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Is it normal for my 4yr old to write his letters/numbers backwards?

My son just turned 4 in July and was delayed with speech. He's finally talking at a normal level so we're moving on to teaching him to write his number/letters. It seems that our almost 3 yr old can copy what I show him pretty easily but our 4 year old almost always writes them backwards. Is this normal or something we should talk to the doctor about? I just worry that he might have another dely like his speech :(

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Asked by lizafur13 at 11:57 PM on Aug. 28, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 5 (61 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Most Kindergarten teachers will tell you its normal for children in their classes to still write backwards or upside or out of order. If they tend to not improve, however gradually that may be, that's when they become concerned. But even then, it isn't unheard of for first graders to still have troubles with their letters and numbers.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 12:01 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Yep, keep showing him. He will turn them back around. The coloring books with letters and numbers are awesome.

    Answer by DonnaPinitonya at 12:01 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • YES! I had issues with this with my now 6 year old. IT is very common, and I was told not to worry about correcting it. Simply mention it, but don't make a big deal about it.

    My dd Kindergarten teacher last year, said that it is very common at these ages. They are trying to figure it out. It doesn't mean they're gifted or delayed. Some parents, apparently thought it meant their child was gifted. Anyway, work with your child. Eventually he'll get it.

    Answer by ratchetlee at 12:02 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Yes, totally normal. He is so young that its not an issue. However, if it continues at the third or fourth grade level, he should be tested for dyslexia. I'm sure he will get them turned around though!

    Answer by EthansMom519 at 12:06 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Both of my older children could write in reverse and backwards until the beginning of 2nd grade. The teachers always told us to not be concerned until later in the 2nd grade year. They are now in middle school and couldn't do it if you paid them. One of them was fairly severely speech delayed as well (wasn't resolved until age 6.)

    It sounds completely normal. Just work with him and he will get it. It just may take some time. My 5 yr old has been writing his name for nearly 2 yrs. His papers came home from kindergarten yesterday and there it was - reversed and backwards.

    Answer by balagan_imma at 12:16 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Very common. If the problem persists at a later age you may want to look into seeing if he is dyslexic. As for right now, it isn't anything to stress about.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 12:17 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Thank you ladies. This makes me feel much better :]]

    Comment by lizafur13 (original poster) at 12:20 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • Yes. It is very common. A lot of children in kindergarten can have trouble with that as well. Every child learns differently. I would say since you're just starting to work with him to give him time. He may catch on and correct himself. However, if later he's still doing it, as in a year or two from now, then have him checked for Dyslexia.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:20 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • i am a teacher at an elementary school and reversals are normal until 2nd grade

    Answer by MommyH2 at 12:35 AM on Aug. 29, 2010

  • All kids are different! So you may have one child that learns one way and another that learns an entirely different way, DONT WORRY ABOUT IT! My daughter 6yrs old used to write upside down and backwards! She was about 3-4. She could draw a perfect picture of a person, with all the right body parts! the only thing was... it was upside down!!! Her name is Summer and she would even write all of her letters backwards and sometimes even the words backwards... I was worried like you are, so I asked the dr, she said give it time and see how she does when she gets a little older. Like I said she is 6, almost 7 and is very advanced for her age! She is in 1st grade but is at a 3rd grade level for almost everything! Also think about this- Leonardo DaVinci wrote backwards with his left hand! During his time, left handers werent normal. But look how smart he was! If you are still worried, ask a dr and you will feel better! Good luck!

    Answer by sxc_mom_of2 at 7:45 AM on Aug. 30, 2010

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