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Reversing Digits When Reading Numbers

Date: 07/04/2004 at 23:14:12
From: Ty
Subject: Pronounciation problem, when reading the number 15 says 51.

My young son reads the number 15 as fifty-one.  What can I do to 
ensure his language and understandings are corrected?

Date: 07/06/2004 at 01:51:39
From: Doctor Mike
Subject: Re: Pronounciation problem, when reading the number 15 says 51.

Hi Ty -

I'm glad you wrote to us about this.  Though I have not personally
experienced it, I am aware that some children and adults have problems
with the order of things that they see.  Sometimes this involves only
reading of words, sometimes only a difficulty with numbers and math
symbols like "less than"(<) and "greater than"(>) which are similar to
each other in a way.  Sometimes, a person may have both number and
word problems. 
The general term for such difficulties is "dyslexia" and it is not at
all uncommon, and there are established strategies for helping a
dyslexic person.  Because you have observed problems, you may want to
bring up what you have noticed with your son's doctor or school.  They
should be able to provide testing to help evaluate if he indeed has
some form of dyslexia.  

I have included some internet web-pages below with information you
should find interesting and useful.  The final one is a commercial
site, and I have no knowledge about their business or products, but
their write-up has some specific comments about number-related
symptoms.  In fact it comments that, "The dyslexic may reverse
numbers, and read or write 17 for 71."  
  Understanding Dyslexia 

  Dyslexia Signs: Difficulties with Math  
I hope this helps you and your son.  This is of great interest to 
those of us in mathematics and/or teaching.  Keep us posted.

- Doctor Mike, The Math Forum 
Associated Topics:
Elementary Place Value

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