My son/daughter gets b's and d's other letters and numbers mixed up.  Is this a problem?

Initially, the direction the print goes or the order in which the letters
are placed, may not seem important to young children.  Their stuffed toy is recognizable, whether they grab it by the head or the leg, or put it in front of a chair or behind it.  Many children naturally treat letters and words in the same way, with little concern about direction or order.  Children's writing, therefore, may include:

  • letter reversals dall for ball
  • mirror images - esuoh for house
  • a different order of letters - sopt for stop

This does not necessarily indicate that children have a serious problem.  It is usually an early and temporary stage in learning to read and write.  By the mid-elementary years, after much reading and writing, most children leave these reversals behind.

For some children, reversals may persist into the upper elementary years.  Then children need direct teaching in combination with reading and writing activities to help overcome this problem.  Some children may have to be professionally tested as well.