Have you ever seen the servers write their name upside down at Macaroni Grill? I waited tables there for years and really had the backwards cursive signature down pat. It took practice though. It wasn’t like I just automatically write in reverse although sometimes it looks like my daughter SJ does.
She hasn’t been writing for long, but in the past couple years I have noticed a trend where she not only writes from right to left, but the letters are often backwards as well.
Above is a drawing of her dad teaching her to ride her bike. The names are Daddy, Ezra, Sedona, and Mommy. Not all spelled correctly, but clearly written starting on the right. Writing her family’s names is one of her favorite things to do and it always looks something like this.
Of course I freaked out a little bit when I saw this repeatedly because she has been a detail oriented perfectionists since she was two. I could tell story after story of how visual and focused she is. I think some of it comes from her delayed access to sound. So I knew it must be something that was a mix up going on inside her mind and not just her being silly or sloppy.
It sounds like I am the perfectionist, but I am not! Not at all. Thanks to her speech delay I have never expected her to be able to write at age four. I was just worried because I hated the idea of her as a special needs child to have another hurdle to face.
I do realize dyslexia is more than just backwards letters, but at the same time I didn’t like how consistent she was with this mirrored writing. All kids mix up letters and left and right from time to time, but this was so thorough!
The above is her copy of the “EAT MOR CHIKIN” sign from Chic-fil-A. So in this case she was looking directly at the message she was copying. The words below were completely from memory and those are some of her sight words. I, am, the, little.
Here is the beginning of the alphabet (she did this in the car recently)
And here is the same image MIRRORED. There are a few backwards letters like J, N, and P, but she’s still learning. I think if she knew the “right” way to write them then she probably would have written all of them backwards!
I could give other examples about reading or journaling from back to front, but I have been asking about this for years and the experts didn’t seem concerned. She goes to a special private school where they give frequent assessments and go through everything with a fine tooth comb. They told me not to worry. When she is at school with the lined paper and direct instruction she seems to be doing everything the correct way from left to right. Most importantly she really enjoys reading and writing. And she absolutely loves homework!
Still, at the last parent teacher conference I brought it up AGAIN and they looked through some samples I brought and explained why the order and precision of her work does not show signs of dyslexia at all. Not that I think dyslexia is the worst thing in the world. Like I said though, she has enough extra obstacles due to her hearing loss without adding any other disabilities.
The more people I talk to and the more I research online it looks like her mirrored writing can probably be attributed to her being left handed. Just one of the many resources I have found to support this is from the Better Health Channel and it says
- Left-handed children learning to write often write back to front (‘mirror’ writing). This is a natural inclination, not a sign of dyslexia, and will resolve given time, practice and encouragement.
She just has to be the minority in every aspect doesn’t she? That little stinker! I am just joking. I am serious though about being grateful that this whole mystery is pretty much solved.
Have you seen or known any mirror writers? This was a first for me.
This is very interesting… I am left handed as well. I will have to ask my Mom if I did that when I was little! (Hint: I don’t do it anymore!) 😉
I know not all lefties do it, and not all children that do it are lefties, but there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support that is probably a major factor. BOTH of my sister in laws are left handed. One of them said she does prefer to start a notebook from the back so that was interesting.
I had never heard of this, very insightful.
That’s kinda cool! She’s great at it. I’m left-handed & wonder if I did that at some point. Thanks for sharing! Glad to be in the 31 Days Survivors group with you!!
I think your time and encouragement will be so important for your little one as she grows up.
I think that is really cool! I have never seen anything like that! Save those for sure so she can show her kids (and friends at parties) one day when she is older :). And if anyone has the patience to help her correct this neat oddity, you do 🙂
Every child has been given gifts and talents and all change the world they live in many different ways. I do believe your daughter will change the world in a significant, positive way for the betterment of mankind as she sees the world a completely different way than most people do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with your daughter. She’s brilliant, wide awake mentally and full of life. Shelter her and attempt to help her use her gift. God is amazing!
This is pretty interesting and unique! Thanks for sharing – this will be something special that you’ll always remember she did as a child. The human brain is pretty amazing!