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Is this 'normal'? Strange mirror writing...

(33 Posts)
TrisMas Sat 10-Jan-15 20:52:01

I have asked for advice on here recently in regards suggestions for reading material for dd and was given some fab ideas. Something else has come to light so I wanted to ask for other perspectives on this...

Dd is a summer born in year 1, she will be six in june. She is in level 10 for reading and seems to be very good with spellings, in her case (and it may be the same for other good readers) it seems to go hand in hand with her reading as she doesn't seem to need to practice them, she just does them without getting them wrong.

She has now started mirror writing. She writes perfectly normally with her right hand but if she uses her left hand, she writes completely backwards like she's writing in a mirror. The letters, punctuation, numbers. Everything is completely backwards. She also reads backwards and upside down, like she's reading a book normally.

I was thinking about dyslexia but because when she writes with her right hand it is all written normally with all letters the right way around, I don't think it can be this. So has anyone got any ideas about this. Hopefully it isn't going to cause problems for her, but I'm wondering if anyone has heard of it before.

Liara Sat 10-Jan-15 20:57:59

I am left handed and used to do that at that age. I was always told it's fairly normal for lefties. I grew out of it in time.

Not dyslexic or anything like that.

FobDodd Sat 10-Jan-15 20:59:20

I remember suddenly doing this at about the same age. In my case it was because there was so much " new" stuff to remember in terms of vocabulary and punctuation rules, I " forgot" that we write from left to right. Or rather, i knew thsts what id been told, but i forgot whch way left and roght was.I remember the thinking process, the writing I did, the bemusement of my parents, then thinking " wow, I didn't realise it was that important which way we write, you can read it can't you?". I just wanted to get the story down quickly. As i didn't reliably know my right from my left, still don't, so it was no good telling me to do that. I think in the end I had a mark written on one hand to tell me where to start.

I don't know if that helps or not?

TrisMas Sat 10-Jan-15 21:01:08

Hmmm, but shes right handed so writes perfectly normally with her right hand. Maybe she will end up ambidextrous :-)

TrisMas Sat 10-Jan-15 21:02:31

Also, she's been writing for a couple of years but has only started doing these recently! Strange child, lol.

Littlehomebird Sat 10-Jan-15 21:02:44

My dd did that when she was little & she is left handed. She grew out of it. She could also draw upside down pictures!

Liara Sat 10-Jan-15 21:03:36

Leonardo da Vinci wrote like this...

PacificDogwood Sat 10-Jan-15 21:04:19

I am very, very right-handed (useless with my left hand) and can produce faultless mirror writing with my left hand.
I am not dyslexic.
I don't think it 'means' anything at all.

Justtoobad Sat 10-Jan-15 21:06:37

I teach a child (12yrs) who writes upside down (left handed) but the work is right way up on page.
Anyway, point is, if she can write one way then she can write another way, she's learning, so it won't be long before school has knocked out any freedom of expression.

TrisMas Sat 10-Jan-15 21:07:05

Ooh maybe I should keep hold of all of her pictures Liara!!!

I think I would be more concerned if she wrote like it all the time, but luckily she doesn't...

Ferguson Sun 11-Jan-15 18:35:43

I have known a few children who could do unusual things regards writing.

Some probably just see the shapes for a while, and the orientation and direction are a secondary consideration. So, if you drew a picture of a ball, there would be no 'correct' way, as it would always just be circle. I think the young, developing brain can extend that to other 'shapes': and letters are only shapes really, albeit shapes with meaning.

mrscumberbatch Sun 11-Jan-15 18:38:56

I think it's a very clever thing really. It must be bloody complicated to do!

But yes, I think it's a bit of literal thinking gone overboard.

I used to do it at 7. Logic was that if you wrote outwards from the inside of the book on the right hand page then you should do the same for the left.

hiccupgirl Sun 11-Jan-15 21:37:57

I also think it's very clever and shows just how flexible the brain is at that age. Children have to learn that English writing goes from left to right and it's common for younger children to have phases of writing backwards but not being able to see it is backwards IYKWIM.

