The ultimate guide to letter and number reversals

What are reversals?

Reversals occur often when young children learn to write. Letters or numbers are formed incorrectly and in such a way that they seem to be 'reversed'.  For example, the word 'bed' might be written as 'deb'.  For adults, the letters b, d, p and q are all different because of their position, but for young children starting out on their literacy journey, they could all look the same.

Is this normal?

Letter and number reversals are common up to around the age of seven years old.  It is not necessarily an indication of dyslexia, as is commonly believed.  According to Kate Kelly, childhood specialist, and supported by Robin Margent, an Orton–Gillingham Dyslexia Specialist, the majority of children that write with reversals do not have any learning or attention problems.

How can I help my child form good writing habits?

There are no quick fixes when kids write their letters and numbers backwards. However, you can help your child to improve their writing habits. Doing something over and over again is the key to success. This builds muscle memory.  Repeating the same movement forms a foundation for the skill in your child's muscles. The multi-sensory approach of all our products help to reinforce the correct formation of letters and numbers.  

When must I worry?

If your child is still frequently reversing letters or numbers by the end of grade 2 or the beginning of grade 3, speak to your child's teacher. They might put your mind to rest, or suggest an external evaluation.

Now read:  FAQ about reversals

Now watch: Correcting letter and number reversals