, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would talk to the school about having her tested for dyslexia.
problem i run into is her school is a small charter and doesn't really have the resources to help her. last spring when i presented them with the results of her vision screening from the developmental optometrist the director said that she thinks my dd will develop when she's ready. and they agreed to make certain accomodations for her (let her do spelling tests orally if needed, and don't mark wrong the reversals, i.e. if for 7+7 she puts 41 and maybe backwards to understand that she meant 14).

my friend's sister is an occupational therapist and recommends bringing her in for screening. so i think i will do that and see what the results are. and if they recommend occupational therapy than i will take the report to the school. the problem is our insurance won't cover anything that is considered a learning disability.

in my gut i feel like something is just not right. this morning when i woke up she asked me "why do you always sleep in so early?"... she meant to say late. i've explained to her the difference between early/late, before/after, tomorrow/yesterday, fast forward/rewind.. and she still continues to confuse them.
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Old 09-06-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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my friend's sister is an occupational therapist and recommends bringing her in for screening. so i think i will do that and see what the results are. and if they recommend occupational therapy than i will take the report to the school.
Have you requested that the school test her -- not necessarily test her for dyslexia, but test her for learning disabilities in general? You may need to put the request in writing, and then the school has a time period to respond - but they must respond. I would consider doing this before you spend any money out of pocket, although I would also consider doing private testing as well as having the school test and compare the results and recommendations. You may also want to have her speech tested as well for pragmatic usage.

There are a lot of mamas over in Special Needs that can help you compose a letter to the school and also help you understand what to expect. Charter schools receive government funding and are obligated to provide special needs services regardless of the size of the school. They can not discriminate against your dd.

I think it's nice and all that the principal feels that your dd will develop on her own time, but the fact is that no one has taken a closer look through testing, so the principal is purely speculating. I wouldn't want to take that chance if it were my dd.

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Old 09-06-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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You can still have her tested at your local school district. They can even offer her services. You pay taxes to live in that district, so they will help her, even if it's not her actual school.
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You can still have her tested at your local school district. They can even offer her services. You pay taxes to live in that district, so they will help her, even if it's not her actual school.
i've already tried the school district ESE department and they told me that her charter school has to take care of it and that the only way the district would do anything is if she were in her zoned elementary school. i think they're all just trying to give me the run around to be honest and i'm getting close to just homeschooling.
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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i've already tried the school district ESE department and they told me that her charter school has to take care of it and that the only way the district would do anything is if she were in her zoned elementary school. i think they're all just trying to give me the run around to be honest and i'm getting close to just homeschooling.
I don't know where you live or all the laws but I agree they are giving you the run around. I would call back and ask to speak to the head of the department. Ask them to send you by mail your legal rights. If you request an eval and don't recieve it with in 30 days I believe you could have an actionable law suit against them.
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