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backwards mirror-writing by a leftie

(21 Posts)
washedup Mon 13-Jun-11 10:47:19

My dd is 41/2 and about to start reception. She draws beautifully and her pen grip is good. Her letter formation is really good too, but she often writes in a perfect mirror image. It's not backwards, per se, but an accurate reverse mirror image of the words she is trying to write. She is left handed.
I know this is not uncommon among lefties but she seems to be doing it more and more often, whereas I guess I thought she'd be starting to grow out of it.
So my question is, if you have encountered this, when did your children grow out of this habit and is there anything I can gently do to encourage her to write from left to right instead?

aurorastargazer Mon 13-Jun-11 10:48:41

i don't know sorry smile i have not had experience of this as dd is right-handed

redskyatnight Mon 13-Jun-11 10:54:04

DD is left handed and did this on starting Reception. I also witnessed it getting more prevalent before it got better - for example she could write her own name perfectly, then started always mirror writing it! Over the Reception year she gradually grew out of it. Whether this was natural or as a result of the activites she's done in Reception I don't know smile

She still mirror writes some of her numbers though (she's just finishing Reception now).

2BoysTooLoud Mon 13-Jun-11 10:58:03

I have a left hander in year 1. No one seemed to worry too much about mirror writing in reception. He did it with f, s. b, d etc. I know right handers can do too.
He does this rarely now though his handwriting not the best compared to many others [not as good as his reading for example].
No one seems that concerned and I hope any disadvantage with being left handed will fade as he gets older.

2BoysTooLoud Mon 13-Jun-11 10:59:09

Some numbers still go back to front unless he concentrates..

CrapolaDeVille Mon 13-Jun-11 10:59:57

mirror writing is really normal.

tinytalker Mon 13-Jun-11 11:01:15

I'm a leftie and used to do this, it is common as you say and they do grow out of it. Nothing to worry about.
As a teacher myself I would just gently remind the child that the writing was the wrong way round after giving praise for their efforts. I would also put a coloured dot on the left hand side of their page to remind them where to start writing each word/sentence. When reading I would also ask them to point out where i should start reading from just to reinforce the left to right orientation.
By the way I am still very accomplished at reading sentences upside down and backwards! It just the way left handed brains are wired I think!!

FionaJT Mon 13-Jun-11 11:02:29

My dd is a right hander and she does it - Yr 1 now and it's slowly getting better (with a lot of nagging). Letter and numbers. And the most persistant problem is the initial of her first name.

Greythorne Mon 13-Jun-11 11:03:13

My Dd1 is left handed and often does this.
She also often starts top right on the page, rather than top left.
She is 4.6.
I worry about it and try to instill the right starting point by drawing a dot in the top left corner of the page as a guide.
Not sure what else to do.
School have not raised it yet, butthen we are in France and communication with the school is, ahem, limited.

ZacharyQuack Mon 13-Jun-11 11:06:21

DD1 is a leftie and used to do this. She outgrew it when she started school at 5 and her handwriting at 8 is really lovely now.

For her 5th birthday, her best mate William (also 5) made her a card. William had pretty good handwriting and made a sweet card, except he wrote DD1's name in perfect mirror writing. When his mum pointed it out to him, he said "that's how she writes it!". grin

curtaincall Mon 13-Jun-11 11:10:40

there was a thread on this in the last few months OP. Try searching mirror writing - I think some 'experts' contributed. I can do normal and mirror writing with both hands at the same time. Consider myself to be pretty normal though. Don't worry.

washedup Mon 13-Jun-11 11:23:19

Thanks all, the "dot" trick sounds like a good tip = I'll try that. I find she doesn't do it for numbers or specific letters, just whole words and sentences, but maybe she will revert to doing it less and less and then just do some letters?

Curtain call - both hands at the same time?! Pretty normal? I'd say that is pretty special! I'll do a search and see if I can find any experts' opinions.


curtaincall Mon 13-Jun-11 11:44:28

apparently the Victorians used to make children do this as they thought it helped to integrate and discipline the two sides of their brain. well their trains ran on time so maybe it worked for them.

Ok washedup, I'm normal and special - like all of us smile

JaneBennet Mon 13-Jun-11 13:08:48

Yep completely normal. My left handed DD is just coming to the end of her Reception year and despite her teacher's 'issues' with my DD mirror writing and drawing, it's perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. DD can do the most perfect, beautiful drawings that only look correct in a mirror.

In answer to your question, yes I'm noticing it more now but then DD is writing/drawing far more than she ever has before. I gently correct her when I see it and praise her when she gets her letters/numbers the right way round. I would add that many, many children transpose their letters/numbers until about 7 regardless of their handedness.

rebl Mon 13-Jun-11 15:57:23

My dd is 5.2yrs and right handed, end of reception year. Reads very very well. Still mirror writes, not just letters but whole words and sometimes whole sentences. I brought it up at parents evening and was told that although dd does it extensively she's not worried at all yet. Still plenty of time to grow out of it.

LefthandedGirl Tue 21-Jun-11 22:05:59

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

pinkgirlythoughts Wed 22-Jun-11 09:38:55

Yep, loads of children transpose letters and numbers, regardless of handedness.

I sometimes get my year 2s (6 and 7 year olds) to try writing their names with both of their hands at the same time as a kind of fun 'warm-up' for handwriting practice. It's amazing how many of the right handed children automatically mirror write with their left hand, and are then really surprised afterwards because they didn't mean to do it!

LefthandedGirl Wed 22-Jun-11 18:04:50

Leave her alone, I have done 20 years research on left-handedness and all the lefties I speak to dispise the day they were made to switch. Many ended up with a stutter problem and terrible handwriting. Being Left-handed is good and there are many advantages over being a righty for instance the keyboard on a computer is used 60% by the left hand.

wicketkeeper Sat 25-Jun-11 11:55:18

I'm right handed, but both my parents are leftie's, so I grew up with the same problems as left-handers do in a right-handed world. When you write with her, try writing with your left hand - it isn't easy, but gets better with practice. That way she'll see how to hold the pencil, and how to move across the page (left-handers have to push, while right-handers pull the pencil). You could also hold your (left) hand gently over hers to guide the direction of the letters.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sat 25-Jun-11 14:54:34

LeftHandedGirl, no-one is suggesting making them use their right hand! shock Only to write from left to right on the page.

janeybo Sat 25-Jun-11 22:38:30

My dd nearing the end of year 1 is left handed her grip is not brilliant and she is struggling with reading & writing (she mirror writes odd letters & words), she also often reverses some of the letters in her reading. She isn't keen on reading & writing and often gets very frustrated & upset with herself. I give her lots of praise and encouragement (hoping her reading & writing will improve (she's very bright and great at numeracy, computing, has an excellent vocabulary and is very creative). Her teacher insists she's fine but I am convinced she's dyslexic.

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