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How to Stop Number or Letter Reversals with NLP

June 12th, 2013 by Tony Barlow

Some students have difficulties with similar shaped letters and numbers and often get them mixed up while reading or writing. Examples would be b,d – 6,9 – p,q.Stop Number reversals with NLP

Lots of young students have this difficulty when first learning letters and numbers and it is generally nothing to be concerned about.

If this issue carries on longer than expected or happens more often that the average then it is often considered a ‘dyslexia’ symptom.

In this Article:

-What are reversals and why do they occur.

-Look from a learners point of view

-How to correct letter / number reversals with NLP


If a student is getting mixed up between lowercase ‘b’ and ‘d’ for example, this is my approach to correcting these letter reversals with NLP.

Taking the NLP approach of ‘modeling excellence’ we first look at what happens inside the mind of a student who never gets mixed up between b’s and d’s, or if you never get these letters mixed up just look inside you own thought process.

What happens inside your mind when I say ‘b’. For students who don’t get mixed up a picture of a letter ‘b’ will pop into their mind. In other words the sound ‘b’ is connected neurologically to the image ‘b’.

What happens inside your mind when I say (or you read) the word ‘banana’ ? A picture of a banana pops into your mind right ? It’s the same thing.

All you need is a strong neurological connection between the sound and the letter shape / image, which is very easy to build by using the method I’ll show you later on in this post.


Because we as adults are all so familiar with the letters of the alphabet it may be difficult for us to understand how a student could get mixed up.Kata

Lets imagine you are learning some letters from one of the Japanese alphabets in this case Katakana.

Here are some examples of symbols as they are written in Katakana and the sounds in English in the brackets.

Do you think you might get mixed up for a while until you got used to these symbols ? I think so to.

HOW TO CORRECT LETTER REVERSALS WITH NLP (using ‘b’ and ‘d’ as an example)

Step 1) The 1st step in correcting letter reversals with NLP is to show the student a letter b and have the student picture a ‘b’ inside their mind (looking away from the paper)

Step 2) While looking at the mental image of ‘b’ (they must be looking at the mental image) have the student say inside their mind or out loud ‘b’. Repeat this several times.

Step 3) Just to make sure, in addition to the visual image of the ‘b’ being associated with the sound ‘b’. I will add in a kinesthetic such as having the student draw the ‘b’ in the air with their finger or imagining a ‘bee’ (the insect) on their right hand (the same side as the loop on the ‘b’) while saying ‘b’.

The more fun (emotional) you can make it the better. See how memory works.

Repeat the above steps a few times on different days and that’s probably all you will need to do to establish a strong neurological connection between the sound and sight of a letter ‘b’.

Let me know if it works or if you have any questions.


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Thank you for reading this article on letter reversals and NLP. I really appreciate you coming to my site, I hope you are enjoying and benefiting from the information here. This site is designed to be the ultimate free resource for students / parents of struggling students.

Please leave a comment below because I’d love to hear what you think!

Thanks again, and good luck!

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