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Having dyscalculia does not mean that you are not smart. What is well researched is that when you get the right support anyone can get better at working with numbers, in school, in everyday living and of course...at work.
Dyscalculia make it hard to make sense of numbers and concepts, such as:
concept of time
understanding bigger or smaller
Research tells us that it is a bit like being colour blind. This means just as some people are born having trouble telling the difference between colours, others are born having trouble telling the difference between quantities.
‘I find it so hard. Numbers terrify me so I spend most of the lesson just keeping my head down and hoping the teacher won’t notice me.’ Jill. Age 12.
A day in the life of a teen with dyscalculia
Let me introduce you to Ellie. Ellie is in year 8 and has dyscalculia.
Ellie loves school, but struggles in all lessons where she needs to apply maths skills. It is complicated for Ellie as both her family and teachers don't understand her struggles.
Difficulty in understanding place value Difficulty in performing calculations
Difficulty in counting backwards and in steps Difficulty in telling if an answer is reasonable
Difficulty in remembering "basic" facts High levels of mathematical anxiety
Difficulty in telling the time and working with money Difficulties in mental arithmetic
Having taught mathematics for over 25 years, I have on too many occasions come across parents who are scared of maths, and feel that they simply can't do maths. When parents and other adults tell a child that they themselves can't do maths, or they hate maths, what is being picked up by the child is that it is OK to not be good at maths. The impact will be that, the child will right the way through school until adulthood convince themselves that they can't do maths. (Elsa Torres)
Some food for thought:
What beliefs about mathematics do you pass onto children around you?
How can you help your child to develop positive attitudes around mathematics?
Steve Chinn, leading expert in Dyscalculia, has created an informal checklist for parents and teachers.
This checklist identifies the key difficulties that contribute to maths struggles and difficulties. The following checklist helps you to focus on the maths issues and helps you to plan for the best support - Dyscalculia checklist
How we can help you
Getting good at maths is not just about what you do in school. The following are a few tools and ideas to help your child overcome their struggles with dyscalculia when working on their maths at home.
Dyscalculia: Advice on how to help your child at home
Typical symptoms of dyscalculia
Helping with maths homework
The following you tube video has been developed by Denis Sheeran a mathematics specialist and he provides great advice about helping with maths at home, see his website.
Become actively involved with your chilld's numeracy learning. Denis' advice is a great starting point towards developing independence.
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