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Dyscalculia

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by nosullivan077, May 4, 2012.

  1. Hi
    I have a student who despite considerable home and school support throughout primary school and secondary still struggles with maths. The student has had an Educational Psychology Assessment done and recommendations were made, despite this there is little to no improvement. The student completed a term of outreach numeracy support and also 'Successmaker' for 6 weeks in Primary school. The parent trialed NUMICOM with the child and has taken the child privately to KUMON and other private tutors to no avail. I find that there is very little support or guidance on students with numeracy difficulties in comparision with literacy difficulties. Exam access is nigh on impossible despite maths being across the curriculum. GCSE is looming. I would appreciate all or any suggestions on how to support this (and other) students. Thank you.
    Niamh
     
  2. Hi
    I have a student who despite considerable home and school support throughout primary school and secondary still struggles with maths. The student has had an Educational Psychology Assessment done and recommendations were made, despite this there is little to no improvement. The student completed a term of outreach numeracy support and also 'Successmaker' for 6 weeks in Primary school. The parent trialed NUMICOM with the child and has taken the child privately to KUMON and other private tutors to no avail. I find that there is very little support or guidance on students with numeracy difficulties in comparision with literacy difficulties. Exam access is nigh on impossible despite maths being across the curriculum. GCSE is looming. I would appreciate all or any suggestions on how to support this (and other) students. Thank you.
    Niamh
     
  3. Hi Niamh, I feel a great deal of sympathy for the student in your post and understand how difficult it is when everything tried just doesn't seem to help!
    Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability and hence can be categorised in a similar way to dyslexia. There is no cure for these conditions because they are believed to be caused by disorganisation of neurone connections in the brain. Many interventions have been tried, and are continuing to be tried to assist children for these conditions with varying success. The most important thing here is acceptance that the child has difficulties and does not feel they are being 'blamed' for their them because this could affect their self-esteem. Also, although strategies can be put into place to help them, to an extent there must be an acceptance that this is not an area that they will ever excel in. Do you agree that If children with these difficulties can be encouraged to pursue other areas in which they do excel; such as art, sports, music, dance etc this is important too because then they will experience success; a GCSE in maths is not the be all and end all in life is it?
     
  4. Some absolutely brilliant and useful advice

    Ryan
     
  5. Dear Nimh,

    Without knowing the details of the psychological report it might well be that this student has dyscalculia. Unfortunately the plan of action did not relieve her math problems.

    By now this student is highly likely experiencing something called Math Anxiety and it would be great to provide support in the psychological area and get the low self esteem hurdle out of the way so you can start to work on the Math side.

    I agree with you that there is an abundance of info about dyslexia, but not enough info on dyscalculia, which sparked my plan to set up a website with info on the issue: DyscalculiaServices.com

    As the Numicon approach is not sufficient in this stage of her Math development you can read about more help on my DyscalculiaServices website. Under resources you will find links directing you to the excellent and free program NumberRace and the BBC Skilsswise Math section. (http://www.dyscalculiaservices.com/index.php?option=com_weblinks&view=category&id=23&Itemid=75)

    You can read the very interesting background about dyscalculia and the latest research, use the link to Prof Brian Butterworth at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, and Prof Stanislas DeHeane at INSERM, Paris both world renowned researchers in the field and at DyscalculiaHeadlines.com.

    You will find my email on DyscalculiaServices, feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss it in more detail.
    Dr Anneke Schreuder
     
  6. Hi, I totally agree that there are more areas where students can be successful, and they all need the opportunity to shine.


    On the other hand it would be great to give this student at least a basic understanding of Math as the research time and again shows that it is even more influential for your later life and career to be proficient in math than in reading.


    Current research is restarting to unravel why these students struggle and how to help them so we do not need to revert to thinking that "she is just not a math person" anymore.


    We can be proactive and direct students to many interactive math programs like the free program NumberRace developed by Anna Wilson and Stanislas DeHaene and the BBC SkillsWise Math section.
    Read all about how to find helpful strategies at DyscalculiaServices.com and DyslexiaHeadlines.com
    Dr Anneke Schreuder
     
  7. I wish this research had been around when I was in school. I have recently been able to name my problem with numbers I thought it was just me who had this problem. I was fine in arithmetic class until I was obliged to write the workings out of a maths problem. Had I been allowed to do it in my head I would have done far better. I have struggled with numbers all my life, but not specifically with maths. Writing a telephone number is a chore. I can now, as an adult, concentrate enough to be able to write a sequence of numbers correctly, but it has taken a while to do this. I still look at the number and copy it without looking at what I am writing. History class was another nightmare dates are difficult, and I still skip reading numbers when they are put into books or other reading material.

    I must say though that in the fifty years since I left school my lack of maths skills hasn't really been too much of a problem. I have found ways to cope.
     
  8. lovely

    lovely Occasional commenter

    Hi all
    I have a really keen interest in dyscalculia as I feel that dyslexia in a sense overshadows it. We find it really hard to get a diagnosis for children who show elements of dyscalculia
    If you want to pm me, i have some information that might be useful
     
  9. Could you possibly upload this information onto 'resources' so we can all access it please?
     
  10. lovely

    lovely Occasional commenter

    Yes, that would be better. I will do it tomorrow
     
  11. Can you post a link please, I've got a 19 year old on work experience who has cerebral palsy and I suspect dyslexia and dyscalculia although he was never assessed at school. Although it's all very well to say that someone with these disabilities can still achieve in other areas, this young man can't do manual work because of his physical disabilities and his maths and English problems mean that he struggles with many of the tasks people are asked to do in an office. I am disappointed that he was not assessed at school, once you're an adult you have to pay for assessment yourself. I'm trying to help him with his maths and English, if there were some assessments I could use with him that could tell us whether he is definitely dyslexic then that would be helpful.
     
  12. lovely

    lovely Occasional commenter

    Sorry about delay. I bought a test for our school. Havent been able to try it out yet.
    If you google, dyscalculia forum, then it provides loads of useful information. I have a powerpoint that I delivered to my school about dyscalculia.
     

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