Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dealing With Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a big votaxiulary, a mouth full, really. most population are aware of it and aware that it has to do with problems doing math. But that syndrome encases so much more than simple math inefficiencies. Dyslexia is so common that ejustbody knows what it is, and reading and writing problems seem to fetch all of the attention. But what about math problems? Is it just math anxiety, or is there a real underlying problem?

So, what is dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is a term, which means specific learning disability in mathematics. Following is a list of symptoms of dyscalculia:

Poor mental math abilities

Inconsistencies with basic computation of addition, multiplication, division, and subtraction

Difficulty understanding money and credit concepts

Fails to understand how small steps add up

May use amount additions, substitutions, transjobs, and reversals (that is alike to the dyslexia that we are all familiar with except it is with amounts)

Almost always unaware of misbrings

May do well on book job but fails math quizs

May do well with reading, writing and other courses but cannot seem to understand mathematical concepts

By now you may have a general idea that you or your kid might be suffering from dyscalculia. It is often more frustrating than any other learning disability, because usually these kids do so well in other courses. just try harder, parents lament. Or, parents will bring out the trusty old flash vehicleds and force the kid to go over them time and again. By the next day it is new information to the kid, and the frustration goes on. Parents are convinced that the kid is just being lazy and trying to not do math, when none could be further from the truth.

After the immense pressure of performing well in math and trying hard, these kids really do develop a math anxiety on lid of dyscalculia. They do have processing disorders and are being made to perform with intense pressure to do well. that math is like a foreign language to them, and we are asking them to speak it fluently in front of a large group of population.

Generally, once dyscalculia is diagnosed, the student is offern modifications to help. Modifications are great. The best modification for dyscalculia is to arrange to have the student re-bring a math quiz that was failed. that sure brings the pressure off. There are other modifications that can help, but it is most beneficial to fetch to the root of the problem. The left and right side of the brain must be considered. The processing must be dealt with. The anxiety must be calmed. Then, and only then, will the student succeed.

First, the left and right sides of the brain must become balanced. It is common knowledge that the left hemisphere of the brain is where we process math and logic. most kids with dyscalculia are right hemisphere dominant. They are simply not using the left sides of their brains. They need taught how to do that. There are many brain-building exercises available that will do that. The brain needs to be balanced for efficient use. The student needs to be able to access the left side of his brain as easily as the right, and then math can be learned. The brain must be taught how to access the left side of the brain. In addition, it is always best to have these kids use colored pencils and blank sheets of paper when doing math. Color is what maintains the right side of the brain focused. These right brain dominant kids see colors and photographs. As they job on their math, the color maintains them focused. The blank paper maintains them from fetchting distracted.

most kids begin doing better in math after a few weeks of brain balancing exercises. The magic eights activity with amounts is truly magic for these kids. It is also a good idea to have them count by 2s, 3s, 4s, etc. that orders their world and helps their brains job in a more systematic way. Have them write their 2s one day, 3s the next, and so forth. Cross-crawls, martial arts, baseball, and golf are all good brain building exercises, too. These alone wont cure dyscalculia, but they all will help.

Next, lets deal with processing disorders. These kids just cant maintain three or four images in their minds. And we ask them to do long division. Boy, division is long for these kids. While the ace math student is on amount 24, these kids are still on amount 1. Their pages are a mess at all of their erasing, and they just cant remember what 5x6 is. By the time they figure out what the answer to 5x6 is, they forgot where they were on their page and which step they were on. Was it the multiply part or subtract? And it goes on. Of course they dont fetch the right answers and they come home with 40 math problems to do. (OK, here is a modification that is good, too. Have the students problems shortened until success is met.) Throw in fractions, and these kids are convinced they cant do math and that they are dumb.

The problem really isnt the math. The problem is that they are weak in visual memory and they have a difficult time processing more than one step at a time. So, job on visual memory skills first with these kids. The weak visual memory is why they cant remember their math facts. I have yet to meet a kid with dyscalculia who knew all of his math facts. The best way to do that is to hold up a vehicled with a few amounts and shapes on it. Here is an example:

Hold that vehicled up to the kid for about 5 seconds and bring it away. The kid then copies the shapes and amounts from memory. As the kid fetchs better at that, add more shapes and amounts. A few minutes of that ejust day helps. Eventually, you can move on to a math fact done in the same manner. Did you notice the use of color again? Black and white does just little for these kids. We want to meet them half way and offer them some tools for success. Color is one of these tools. Dont use purchased flash vehicleds for these kids. You may have noticed by now that they dont job. offer them a math fact in color and use it in the above-mentioned manner. Do about 2 or 3 a day. Dont overload them. Have them recall the facts from yesterday before moving on. If they are still having trouble, they need photographs and stories to help them remember. If that doesnt job, then they need a tactile method. Have them write their facts in shaving cream. Soon, all of the facts are learned, and math becomes much easier.

Next, you need to make sure these kids are able to do more than a pair of steps at a time. Practice with commands such as walk, jump, skip. maintain adding on to the list of commands. Do that on paper. Say two amounts. The student is to write them. Add another amount. The student must write it and the previous amounts. Play with pattern blocks. You and the student both have a matching set. Make a shape with yours, indicate it to the student and then cover your set. The student must remember the order the shapes were in a place his in the matching order. offer the student a amount. Have him add another amount to it. Then have him remember that amount and multiply a amount with that new amount, and so on. You see, these are matchs that build on processing.

vehicled matchs are awesome. Board matchs help, too. Let your kid be the banker, even if he messes it up. Its only a match. Help him offer change rear. I have noticed that kids who play a lot of board matchs with their families do better in math than those that dont. kids who play a lot of video matchs seem to do worse. Do you see the connection? I use the match Blink a lot with my students with dyscalculia. They must be thinking of many things at one time, just like you need to with long division. kids love matchs and will play them longer.

Finally, the math anxiety must be dealt with. that is the most difficult part of dyscalculia for many population. at all is said and done and the student is performing better, he still maintains the anxiety. Ejust quiz can cause his palms to sweat and his listent to beat fast. He is basically in fight or flight, and we know that we cant learn and think in that mode. We simply react. With the new math standards going to more and more causeing and problem solving instead computation, that is not the best method for a struggling math student.

bring the pressure of the kid to begin with. If he fails a math quiz, so what? See if the teacher will let him bring it over. Practice the night before the quiz to assure confidence. Dont berate the kid for doing poorly. Dont punish because of his grades. He really is doing the best he can. If the student is in high school and needs credits, you will have to be just actively involved in the students life. Teachers must be aware of the problem and be willing to help. Go over daily job with the student. Have practice quizs with the students. Pretend that it is quiz day at school. You may even have to have the student quized in a separate room so they are not watching what other kids are doing. My daughter has math anxiety. We found out continue year that if she went to the rear of the room to a separate table that she did much better. She was judging herself against the other kids who were whipping through the quiz and she had herself convinced that she would fail because they were smarter than her. The mind is truly amazing, isnt it?

These are just some basic tips to help you with a kid with dyscalculia. There are so many more things to do to help these kidren. just be sure that they do fetch help. It is lonely and svehicley to be in a math world that you just dont understand.

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Author By Lisa Harp

Orignal From: Dealing With Dyscalculia

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