For many children with autismthough -- even those with higher IQs than most -- handwriting becomes an arduous chore, because the very act of writing letters takes them so long to do.
Multimedia Abstract This minireview concerns a new observation on mirror writing. An uncommon form of writing, mirror writing is seen among healthy individuals, but it can also follow a variety of neurological diseases; it is nearly always carried out with the left hand and is more easily undertaken by left-handers.
We have found that a particularly high prevalence of left-handed mirror writing has been reported among those whose mirror writing autism languages are traditionally written in a leftward direction, including Chinese, Japanese, and Hebrew.
Innate left-handers and those whose languages are written leftward thus share an unusual facility for left-handed mirror writing, an observation that may have implications for understanding hemisphere specialization in relation to handedness. Mirror writing runs mirror writing autism the opposite direction to normal and with letters reversed, and it is most easily read using a mirror.
It is usually written leftward with the left hand, and its occurrence often appears to be linked to the circumstances in which left-handed writing emerges. The characteristics of mirror writing, the circumstances in which it occurs, and many of the theories thought to explain it were reviewed over 70 years, 1 and subsequent clinical and theoretical aspects have been briefly reviewed more recently.
In right-handed adults who write with their left hand, mirror writing can be produced at will and for fun, and it is undertaken by lithographers, printers, and others for occupational purposes. Transient left-handed mirror writing is also sometimes observed when conventional writing is no longer possible in otherwise healthy right-handed individuals, for example, after the right arm has been damaged.
Mirror writing with the left hand has also been associated with diffuse cerebral disorders, including head injury, and various neurodegenerative processes, including Parkinson disease, essential tremor, and spinocerebellar degenerations.
Various theories to account for mirror writing have been proposed, and these have been summarized elsewhere. The motor center hypothesis, in which it is postulated that there are motor programs in the brain, with the programs represented bilaterally but in mirror form in the 2 hemispheres.
When the left hand carries out writing movements normally carried out by the right hand, it has been suggested that in mirror writing there is a failure to inhibit the natural left-handed tendency to write leftward and in mirror form.
The visual hypothesis, in which it is similarly envisaged that there are bilateral visual memory traces engrams in the brain, the nondominant usually right hemisphere engram being in mirrored form and again normally suppressed.
Thus, when suppression is impaired or incomplete, mirror writing with the left hand would result. Conflict between abnormal motor pathways subserving mirror writing and a normal visual monitoring system has also been suggested.
The spatial-orientation hypothesis, in which it is suggested that there is confusion in respect of direction and orientation of reading and writing, sometimes associated with spatial confusion. These phenomena may merge with other related phenomena, including difficulties in overcoming the left-to-right directional bias of normal writing, right-left perceptual difficulties, different processing of writing in right and left hemispace, and access to mirrored graphemes when mirror writing is part of more complex mirror and perceptual phenomena.
Rarely, mirror writing may be seen in essential tremor, Parkinson disease, and spinocerebellar disorders. It has been postulated that disruption of thalamo-cortical pathways may be the common underlying factor in these conditions.
Thus, there are both numerous circumstances in which mirror writing occurs and numerous theories invoked to explain the phenomenon, but the unifying feature is that mirror writing is nearly always carried out with the left hand. Furthermore, left-handers often find mirror writing particularly easy.
New insights We have observed that a surprisingly large number of reported left-handed mirror writers are those whose native languages have traditionally been written and read leftward.
This is evident from various individual reports of Japanese and Chinese patients, most of whom mirror wrote after usually left hemispheric vascular lesions, and the polyglot who, following head injury, selectively mirror wrote and read Hebrew script, while normal reading and writing of Polish remained.
Writing customs change over time, and the characteristically leftward and vertical directions of much Asian writing are now becoming less common.
Furthermore, mirror writing is often a heterogeneous phenomenon, and the direction of letters and ideograms may be different from the direction of the line of writing.
Nevertheless, the high prevalence of mirror writing reported in healthy individuals and in patients whose languages are typically written and therefore also read from right to left is striking. This finding cannot be attributed to population differences in handedness. Left-handedness is no more frequent among Asians than Westerners, and right-handedness has predominated in all cultures for at least years.
Both consonantal phonetic Hebrew and ideographic Chinese and Japanese languages are implicated. This suggests that, although ideographic languages are extensively processed in the right hemisphere, it is less the structure and more the leftward direction of these languages that is important and that drives, or is driven by, the contralateral right hemisphere.
In addition, as was postulated in the case of ancient Semitic mirror writing, it may well be not only the direction of writing itself but also the right hemisphere involvement in leftward direction of eye movements and the left visual fields that are important.
In both groups, there is a suggestion that the right hemisphere may have an important role in mediating left-handed mirror writing, and, in the case of left-handers, there is supporting evidence for greater right hemisphere or bilateral activation compared with right-handers. These imaging techniques might prove valuable in studying mechanisms underlying mirror writing in left- and right-handers and in those whose customary languages are written in different directions.
Such studies in turn may further understanding of the links between hemisphere specialization, handwriting, and handedness.A special needs mom and autism advocate, Lori Ashley Taylor is founder and publisher of Emerging from Autism, co-founder and director of Hendricks County Autism Support Group, a professional speaker, and a member of Avon School Corporation's Autism Team.
Taylor's year career as a classroom teacher includes licensing in special needs, a specialization she brings to the classroom, to. The Reflector App does full mirroring; meaning it will also send the audio and there is orientation support (you can lock orientation).I simply purchased and downloaded the Reflector app onto the desktop of my classroom laptop.
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