September 8, 2011

Divison, Dyslexia & Dysgraphia

Tracker has a love-hate relationship with math. He loves puzzles and he sees math as a puzzle. He gets frustrated because he gets numbers and even directions mixed up. He might be able to do a problem one day, but not the next day. Imagine if you were given a calculus book on the first day high school math. You would most likely be overwhelmed and not know where to start. This is how my dyslexic son is currently sees math. He is overwhelmed and getting frustrated because he is not making much progress. He feels that he should know how to do this, yes he can be a perfectionist at times.

Dyslexia is not only a 'reading' disability. It has to do with short term memory and sequencing. These are 2 very important things in math. Dyslexics often have a hard time getting beyond addition. In my household, multiplication is the stumbling block. Tracker has struggled with memorizing his time tables.  When he does math, he uses a multiplication chart for reference. He does not always use it, but he said that it makes him feel better having it. Take today for example, he was struggling with long division. He could not get the sequencing I add first, multiply or divide. We started to write out times tables and he struggled. We then started to use his multiplication table, and it made it a little bit easier.  Whenever there is a new topic introduced, graph paper is essential. Graph paper helps him properly line up his columns. This is one of the symptoms of dysgraphia.

Tracker's dysgraphia is very evident in math. He has a hard time getting his numbers to line up and writing  numbers in a consistent way. I make sure that he does not do all the writing. I will write out some of his problems. When we are starting a new lesson, I tend to write them out mostly on the first day and then my writing decreases as he becomes more comfortable with his lessons.

We will be starting to include more games both online and hands on to help with math. We will find creative ways to overcome and adapt to the different challenges that lie ahead of us. While teaching a child with learning disabilities is a challenge, it is the greatest challenge in the world. You get to see the light bulb moments. You get see the joy in their eyes when they do it by themselves for the first time.


Gerky said...

We have always used notebook paper turned on the side. That way all the column are lined up. I had no idea others did that too. :)

Joi said...

Yep! We have started to use graph paper instead because it helps him with his spacing. :)

Learners at Home said...

I am not sure many people really understand just "how" Dyslexia can effect learning they way it does. It can be a gift and a struggle all in one. I enjoyed reading this and would love to hear back on how the games help with the practice. We use these as well. We also find other methods for learning sequential steps like long division. great post!

Joi said...

What methods have you found for sequencing? I am just starting to explore this with long division.