She writes backwards
My name is Véronique and I have a home-based daycare. In my group, I have a child who will be turning 5 soon.
This little girl is progressing very well in all childhood development domains. She has learned to write her name which, until recently, she was writing properly, from left to right. I have however noticed that she has started writing her name backwards, with a mirror effect.
Example: Leanne=ennaeL, with the letters written in the opposite direction and each letter being reversed.
Shoud I worry about this change in her writing? Could you provide information on the subject?
refers to writing with reversal of individual letters. The letters that
make up a word can be written from right to left whereas the words of a
sentence can also be arranged from right to left. Decoding words or
sentences written this way requires looking at them in a mirror.
Different situations can explain mirror writing.
writing is a symptom of certain medical conditions. Reversals that look
a lot like mirror writing can be present with certain developmental
disabilities. However, we often see children write letters or numbers
backwards as part of a normal developmental phase when they first learn
to write, between the ages of 4 and 6 years old.
terms of motor skills, writing a letter involves learning, encoding,
retrieval, and execution. In the same way language errors can occur
(saying "fork" instead of "rake"), it is common to see children write a
letter backwards, for example a "b" instead of a "d". When a child is
learning, the processes involved are not yet mastered and errors are
possible. With time, motor skill patterns will become more and more
automatic and errors will be less frequent. It may be helpful to
practice writing the same letter repetitively without pausing between
letters (and without paying attention to the quality of the penmanship).
You may even encourage the child to practice writing the letter with
his/her eyes closed to further stimulate automatism.
a cognitive level, a child acquires object permanence (a spoon is still
a spoon even if it is upside down, on its side, on the right or left
side of the knife, etc.) at a very young age. Children who begin writing
when they are very young or have certain developmental disabilities can
have difficulty understanding that a letter must always have the same
orientation and that the letters that form a word or the words that make
up a sentence must respect a precise sequence, from left to right, in
order to make sense. For these children, letter recognition games, such
as asking them to identify the "A's" among several letters, can be
other cases, this type of writing can simply be a manifestation of a
particular interest or capacities on a perceptual level. This is often
seen in individuals with autism.
these cases, teaching the child the difference between a letter that is
written "the proper way" and a letter that is "backwards" is necessary.
Visual tools can be useful. It is also important to specify when
writing "the proper way" is required and when it is acceptable for the
child to have fun turning letters and words around.
the age of this little girl, I don't think you have reason to worry,
especially since she seems to be on target in terms of childhood
Thank you for your interesting question.
Josiane Caron Santha