rtlogotype Reversals
Reversals in Writing: Anna’s Story

In a complex skill like reading or writing, there can be many reasons for what you observe.

A prominent literacy researcher told this story about his little daughter, who wrote her name:


Not one to draw hasty conclusions about reversals, still he had to admit to some concern.

What could be causing Anna to write the first 'N' correctly and the second backward?


After further investigation, he determined that she had made up a 'rule' for writing her name.


Anna’s rule was to begin each new letter, just to the right of where she had finished the stem of the last letter!

Smart girl!
But her rule showed her lack of experience.


The moral of the story:

Don’t jump to conclusions about a student’s performance.

In a complex skill like reading or writing, there can be many explanations for what you observe.

Perhaps anything can happen in neurology--but
'seeing backward,'
if it happens at all, is not common in my years of experience.

Try the
Directional Training pages, under the 'Reversals' section at The Reading Treehouse.

More likely explanations include under-developed skills
and lack of mature understanding.


What if my student keeps writing backward?

We learn what we practice.

Make sure the student is practicing correctly about 85% of the time, at least,
in order to learn to 'write forward.'

Short Cut Through the Treehouse ~ The Whole Treehouse

More on this topic: Learning to Write ‘Forward’