• Laetitia deVries

Why does my child write letters backwards?

As your child develops skills and knowledge in their alphabet, phonics, reading and writing they may sometimes reverse letters or numbers. Many of my students experienced this as perfectly normal learning. I even had the pleasure of story written by a 6 year old in my class who wrote an entire story in mirror writing! Written right to left, with every letter reversed but perfect spelling! They didn't even realise they had done it. An absolute master piece!

If your child continually struggles with some of these things;

- letters or numbers being reversed or confused especially b/d/p/q, n/u, 3, 5, 13/31, 15/51,

- its harder for them to remember their learning,

- there is an increasing gap between how they speak and their writing capabilities,

- they don't like to read aloud,

- or have difficulty following verbal instructions,

they may have dyslexia.

Dyslexia means your child just requires a different way to learn

They will be a thinker and learner who;

- is visual where they think in pictures not words

- relies on intuition - what feels right

- is very creative, a problem solver, thinks laterally and has original ideas

- thrives with hands-on, multi sensory learning.

So how can we show children how to learn if they are dyslexic?

Dyslexic children are intelligent, creative, problem solvers and thinkers. If we apply a different approach to helping them learn they will excel in what ever they are passionate about in life.

Try these ideas but please ask for help through this website if there is anything you are more curious about.


  • Using multi -sensory learning as the first option for teaching a reading or writing skill. For more information on this read our post - What is Multi Sensory?

  • Use multi-sensory tools for loads of repetition and review of sight words and tricky word spelling. For more information read our post on 'How does the brain learn?'

  • Spend time on supporting correct learning. It is very challenging to undo wrong learning.

  • Specific teaching in decoding skills in spelling, reading and writing.

  • Specific teaching of comprehension strategies so they read from meaning rather than getting stuck on decoding each word.

  • Talk about what dyslexia is and how it is impacting their achievement. Sadly traditional teaching methods applied in many classrooms can result in a child's frustration, embarrassment, avoidance and low self-esteem especially when they are constantly compared with their peers and viewed as underperforming and lazy.

  • Use post its to record their words for writing so they don't have to write as much.

  • Explore ways of recording voice on your device and use of technologies for writing or reading there are loads out there. Email me if you would like some ideas that I have used in the past.

  • Make learning on the run discover ways to include movement in a lesson.

  • Don't over stimulate the environment - remember how our short term memory works.

  • Have regular brain breaks

  • Explore ways to provide choice in activities to show learning done not just written

  • Have fun with small collaborative brain storming

  • Consider the environment where they work - lighting, calm, not over crowded, quiet

  • Label stored items using words, colour, symbols or pictures

  • Have spare pens rulers etc available in the same space

  • Try a visual daily timetable to help organisation

Use language and questions that will encourage a positive approach and a learner trying their hardest.

  • You try, I’ll help

  • Can you clap it?

  • You spell, I’ll write

  • Give words that rhyme

  • What do you know about that word

Many of my idols are very dyslexic including Steven Spielberg and Jamie Oliver and look how successful they are! Passion, drive and a great dose of self confidence and resilience is all we need to overcome challenges in life. Interestingly, when I applied these strategies in the classroom not only did learning become fun and enjoyable but everyone was motivated to do the work. These strategies actually support learning for all children because it links new knowledge to the brain through multiple pathways.

Watch out for future posts that show a lesson working with a child who has lost their confidence and needs help

Visit our online shop for resources designed uniquely and specifically to help your child's learning;

with more arrivals in 2020 including learning times tables, alphabet knowledge, reading! If you have a special request we would love to hear from you.

-Vista Boards are designed specifically to support children to practise correct letter and number reversals. Fun to use and very versatile and portable.

Vista Board - a see through whiteboard.

A hands-on learning kit for spelling

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