Aug 012013

Does your child have a Math Learning Disability?

Your child may have a Math Learning Disability if he struggles with math facts, math reasoning, and remembering math symbols. 

Have you heard of dyscalculia? It is a Math Learning Disability, which we will discuss on this page.

Do you know the best way to teach your child to overcome his math learning disability? We’ll talk about that too!

Dyscalculia is sometimes referred to as “maths dyslexia”. If your child struggles with math and remembering symbols, it is possible he has Dycalculia. Your child may or may not have the similar disability – Dyslexia.

Dyslexia is difficulty with reading. It is based in the language center of the brain. A child with Dyscalculia may be quite capable of reading, but may struggle with math calculations, math symbols, and math reasoning.

There isn’t a lot of information available about Dyscalculia. However, awareness of this unique Math Learning Disability is growing. You may find beneficial information at and

If you’d like to use an online tool to see if your child fits the profile for having Dyscalculia, The Dynamo Profiler is an online assessment you can use to see if your child may have dyscalculia. While this is not a professional diagnosis, it is a handy screening tool to help you understand your child’s math learning profile. The assessment is based upon neuroscience’s understanding of dyscalculia. If you’d like to determine definitively if your child has dyscalculia, you may want to seek a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation.

Although my child does not specifically have Dyscalculia, Mathematics was a significant area of concern for my son. My child had slipped from the 80th percentile down to the 40th percentile during his five years in public school. He could NOT remember his math facts, but he understood number concepts.

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When we began homeschooling, my son’s scores rebounded. They ended up in the 90 percentiles after drilling with math facts and using special programs.

We saw significant results with **Math-U-See and ETA Hand2mind (Formerly Cuisenaire Rods)great tools for Math Learning Disability. My son went from having difficulty remembering any facts, to being a relative Math whiz on grade level. WHEW!

That’s not to say Math Learning Disability issues are so easily overcome though. If you child is diagnosed with a math learning disability, then you will need to be diligent about using programs proven to work for kids with a math learning disability.

You will definitely want to take a look at other math curriculums homeschoolers use to help their kids overcome math difficulties.

Our neuropsychologist recommended using a ‘self-regulating’ memory system for memorizing math facts. This program worked very well for our guy along with Math-U-See and ETA Hand2mind (Formerly Cuisenaire Rods).

Basically, you put each math fact on a flash card. Put the fact on one side of the card. Write the answer on the other side (for example, 9×5 on one side and 45 on the other side).

Your child then drills himself daily. He reads the problem out loud.. “Nine times five is ____.” If he can fluently say, “Nine times five is forty-five”, he flips the card over to verify he is correct. When he is correct, he puts the card in an “I know it” pile.

If he hesitates trying to recall the answer.. He turns the card over, reads the answer out loud, then puts it back in his hand at the back of the deck.

You begin with one set of math facts.. By starting with a few cards, the cards will cycle through fast enough that the child will eventually be able to remember some of what he JUST read. As he eliminates cards, the reviews come up more rapidly. Your child may be able to remember over the shorter time between cards. Eventually your child will have one card in his hand. He can read the problem, say the answer, then flip the card over and read the problem. Hopefully your child can recall the fact because there will be virtually NO delay.

After all facts in one set are mastered, you ADD another set. We did our facts in this order x0, x1, x10, x11, x2, x5, x3, x4, x6, x7, x8, x9, x12. After we had about five sets of facts, I’d pull out the earliest set and have my child keep about 5 sets going.

This system has worked extremely well for our child who also has short-term memory deficits. By letting the child do the cards himself.. HE can 1) take responsibility for his own learning 2) regulate how much time he gives himself to think of the answer and 3) review if he doesn’t know the answer — Plus, as time goes on, your child will develop his own internal means of figuring out how to remember things which is the BIG key to long-term success.

Be SURE to check out program options and other information about overcoming your child’s Math Learning Disability. It is entirely possible to do so with the right programs and teaching.

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