Helpful Hints for Reversals

  • Before concentrating on reversals, start with reinforcement of the left and right sides of the body.

    • If your child is right handed, teach him/her that he/she write with his/her right hand.
    • Have your child wear a ring, bracelet, or watch on one side of the body; give cues for that.
    • Play Simon Says. For example, raise your right hand, jump on your left foot, touch your left ear with your right hand, etc.
    • Play Twister. 

    For paper tasks, draw a vertical line or symbols to the left of the page as a reference point. This cues your child to the direction left, where to begin writing (and reading), and which way to face his/her letters. 

    Teach the letters through various techniques.

    • Rice, beans (Pour on tray, etc. Draw letter on it.)
    • Sandpaper (Cut out letter. Trace over with fingers.)
    • Playdough (Flatten on table. Draw letter in it. OR Roll into snakes. Use snakes to form letter.)
    • Fingerpaint, shaving cream (Draw letter in it.) 

    Connect the dots. Teach your child to talk to his/her fingers. For example, "big line down, little curve (bump) on bottom right." This forms a "b."

    Rainbow writing. Draw letter in one color. Then trace over it in another color. Keep repeating.

    Color shocking. This is the use of two different colors to show the distinct features of a letter. For example, for "b" make a big line down in red and a little curve on bottom right in blue. For "d" make a big line down in red and a little curve on bottom left in green.

    Sorting. Make index cards up with all the letters of the alphabet. Make one set with the letters oriented correctly, another set with the letters backwards (reversed). Have your child sort them into piles of right and wrong (good and bad). Put the correct letters in a pile on the right side. Put the reversed letters in a pile on the left side.

    Matching. Make index cards with "b"s and "d"s (or other commonly reversed pairs like "p" and "q") on them. Sort/match them into two piles.

    Write "b"s and "d"s on the chalkboard or a piece of paper ~5-10 of each.  Ask your child to cross out 3 "b"s, circle 2 "d"s, etc.  Ask him/her how many "b"s are left over.

    Sequences.  Ask your child to use his/her pencil to draw a line over the letters that are good and a line under the letters that are bad.  OR  Ask your child to draw a line over the "b"s and under the "d"s, etc.

    • example:  b    b    d    d    b    d