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BEGINNING MATH FOR THE DYSLEXIC CHILD
All parents are eager to see a baby’s first step. Then they wait for the first word, and, before long, the parents are teaching their child ABC’s and how to count. For the parents of the dyslexic child this moment will not come at an early age. The parents may think, “Oh, he’ll grow out of it. Just wait until he goes to school.” And they do. But the problem isn’t solved at school.
The parents will receive a letter asking for permission in testing the child. The report returns, and the parents are informed that their child has a form of dyslexia known as dyscalculia (math disability). They saw the signs and ignored them. While it is true that the parents could not have stopped the problem, the problem could have been eased for the child if early recognition had been addressed and early intervention of the problem begun.
Dyscalculia involves the inability to learn or comprehend simple mathematics. The child is unable to understand numbers thus manipulating numbers and learning facts is extremely difficult for him. The difficulty for the child to sequence, as in counting to 100, will be apparent. This child will need extra time and instruction in the field of math. The earlier this is begun, the better results will be.
For the majority of children, counting to 100 is easily achieved, but the child with dyscalculia is vulnerable to missing the first major math step of counting if the problem isn’t recognized and remediation is not begun.
Parents begin counting to their children quite early. If a problem is seen, the wisest decision for the parents is to have their child tested. At this point, help can begin at home. Here are a few tips.
Remember: Take your time. Be sure the child understands and sees the concept before moving on to a new concept.