If she writes the standard way with her right hand then I wouldn't worry. It sounds like she's discovered a new talent.

Jingleybells Sun 11-Jan-15 21:44:41

I used to write in mirror writing when I was bored in junior school. I can still do now

titchy Sun 11-Jan-15 22:07:56

Actually I think most people can do this - you know how it feels to write with your right hand, and writing in mirror image with your left hand will feel the same, but the trick is to not concentrate on what you're writing but think about how it feels. Easy to start by having a pen in each hand and writing a few words with both at the same time, concentrating on the pen in your usual hand. Try it!

ethelb Sun 11-Jan-15 22:12:11

It means she's more ambidexterous than other right handed people. It is more 'normal' for left handed people to be able to do this.

namechangingmonkey Mon 12-Jan-15 14:55:02

Ditto what others say, particularly re ambidextrous.
I'm left handed. I can mirror write extremely easily.
Impresses my children.

MoreBeta Mon 12-Jan-15 15:15:34

DS2 did that also at that age, mirror writing in particular. He is ambidextrous now age 12. Writes and bowls a cricket ball left handed. Right handed batsman and right footed footballer though.

If it is any consolation he is a great artist can draw stereoscopically - he can see perspective and has done since age 3. Generally is a typical left hander who sees the world differently. He can 'read' people like a book. In fact he can get anything out of anyone. Grown women come up to him to stroke his hair when he smiles - its weird.

Your DD may struggle for a while with reading and writing but will have other talents.

It runs in families. My father is ambidextrous, I am right handed but a strictly left handed cricketer (which annoys fielders), ring church bells left handed (which annoys other ringers) and do all my filing backwards (which annoys DW who I work with).

nlondondad Mon 12-Jan-15 16:04:57

writing the "other way" around is logical if you are left handed.

Given your description it seems that she is particularly good at processing visual information, and can therefore do it in a number of ways.

Nothing to be concerned about. Might even be a useful skill later.

TrisMas Mon 12-Jan-15 16:47:56

Thanks all for your input. Dd has lovely handwriting when she uses her right hand and is about a year ahead with reading (she's a 5 year old summer born but reads at level 10) so hopefully it won't cause her any harm, I just had never seen a child do it before. Strangely after school today her teacher approached me about it because dd had been mirror writing in her jotter. She said she hadn't come across it either so was quite interested in when she started doing it.

I think what I probably need to do is stop stressing about everything and just enjoy the little quirks that dd has. Thank you all again.

OneThenTwo Mon 12-Jan-15 16:50:32

My son (now 7) went through a phase of doing this last year and I thought it showed amazing focus so praised him for it and asked him to save it for spy notes and not use it for homework. He lost interest after a while, but it did seem to improve his 'forwards' writing which is really very nice now. Anything that's practicing a fine motor skill has to be good...

Daisy17 Mon 12-Jan-15 16:54:30

I did this as a child, although not with my left hand, I just found I could write either way round with my right hand and enjoyed the challenge! I wrote all my diaries like this until I was about 25 blush and still use it occasionally now. I call it my reverso brain. It also has draw backs, for example, when I approach a glass door and is says PUSH so I do, only to find that what I have actually read is the PUSH from the other side of the door.....or when I can't work out how to get out of a car park and then realise that I'm reading the NO ENTRY writing on the road brain can genuinely do it both ways and sometimes gets horribly confused! Oh and I'm obsessed with things being symmetrical!

Daisy17 Mon 12-Jan-15 16:55:30

Weird and proud!

WowOoo Mon 12-Jan-15 18:29:39

Are you sure she's right handed? My son used to do this a lot. It came out that he was fighting being left handed and wanted to be right handed like all his friends.

He can still write quite nicely with his right hand actually, perhaps he's ambidextrous. He certainly prefers his left now.

Daisy - my eldest son is always reading mirror writing as well. I have no idea what he's on about sometimes until I realise it's a reversed shop window sign or something.
It's amazing, isn't it?

Jingleybells Mon 12-Jan-15 19:44:52

Daisy 17 - I am exactly the same :-)

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