mirror mirror…

this is a blog I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write… one that I am in no way joyous about… still there is a sliver of super happy light in these dark clouds… you know… the clouds that are probably just fine and fluffy that I could be making too much of. Maybe I should be looking at the shape of the bunny and the pegasus up in these clouds instead of focusing on the oncoming storm.

Yesterday after we got back from school K sat down at the table and wrote Mike and I a letter… It was perfect and beautiful and she did the whole thing herself including spelling all the words… and writing them completely and totally backwards. Mirror perfect backwards.

Oh isn’t that sweet…. oh how cute… tee hee hee. Except that I am mildly dyslexic…

If you don’t know anything about dyslexia it wouldn’t hurt for you to know… but among the things you would learn would be that writing backwards like the demon spawn from some creepy horror movie is not a sign of dyslexia… So why am I worried? because any impediment on the road to literacy scares the hell out of me…. because I was so befuddled by letters that it took me a very long time to learn to consistently make letters the right way… because when I am tired reading a page of plain English can be like deciphering hieroglyphics to me… because spell check is my best friend… because I did a lot of backwards writing myself… though only single letters would be flipped, not entire words and sentences… because my mom suffers from the same learning disability that I do… because my daughter is precious and perfect to me and even though a learning disability wouldn’t make her anything less than the remarkable person she is, it will make her road ahead so much tougher…

There are so many other reasons she could be writing this way… and it isn’t an overblown reaction to a one time occurrence… She writes backwards a lot. I often show her which side of the page to start on and it helps most of the time. There could also be 1,000,000,001 different factors leading up to this. For instance: I think she is the only left handed kid in her class. Does that make a difference? I am not left handed I do not know.

Today I had planned to talk to her preschool teacher… see if she had anything to say on the subject… see if she noticed that if you ask K to identify a word she points to a group of them… see if she had noticed that while K can tell you how to spell something, and she can write many words she has a hard time picking out her own name at times… to see if she knew some one we could discuss it with… see see see… but the schools are on a 2 hour snow delay (it only snained in our neighborhood) so preschool is cancelled. Instead I’m talking to all of you out there in internet land…

keep your fingers crossed…

** I talked with a friend this morning who gave me a number for an early educational intervention program. I’ll call them tomorrow. If anyone else has a child in the Portland area between the ages of 3-5 and feels they may have a problem learning I’ll be more than happy to give you the number**

9 thoughts on “mirror mirror…

  1. Bubblewench says:

    Good Luck. I know it’s hard for you to see her struggle, and would like to make sure it doesn’t come to that. Love you.

  2. Martin Declan Kelly says:

    not to disparage or dismiss your worries.. just to reassure you.. before age 7, lots of kids exhibit this behavior, or similar behavior, like writing all the letters of a word in order, but all over the page… like k on the right, then a on the bottom, then the next letter somewhere elseit’s because to them writing is still drawingnot saying it’s the case with K, and it’s good to check out, but hopefully knowing that will make this a little less of a stressful timelove youxoM

  3. CamiKaos says:

    and I so hope that you are right M and that she’s just playing about with the letters… i appreciate the info… xo

  4. Sassy says:

    Hey you girl!Aunt Sassy here…. I read your blog with some interest. I didn’t have a clue you struggled with reading…. you hid it well, but that’s the norm. I wouldn’t get too worried about K yet. It’s pretty normal up to the age 7 to write letters, words and even whole sentences backward. When she begins reading and you see some difficulty after the age of 7, then start keeping an eye on it. You do want to catch it as early as possible!Love all of you! Miss you too….S

  5. Liz says:

    Hi, it’s Liz from I Speak of Dreams. I came across this post from technorati.Like Martin said, her letter usage is developmentally appropriate. The other behaviors you indicate are also age-appropriate.However, you are correct — having a dyslexic parent increases the odds that the child will also be dyslexic.I always think that more information is better than less. You might go to Susan Barton’s website, http://www.dys-add.com/ and watch her video on early signs of dyslexia.You might also want to look at these sites (I’m just listing the URLs, since I can’t remember how many links blogger allows you to have in one post and I don’t want to trip the meter)Reading Rockets Reviews Phonemic Awareness for Preschoolershttp://www.readingrockets.org/article/377Stimulating Phonemic Awareness in Young Childrenhttp://www.brookespublishing.com/store/books/adams-3211/index.htmThe Reading Treehouse: Phonemic Awarenesshttp://www.aability.com/pawhatis.htmAnd to reassure you even more, my darling daughter is dyslexic, now 18, on the Dean’s List at a demanding college-prep independent school, and is going to college in the fall (we don’t know where until April. If it turns out that your darling daughter is indeed in the big dyslexia tent, I’d highly recommend that you start with the Barton Reading and Spelling System,http://www.bartonreading.com/.I have no connection with Barton, other than it is well-reviewed by knowledgeable parents, and effective early intervention is so hard to come by.Barton says that a child as young as five and a half can start her program.

  6. Liz says:

    Liz again.Hey, I was working on another post and I found a site I had forgotten about:Get Ready to Read.They have a nifty online screening tool for four year olds —You can use the Get Ready to Read! screening tool online. This 20-question tool for 4-year-olds is quick and easy-to-use. It was developed by some of the country’s top reading researchers and was designed to show where a child is on the path to developing pre-reading skills. Read the instructions and click through the screening tool with the child. At the end of the tool, you’ll see the child’s score and links to activities that can help improve and strengthen pre-reading skills.It is best to screen the child first in the fall a year before entering kindergarten, and again before kindergarten starts. However, you can get useful information about a child’s skills anytime during the 4-year-old year. Don’t use the tool more than three times a year. Kids develop new skills gradually, and it’s not designed to measure small changes.Hope that will calm some of your anxieties.

  7. Martin Declan Kelly says:

    never been happier to be right about something.ok. the intuition about that cellist and stripper liking me? that made me pretty happy to, but this is *way* up there.thanks for the update, and yeah, as liz says, very good to be aware of what signs to look out forbut whatever the issue… she’s a brilliant child of brilliant parents.

  8. Elaheh says:

    I think you shouldnt be so worried about her,but it doesnt mean u can stop paying attention to her writing.I am dyslexic myself and a big problem i have is I cant stop writing mirror-like although i am 20!!it’s a big trouble as i said,cuz now i study at uneversity and it causes trouble .i gave this habbit up when i was 5 but after few years it began again..so i cant do anything for it now..and as i get older it gets worse..So if she stopped writing mirror-like dont think that it never comes back again! take care of her carefully dear..i always wished i was treated sooner!

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