Is it normal for my child to confuse b's and d’s?

Children who are just beginning to identify and write letters often confuse b, d, p, and q, reversing letters that share similar visual characteristics. Some children may continue to reverse letters into the second grade. Oftentimes, letter reversals subside as children get more reading and writing experience and build their awareness of left and right.  With a child as young as age three, the best course of action is to simply keep on reading and providing plenty of opportunities for your child to interact with letters and recognize different letter shapes. As your child begins to write, you can address the letter reversal issue by practicing correct letter formation and pointing out how the “belly” on the letter b points in a different direction as the belly on the letter d.

Carolyn James, Ph.D.

LeapFrog Literacy Expert

As the literacy development expert on LeapFrog’s Learning Team, Carolyn ensures that the curricular design in LeapFrog products is grounded in the latest educational research. Before joining LeapFrog, Carolyn was a reading professor at Sacramento State University, a curriculum developer for the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, and a teacher in the San Francisco bay area. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology at Michigan State University.