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5 Top Ways to help Letter Reversals and a freebie

Updated: Aug 12




As a Mom of 2 dyslexic kiddos and a Kindergarten teacher I know it can be heartbreaking to watch children struggle to read and learn. It has been especially difficult with my 2nd son who is 7. He is repeating Kindergarten so that he can go through Dyslexia therapy without missing new concepts at school. He has already given up on reading, hates it and cries over every word. To say he is a severe dyslexic is an understatement. So a few weeks ago we had a talk about how to make reading easier. He is a kinesthetic learner who loves to color, cut, glue etc. With that in mind I put together activities for letter reversals and implemented these dyslexia worksheets at home.


Are you a parent or teacher like me who sees your child often struggle with letter reversals and you are left wondering...


Is it Dyslexia or developmentally appropriate letter reversals?

Is Dyslexia considered a disability?

How does Dyslexia work? Is dyslexia reversing letters or is it more than just common letter reversals?

We have dyslexia in the family, does that mean the letter reversals I am seeing in my child are Dyslexia?

Are there proven activities for letter reversals that my child should be doing?

Why should I use letter reversals worksheets or dyslexia worksheets if I am unsure if my child has Dyslexia?

Why won't the teacher refer my child for Dyslexia Testing before 2nd grade?

I know that early intervention for Dyslexia and other learning disabilities is key to success, why aren't the schools helping my child now?

What can I do to support my child with his/her letter reversals now?

How do I help my child with his/her letter reversals without causing frustration?

Are there specific activities for letter reversals that I should be using with my child?

How much time and how often should I be encouraging my child through letter reversals?

I know my child is Dyslexic, is there hope for him/her to ever learn to read?

There are so many products out there for letter reversals, why should I use your Dyslexia Worksheets?


Those are some big heavy questions that parents and teachers often have. As a Kindergarten teacher and Mom to 2 dyslexic boys I feel that you should be given every bit of information available to help your child be successful. It helps no one, especially your child, to keep these strategies hidden behind classroom doors and therapy offices. And even if your child is not struggling with letter reversals these strategies and dyslexia worksheets are great practice to help the brain solidify the proper direction and formation of letters.


Let's slow down and answer each of these questions.


Is it Dyslexia or developmentally appropriate letter reversals?

Unfortunately we may not truly know the answer to this until 2nd grade. Some children with Dyslexia show signs early but they haven't proven severe enough for testing or the red flags don't start going up until their peers are far exceeding them.


And the thing about developmental appropriateness is that it varies from child to child. What one child learns early another child may not. This doesn't mean there is something wrong with the child. It often means the brain just isn't ready for the information yet. It is like the difference between boys an girls. Girls mature faster and often are higher academically and maturity wise earlier than boys. This seems to even out more in the higher elementary grades.


Is Dyslexia considered a disability?

Yes, Dyslexia is a recognized learning disability that dictates schools special education programs are required to provide support for. An IEP (Individual Education Plan) is most often written and used to provide modifications in the classroom.


How does Dyslexia work? Is dyslexia reversing letters or is it more than just common letter reversals?


True dyslexia is so much more than just letter reversals as you can see from the infographic above. Yes letter reversals and number reversals are a huge part of dyslexia. In the past few years educators and researchers have found so much more. Doctors have found a link to family instances of Dyslexia and scans have shown that areas of the brain responsible for reading do not function as they should.


Dyslexic children often have a hard time reading text on screens because it often appears as if it were moving, my son describes it as "like waves" going across the screen.


Too much text on the page is often overwhelming and needs to be broken down into one line at a time, using a line filter in blue is the most helpful.


Struggling to learn and recall words that were just read. There is often trouble connecting the letters as they see them to the sounds a letter makes.


Dyslexia often affects reading, writing, spelling and speaking. Words often appear backwards like "bat" looks like "tab." Because a Dyslexics reading is slower than their peers it messes with every subject. Even math involves reading. More on number reversals in another post.


