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BornToLove

Backwards numbers and letters

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BornToLove

DD turned 7 years old in March and is in year two at school (we live in VIC, so she's one of the youngest in her year level).

 

Her penmanship is neat and legible, but individual letters are backwards. Words and multiple digit numbers are written in the correct order, just some letters/numbers are backwards. I would say on a typical homework worksheet, 20% of the letters and 70% of the numbers are written backwards.

 

Her literacy and numeracy skills are all at or above grade level. She's an excellent reader and loves to write her stories; she's been given extension work in maths. She is very introverted in nature but otherwise does well at school.

 

I'm just wondering when the backwards letters and numbers become a concern? I raised it several times in year one but was always brushed off (whole vent on its own). Her year two teacher is very switched on, but because DD is otherwise thriving in the classroom, the teacher seems to think DD needs more time to develop her writing skills.

 

Any advice on how and where to start? TIA

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Jenflea

Is she left or right handed?

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seayork2002

My son does this and is nearly 10 - he is left handed if that helps?

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BornToLove

Right handed, has always been. Even as a toddler scribbling, always with her right hand.

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Crazyone26989

At 7, that is still developmentally normal, particularly with numbers (because they aren't writing them as often as letters). You could ask the teacher for visual prompts to have stuck to her desk to remind her.

 

I teach year 1 (so many students are the same age as your DD) and I doubled checked earlier this year with our learning support teacher.

Edited by crazyone2989
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Jenflea

I've heard lefties are more likely to do backwards letters is why I asked.

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Moonl!ght

I have been told by teachers in NSW that if a child still writes letters and numbers backwards by Year 2 it is a concern and should be checked out.

 

Saying that your child is at the younger end for a Year 2. However, she is still in her third year of schooling and I personally would want to ensure it's not a learning issue.

 

If you get no luck from the school and can afford it would you consider seeing an educational psychologist?

Edited by Moonl!ght

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Fizgig

By age seven reversals should be mostly gone. I tend to find if they are still there at eight they are pretty ingrained and will likely stay around. The rate of reversals that you mention is pretty high. If you had said one or two reversals I wouldn't be concerned, but 70% of numbers is quite high. If you ask her which ones are the wrong way around can she tell you and then correct them? If she can't even tell she is doing them backwards I would have her checked by an OT. You may find that a little bit of concentrated effort will see them corrected.

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BornToLove

If you ask her which ones are the wrong way around can she tell you and then correct them?

 

Yes and no. With letters, I'll ask her to proof read her work and she can pick up a few and correct it. When it comes to Numbers, she wouldn't pick up her mistake unless you point it out. A lot of numbers are consistently reversed.

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Fizgig

Sometimes when kids have been making the mistake consistently for a long time it just begins to look normal to them. Also the motor memory of how to write the number is ingrained incorrectly. It can take a bit of effort to unlearn it.

 

I would see two options; work with her for a while one or two numbers/letters at a time until she is automatic with them (repeated writing) or an OT for assessment/strategies.

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laridae

My DD was doing this with a couple of numbers so DH asked her to write out the numbers 1 to 10 in order and tell him which ones looked 'wrong' or like letters (9 reversed is a P). It's mainly 5 and 9 for her. I think it's helped.

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Prancer is coming

I have no idea whether this is age appropriate or not. However, my experience with our school is that if you have a child who is meeting bench marks or above in some areas, they are not a priority group for noticing something is wrong and recommending further investigation.

 

It was in grade 2 that I decided to get an assessment for my son, after thinking maybe it was normal or it could not have been too bad if the school did not notice an issue. I got the assessment and a diagnosis, so glad I did not wait until the school noticed an issue.

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BornToLove

It was in grade 2 that I decided to get an assessment for my son, after thinking maybe it was normal or it could not have been too bad if the school did not notice an issue. I got the assessment and a diagnosis, so glad I did not wait until the school noticed an issue.

 

This is where I am at, could be something or nothing but she's a 'good student' so a non-issue as far as the school is concerned.

 

Can I ask how you got the assessment process started? The issue is still in the realm of 'normal/age appropriate' and the school thinks it's a non-issue. I don't want to come across as 'one of those mums' but I am not happy taking a wait and see approach either.

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Prancer is coming

Born to Love, my concerns were specifically around handwriting/spacing. A bit of research had me questioning dysgraphia. I discovered an Australian dyslexia group that did a pre assessment for it and did that. When that came back indicating further testing was worth while, they recommended who best to see. Our state is limited with help, but the bigger ones appeared to have assessment sessions, and SPELD operates in some states too, who would be worth contacting.

 

I had a communication 'issue' with the teacher over something else and realised i was unlikely to get any feedback from the teacher over whether there was cause for concern, but found this actually made it easier to make the decision to explore the issue further,

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Sparklearkle

By the age of seven reversals should mostly be gone. I'd also be concerned at the amount of reversals she is doing. I'd consult an Occupational Therapist for advice. Good luck.

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