Dyscalculia: Math Disability
There is currently no cure for math disability. Even though an official treatment program hasn’t been developed yet and no official medication has been approved, there have been many studies and researches done in order to help those who have dyscalculia. Some brain training programs can help your child overcome the problems associated with math disability, but there are many things that you can do and many strategies you can adapt that will help him or her.
Finding out that you have a math learning problem can be tough on a child. Not fully understanding what it is that they have been diagnosed with, children might feel that they are not as intelligent as their peers because no matter how hard they study or try to do their best, their grades in math classes just never show the amount of work they might be putting in. This is why it is so important for parents and professionals to practice appropriate strategies that will improve the child’s ability to work with numbers, not only because it will improve their grades, but their outlook on life as well. If the child can understand that the effort the put into learning is more important that the grades they get, they’ll learn to work harder, and their self-esteem might even improve.
First and foremost you have to try to understand how your child learns best. Does he prefer seeing things written down? Does she need the instructions spoken? Every person retains information in different ways, some prefer pictures and are able to visualize, others are better when they put the concepts into practice, and some might understand better when they listen. It is essential to put great emphasis and develop a training routine that will rely heavily on your child’s preferred method of learning. At the same time, however, it is important not to forget that two or three methods incorporated together always produce a better result.
Math is a difficult subject no matter what, but when you add dyscalculia into the mix, it can become outright impossible. However, parents must not give up and lose hope. Work with your child. Ask them what concepts they find easier and which ones he or she struggles with. Start in the beginning and work your way up, and be conscious of your child’s pace with learning numbers. Do not despair if he spends more time on division than you thought was necessary, for example. In the end, your child is the one that needs to incorporate everything that he has learned from you into a learning method that works best for them.
Math disability is often correlated with ADHD, if that is the case then you need to make sure that your child is focusing and paying attention to what you are trying to teach him. Minimize distractions and bring all the necessary tools that you need for your lesson before you begin so that the concentration is not broken. Keep the study area tidy, and only have a notebook, ruler, calculator, etc. in sight when you’re working on math homework.
So, what are some of the things that you as a parent can do to help your child?
Math Disability: Some Strategies and Techniques To Manage It
- Math games: get your child familiar with numbers and concepts in the comfort of their home
- Use concepts that your child enjoys (If your child likes cars, go on and subtract cars and if it’s dolls, then multiply dolls)
- Use graph paper (easier to keep track of all the numbers!)
- Create a fun and educational homework routine
- Observe your child: some concepts might be made a lot easier for your child if only they are phrased in a different way. Keep an eye out for a pattern of things that your child misunderstands
- Ask your child about what he or she struggles with the most
Check out this dyscalculia test if you have suspicions that your child might have dyscalculia. Math disability may not be easy to live with, but it is manageable and the earlier you catch it the better. If you and your child team up, you can deal with it and conquer it. Not only will you be helping your child with the schoolwork and a better understanding of the concepts, but you will also be spending a lot of quality time with him or her and that is crucial in your child’s development!
Valerie is a psychology student who is trying to pursue a career in Cognitive Neuroscience. She is passionate about the brain and finds it fascinating. She loves learning about new discoveries and research that is going on in the world of psychology and neuroscience. One day she hopes to contribute to the scientific community!