Confidence is often low even though these kids often work 2x as hard and are very smart. The frustration level is high and can cause anger. Some kids have a feeling of worthlessness that shows through acting out, refusal to do work and giving up.



Are there proven activities for letter reversals that my child should be doing?

ABSOLUTELY! First and for most you should be reading to your child every night. Building a love for reading will help encourage your child through the struggles. Give your child access to many different types of books, encourage them to "read" the pictures. Predict what the story is about and sequence what happens back to you. There is research out there that suggests children should continue to be read aloud to even once they become independent readers, up until 8th grade! Anything you can do to build literacy skills at an early age using every facet of learning (auditory, written, movement based) will be a wonderful support for your child going forward. Remember hear it, say it, write it are the foundations for solidifying learning in the brain.


AND Just you being here reading this blog post is proof that you want what is best for your child and you are willing to put in the time and effort they need to be successful readers!


Why should I use letter reversals worksheets or dyslexia worksheets if I am unsure if my child has Dyslexia?

Any support you provide a child, dyslexic or not, is useful to their learning and your relationship with your child. Not only are you supporting learning but you are also building a bond that the child will trust when things get hard!


Why won't the teacher refer my child for Dyslexia Testing before 2nd grade?

Because letter and number reversals are developmentally appropriate until 2nd grade you will not get a true testing. And due to the school districts special education policies if you test your child too early they will not qualify for another round of testing for several years. Which means you could start to see a real problem a year after your child completed testing but you cannot have them tested again for 2 or more years.


You always have the option of private testing. We went through a therapy group here in Austin TX and they were wonderful. However, private testing is very expensive and can in some cases lead to therapy your child doesn't truly need. I hate to say that because I love my sons therapists but as a Kindergarten teacher I have seen too many parents get taken advantage of and waste time/money. If you decide to go with private testing make sure that the center you are going through has plenty of years of experience with young children, are well qualified to make educational diagnosis and are open/honest about their testing procedures.


I know that early intervention for Dyslexia and other learning disabilities is key to success, why aren't the schools helping my child now?

Early Intervention is sooooooo important! I do wish the school districts would serve our children with signs of Dyslexia sooner than later but the truth of the matter is they can't. They have to use their resources to serve the highest needs and the most affected. Now don't get me wrong if your child truly has severe delays and struggles to learn the school district is required to test and serve your child depending on where they fall. However, chances are they will come back to you saying that what they see is developmentally appropriate for your child's age. If your child is delayed in any areas chances are you have already been on top of seeking out testing for them and are looking at more issues than letter reversals and possible Dyslexia.

What can I do to support my child with his/her letter reversals now?

Start implementing the strategies I have outlined below. Begin with small easy activities that only take a few minutes and as you see progress work your way up to harder/more challenging activities.


Be your child's and students biggest advocate! You know him/her better than anyone else on this planet! If you feel like something just isn't quite right don't brush it off, chase it and support it! Get your child's village to help you in supporting your child through this. Talk with the people your child has contact with and let them know this is a struggle and how you want them to handle it. It is so important that your child not feel punished or not good enough for these letter reversals. Most early childhood teachers know not to make a huge deal over letter reversals and can gently help your child but of course there are always those few that demand perfection and your child cannot live up to that even if they didn't have any of these struggles.



How do I help my child with his/her letter reversals without causing frustration?

Simple practice for short amounts of time have worked best for us. Repetition to encourage mastery is key. Even when you think your child has it down continue to practice to build stamina and confidence. Celebrate the progress not matter how small!


Are there specific activities for letter reversals that I should be using with my child?

  1. Label common items with large simple text, underline the b, d, p and q's. Have your child identify the objects, isolate the sound and tell you which letter it is. Repeat this everyday, changing items as needed once mastered.

  2. Provide your child with magnetic letters on a cookie sheet. First have them point out the targeted letters and identify the letter name and sound. Have them practice putting the letters in order and building words with the letters that have b,d,p,q at the beginning. Move onto letters inside and at the end of words as your child progresses. picture/word cards are a great addition to this activity.

