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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Should I be concerned about mirror writing?

May 13, 2008

With permission, a question that we received through Ask the Expert:

Should I worry about mirror writing in my kindergarten son? From my understanding, dyslexia is an auditory problem rather than a visual one, is that true? Is it just that my son hasn't gotten the directionality of print from left to right at this stage rather than it being a major learning disability?

Mirror writing by itself is not troubling in a kindergarten student. Beginning writers are mastering several skills, including directionality. There are other factors (weak phonological skill, family history of reading difficulty, speech/language delay) that are considered risk factors for reading difficulty.

Dyslexia is a language-based reading difficulty. As such, if your son has persistent difficulty with several of the language-based behaviors I've listed below, you should talk with his teacher and share your concerns.

* Learning letter names and some letter sounds
* Recognizing words that rhyme
* Retelling simple stories
* Recognizing words that share the same beginning sound
* Understanding simple concepts about print

Here are two readings that you may find useful:

Common Signs of Dyslexia

Dyslexia: Beyond the Myth

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"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom" —

Robert Frost