Why Do Some Kids Write Numbers Backwards?
Symptoms can many times be applied to multiple disorders. If your child writes their numbers backward, don’t automatically assume they are dyslexic! A child could be struggling with a visual perception deficit. Do not confuse visual perception with visual acuity, which is how well the eyes see.
Visual perception refers to how the brain interprets what is seen. Because so much information comes through the visual channel, disturbances in this area can have a very negative impact on learning. Reversal or inversion of letters and numbers, or transposing numbers or letter sequences such as saw for was or 17 for 71 are symptoms. Start early with interventions to ultimately identify the disorder.
- Make and attach a visual strip to your child’s desk or notebook so there is a ‘model’ for those symbols that give them trouble. Have your child develop the habit of looking at the ‘model’ each time they need to write a letter or number.
- If they are reading and confuse the letter or number, ask them to look at their ‘model’ and see if what they read matches with the ‘model.’ Engage them to self-correct.
- Have your child work on a piece of paper for a few minutes each day. Take one of their troublesome letters or numbers and write it the entire length of the paper to enlarge it.
- Have your child trace over the symbol on paper with their finger ten to fifteen times. [Why this many times? Research shows that it takes a repetition/interaction with a task for a minimum of 10-15 times to transfer from short term memory to long term memory.] Have your child name the symbol each time they trace over it. Use arrows to show the child directionality when tracing.
- Turn the paper over and have your child write the symbol in the air using their finger as the pencil. They should hold their finger out around 3-4 inches from, and a little above, their eye level. Have them follow their finger with their eyes as they write the symbol. Name the symbol as they air write it.
- Make sure your child is not required to learn more information than he/she is capable of at any one time.
It is important for parents to note that if the problem continues and interventions do not work beyond 7-8 years of age, it is time to take a deeper look. Your child may need a more thorough assessment from their pediatrician, eye doctor, or other professional. There could be additional factors at work such as other behavioral issues, physical issues, or cognitive deficits.
KLAC ENTERPRISES, LLC/Buckaroo Buckeye™/Nuts About Reading™