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Reading backwards

(20 Posts)
rebl Tue 16-Nov-10 15:03:06

My dd (4yrs) has suddenly started reading sentences from right to left instead of left to right. She has been reading for well on 9months and hasn't done this before. She's been doing it for about a week now and doesn't seem to realise she's doing it and still tells you what the book is about and what the page is about etc. I correct her everytime and we re-read the sentence together using her finger to follow under the words but the very next sentence she's doing the same thing again. Do I just keep gently reminding her to start from left to right and it will self correct just as quickly as it started?

Lydwatt Tue 16-Nov-10 17:38:22

My daughter (5)does this ocassionally but with writing

she does writing with whole words or numbers as though it was mirror writing and doesn't seem to notice either.
Her cousin also did the same thing.

I've no idea why!

maizieD Tue 16-Nov-10 20:53:49

Is this with a book she has 'read' before?

rebl Tue 16-Nov-10 22:33:00

She's doing it with books that are new (school scheme books) and books that she's read a lot (books at home).

DreamTeamGirl Tue 16-Nov-10 23:53:28

Writing backwards after having written forwards is apparently really common and nothing to worry about at all. I cant recall exactly but possibly something to do with which side of brain is developing faster at that point (but it is entirely possible I have made that bit up in my brain )
Maybe reading backwards is the same

rebl Wed 17-Nov-10 12:29:29

I knew about the writing backwards thing. Didn't know if the reading backwards was the same thing.

Malaleuca Wed 17-Nov-10 12:36:15

Reading backwards is rather unusual. I've had a child ask " Do you always start to read at the left?" Children have momentary lapses as beginners.
Of course if they are not decoding all-through-the word from the left this might be a warning signal, so just check that your child is learning to decode and is not parroting the whole text. Children can need remarkably few read throughs of a tect to memorise it and then they can read it upside down and back to front as well, or even with their eyes closed.

gabid Wed 17-Nov-10 20:38:53

DS (5) has a tendancy to read some words backwards, e.g. saw becomes was. Also he mirrors most numbers and about 5 letters. His teacher said that this was common and gave him the numbers and letters to copy - he does that fine but when writing independently mirrors them again.

dolfrog Sun 21-Nov-10 04:54:29

This type of problem can be called Mirror Writing.
Have a look at Mirror writing: neurological reflections on an unusual phenomenon It was also published in the British Medical Journal

gabid Sun 21-Nov-10 11:24:35

dolfrog - that was interesting, thanks. Reading and writing backwards does not seem to be as common as DS's teacher said it was and there does not seem to be too much written about it recently.

The question remains, whether it is common in children learning to write, and does it correct itself or should we keep reminding them?

Talkinpeace Sun 21-Nov-10 16:11:18

Discourage it but do not stop it.

I am the same and in business negotiations, being able to read documents face down on the table or held up by the person facing you is a VERY USEFUL skill.
I have never once regretted being able to back foot the person I was dealing with by seeming to read their mind, but actually reading their crib sheet.

dolfrog Sun 21-Nov-10 16:58:14

gabid - part of the problem can be explained by the graphic i have at the top of my old Dyslexia links web page (It has not been updated properly for years.)
Some letters change meaning as you spin them around, the green amphibian is the same however much you spin it.

kissingfrogs Sun 21-Nov-10 22:50:14

my dd naturally reads from right to left - first it was reading words from end to beginning, then sentances, now right page then left page. She's had lots of practise now so knows that's it's left to right but when she's not thinking she slips back into what comes naturally.

Must be hereditory. I remember reading comics the "wrong" way around and still like to read a newspaper or any factual book back to front, novels I have to race to the end to then be able to look back on the story properly. And can't tell my left from right anyway.

