Would this concern you? I need some advice

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Elliott brought this home from school today.  Lizze has been worried about Elliott’s propensity to write things as though it’s a mirrored image. 


He’s been doing this on and off for a few years now.  No one’s been really concerned and everyone tells me that it’s common, even in 1st grade.

I have not been focusing on this too much, as I was told not to worry..

Lizze on the other hand, has stood her ground and remained concerned. After seeing this today, I’m honestly a bit concerned as well.  Would this worry you?

Maybe we need to do some testing, just to make sure everything is okay. 

I could use some advice…….

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@Lisa Dewey Robinson AutismAdventure @PurpleLogic Barfield @Michael Henshaw @Becky Dean Lehto @TJ Isaacson @Gwen Curriden @Julia Hay @Peggie N Mike Moreno-LoRe @Alicia Cross thanks everyone.  The school is going to test him for reading dysfunction as part of his updated IEP…..


MBee That’s an interesting thought. hmmm.

Kelly Hafer

I just had a conversation with my 5 (almost 6) year old son’s teacher this morning covering this exact thing. He is doing the same thing. I have concerns about dyslexia. She is going to do some testing this week and just see if he does it consistently.

Cammy Rubin

One of my sons does this accidently. I worry about dyslexia or some other problem.

Gwen Curriden

no, some reversals are normal depending on the age , looks like the problem is also with the minutes

Peta Ellis-Stein

I learned this issue with my first ever class as a teacher….keep an eye on it, and check other work. If it’s consistent over all of his written work then maybe look into it….his name would be one of the first things he learned to write, so it makes sense that it’s written correctly. He could be like a ten year old I taught who was basically bored and having me on.

Lisa Dewey Robinson

Not at all. Perfectly normal for a 6 year old.

Randall Ric

at first I was thinking Dyslexia it could still be but I noticed something backwards writing and also the other set :30 may see the numbers or hands in the wrong place when it should be :00 .

Chad Sharp

Might want to mention that the 12 is always at the top

Maria Hall

I think it is pretty cool he does such a great job writing backward. Six? I dunno how worried I would be tho it bears watching. I would start looking for the reason… maybe he likes writing backward. We used to try writing teeny tiny… the teenier the better. The teacher however was not amused..

Chad Sharp

Just had the paper upside down nothing to worry about

Donna Holland

My guy had vision problems but I was thinking dyslexia ?

Amanda E. DiGirolamo

my son writes thing backwards a lot

Amanda E. DiGirolamo

dyslexia really bad

PurpleLogic Barfield

Draw a clock and ask him to tell you the time. If he properly tells you the on the hour time, then ask if he copied from the child across from him. If he tells you it is half pas, ask him to write it. Then if the numbers are still mirrored it is a learning issue and time for concern. But at least he was consistent!!

Julia Hay

Reversals are age appropriate until 7-8 yrs. As is confusion in reading the time

Julia Hay

In a 6 yr old, no not really.

Heather Sinclair

Mirror writing can be a symptom of a vision problem. Testing for vision not visual acuity can pinpoint what the child actually sees. Try a developmental optometrist.

Jennifer Lynch Âû

By itself as a 6 yr old, I would watch it. If he is having difficulty decoding, loses his place while reading, yawns, fidgets, squints, shows eye strain, complains of headaches, has any signs of any diagnoses ADHD or anything I would take him to an eye doctor and have developmental testing done.

Jennifer Judson

My daughter who is autistic did the mirror image writing into 2nd grade. We found out after doing a ton of unnecessary testing that she had a fascination with mirrors and words. The word ambulance is written backwards on the vehicle and she was obsessed with emergency vehicles.

Alicia Cross

My son wrote backwards for a long time, I would not be worried yet

Rebecca Smith


TJ Isaacson

Ummm…. I’d probably be a bit concerned… He’s reading the clocks upside down… Which could be typical of a second grader… However every one of his answers is mirror image… I’d start with asking him if he did that on purpose (since his name is the right direction, and I used to write everything mirror image because I was that bored in school not because I was seeing things wrong) but if he didn’t do it on purpose I’d be talking to someone about it…. Don’t know who tho…

Becky Dean Lehto

*picture thinkers, not things. Heehee

Peggie N Mike Moreno-LoRe

Not gonna lie. I would be concerned at first. Think about it for a little while. And then seek answers.

Michael Henshaw

Someone may also have made a comment like “if the minute hand is pointing toward me, it is x:30”. I would try some practice at home with an old clock to see if something in the school/seating arrangement are influencing what is being written.

Becky Dean Lehto

The misinterpretation on the minute hand is not a big deal. He is just confused as to which direction indicates the half hour. The mirror writing is awesome. Two of my kids did that. They are both amazingly creative picture things who can literally see ideas and concepts as 3D pictures rather than more linearly like most people. To them, until it is gently corrected, directionality is unimportant. One of my 2 with this way of thinking is dyslexic, the other just sucks at math. My aspie, otoh, does not think like this at all.

Michael Henshaw

Does he sit at a table with someone directly across from him? Could be trying to emulate someone else, and perspective is upsidedown.


Well, I’m thinking he just heard “o’clock” and probably saw :00 as an example.  It made me wonder if he was only writing backwards, or  or perceiving things ‘upside-down’ somehow.


That is because it is first grade and he will learn how to tell time with practice. That is why he has this worksheet. If he were getting this wrong in 4th grade after they have already learned to tell time, the answers would be a problem. I noticed they were all wrong but, as someone who’s whole family worked in education, that didn’t concern me.


Everyone is addressing the reversed numbers and no one is mentioning that each answer is wrong. 
Are those two linked? 
The 5:30 answer is most telling…He put the 5 where it should be, so he had to squeeze in the 30.  So, he chose to put it there.  But I have no thought on what that indicates.


I would probably worry if it was my guy, but, I tend to try to jump on every issue.  Mine is 8 and still doing some of that type of thing.  Not to that extreme though. When they say don’t worry, it is because it is so common for kids until age 7 or 8.  I was always told, if he is still doing this in 3rd grade, then we will worry about it.  Looking at this and the fact that he was able to write his name correctly, I would almost wonder if he is doing it on purpose.  Do you see it throughout all of his writing, including letters?  Is it typical for him to do this on an entire paper?  Do you really think he is seeing it this way?  If you really think that this is how he sees it, I would go ahead and get him some testing.  Maybe a developmental ophthalmologist visit is in order.


I used to mix up lower case b and d until about second grade. Probably as a result of mild and undiagnosed visual-spatial issues.
However, if this is the only symptom he has of learning difficulties, then he probably doesn’t have any.


How is the time being said? I taught this lesson yesterday to my first graders, a few of them did Tue same thing. If you say “half past three” I’m not surprized to see 30:3 or 03:3. Flipping numbers is still very common in first grade. When he is writing, emphisize “three thirty, what you hear first is what you write first.”. Hope this helps!


My son does this.  He is 7 with almost identical diagnosis plus a few more.  School says don’t worry.