  3. Pour salt or sand in a thin layer on a flat surface. Have your child practice writing the targeted letters with their finger through the sensory medium. Have them say the letter name and sound as they are moving their finger. This will help create a brain connection with the shape of the letter. Move to picture/word cards when ready.

  4. Print or purchase ABC playdough, floam or wikki sticks mats. Have your child practice forming the letters out of the sensory medium while saying the name of the letter and the sound.

  5. Place plastic letters in a sensory bin filled with water beads, beans, corn kernels, legos etc. Have your child fish out the letters and identify the letter and sound. They can then match the letters to pictures where they hear the same sound.

How much time and how often should I be encouraging my child through letter reversals?

With all of these activities you can gently correct as needed. Try not to show frustration and take lots of movement breaks. These kids should only practice for 5-10 minutes at a time to prevent burnout. In order to build a love of reading in children that struggle you want to follow the slow and steady wins the race technique. Small amounts of practice- at different times of day- repeated several times a week. If your child is showing frustration stop and revisit at another time.


I know my child is Dyslexic, is there hope for him/her to ever learn to read?

YES!!!!! Your child will learn how to read! How quickly and with how much frustration is up to you. I promise if you put the time in and follow these strategies you will see major gains in learning and confidence!


There are so many products out there for letter reversals, why should I use your Dyslexia Worksheets?

BECAUSE THEY WORK! I would not have put my Dyslexia Worksheets out on the market without knowing that they will support letter reversals. These have been used in countless classrooms and homes for the past several years. My Dyslexia Worksheets have sold more than 1000 copies and have earned rave reviews from teachers and parents. You can look at the product reviews on the Teachers Pay Teachers listing page and trust these unsolicited reviews.


Each night we did one of the specialized worksheets I designed. We started with ones that were easy and worked our way up to more and more text on the page. He was happy to do them because he enjoys worksheets. If you have a child that doesn't enjoy worksheets you can give them an incentive to complete them with some smelly markers, twistable crayons, stickers, bingo daubers etc. My Collin didn't even realize how much he was truly learning how to see b,d,p and q without letter reversals. I think using large type with a very simple font also helped. I know there are specific fonts out there that SLP's feel are best but I wanted to use a different one to see if it truly made a difference. I personally think the simpler the font the better.


I found that these simple practice sheets gave him more confidence in reading and at school in general. Collin especially liked finding the "b" on the coloring page below. He also really likes tape as you can see from the cutting page. He said these were his 2 favorites out of the pack. I won't post all of the pics but I always take one to send to Grandma so she can tell him how proud she is of him for doing his "homework."





So, we as parents and teachers will still need to support these kiddos with patience, kindness and love. Encourage them to read even though it is hard, do our best to foster a love for reading and be there to help when it is too hard. Fun, simple exercises like these can help build confidence in these kids that need it the most. I would love to hear about how these letter reversals strategies and Dyslexia Worksheets have helped your child or students. Here are a few more photos of the Dyslexia Worksheets.


These Dyslexia Worksheets have different levels working with larger text in the beginning and moving to smaller text as progress is made.

These more advanced pages help with visual discrimination of the targeted letter reversals.

The coloring pages are super fun and yes there are pages for both girls and boys!








UPDATE: I began this blog post when my child was 7. He is now 13 and loves to read! He still struggles with spelling and writing but I believe all of the work his teachers put in and the addition of the above strategies truly helped him to become a great reader! My Kindergarteners enjoy working through these sheets at the beginning of each year and it does help solidify the letters in the brain.


This year I decided to make my Dyslexia Worksheets for Letter Reversals into reusable activities that are organized into task boxes. I have added more hands on activities and given you tons of ideas for use. Check them out if you are looking for targeted engaging activities that can be used year after year!




Till next time,

Christine


Here is a free sample from my 2nd set of Dyslexia Worksheets:



Also find these resources in money saving bundles!





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