Thinking here...the reason I like to read from end to start is because that's the way I think: immediate solution first (eureka moment)then working back to explain/justify it. That's a far easier, less labourious and more logical way of processing. For me anyway. I might be wierd in this respect though!

rebl Sun 21-Nov-10 23:23:15

dolfrog that is a really interesting link. She is right-handed and firmly so, so that is unusual according to the article. It also mentions dyslexia and I am dyslexic and I can read upside down and backwards. I wonder if she is heading that way? It also mentions brain injury etc. She has extreme early onset of migraine and this started when she had a particularly bad migraine. With her migraines she's "lost" her handedness before for months on end. I might just mention it to the neurologist next time we see him as it sounds quite interesting and the mirror reading sounds quite rare, especially in a right hander.

dolfrog Mon 22-Nov-10 10:36:20

Hi kissingfrogs

waht you are describing is being a Visual-Spatial learner. Seeing a problem, seeing the solution, but not always seeing how to get from one to the other step by step, or sequentially.

I am like that as well, I think in pictures, and need to see and have some understanding of the whole picture before i can focus on the bits or parts which make up that picture.

Have a look at
I think in pictures, you teach in words: The gifted visual-spatial learner ,
Visual-Spatial Resource ,
The Power of Visual Thinking ,
Visual Spatial Children: Learning Disabled, Learning Disadvantaged or Learning Differently (1 of 6 web pages) ,
and Gifted and Creative Services Australia

dolfrog Mon 22-Nov-10 10:57:42

Hi rebl

In order to help your daughter, you may need to identify the underlying cognitive cause of your own dyslexia.
The cognitive causes of the dyslexic symptom tend to be of a genetic origin. So for instance in my case, I have a clinical diagnosis of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) which is the cognitive cause of my dyslexic symptom, and is the shared cognitive cause of my all my sons' dyslexic symptoms. There are three cognitive subtypes of dyslexia.
It is human nature to try to compensate for our cognitive skill deficits, and sometimes we have to use alternative cognitive options which do not come naturally to us. Again in my own case, to compensate for my auditory processing deficit I personally am lucky to be a natural Visual-Spatial learner, where as two of my sons are not natural Visual-Learners, but who also share my Auditory processing problems , so they had to learn to become visual learners to compensate for their auditory processing deficits.

gabid Mon 22-Nov-10 20:15:46

I remember from the article that mirroring or backwards reading is uncommon in right-handed people. My DS is right-handed and not dyslexic - however, dyslexia is in my family and DH is also dyslexic, so there might be a connection.

ginodacampoismydh Mon 22-Nov-10 20:57:29

hi dolfrog and rebl, this thread and dolfrogs link on mirrored writing is very interesting.

i posted a little while back about dd who writes fom right to left and when i correct her she fails to see her writting is different. she is left handed and does tend to attemp to read from right to left but she follows my finger at the moment so seems to be naturaly correcting its self.

i was given advice on my thread that its quite normal for children to begin writing like this. her teacher picked up it was unusual given her grasp for reading and general brightness that she is doing this and cant write her name which is mostly mirrored and upside down. so although i find this article interesting and reasuing. im also worried now how to help her.

i would ask more from dds nurologist if i where you.

but out of interest how do we help them to develop non mirrored writing?

hotdoginabun Mon 22-Nov-10 21:58:48

dolfrog kissingfrogs here with a namechange.

Very very interesting stuff.

I would class my dd as GLD. An obviously smart girl, hearing impaired, language difficulties/disorder, but intensely visual. Show her something once and she gets it. Tell her something once, or ask her to explain verbally, and she's disabled (in every sense of the word).

She has a processing problem when it comes to language. Not sure how/why/where this takes place - more assessments needed. I've read up a bit about APD which, though usually diagnosed in people with normal hearing, can possibly occur in someone with a hearing impairment.
I'd be really interested in how you'd describe what having APD is like as this may help me understand my daughter.

Again, those links you gave - food for thought. Thanks.

LadyInPink Mon 22-Nov-10 22:12:06

dolfrog you seemed to have diagnosed my DD completely with your Visual spatial info - i am amazed and think i may read further. Her teacher says she is very bright but in terms of reading and writing i don't see it but obviously her brain sees words differently. Very interesting. Thankyou very much smile

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