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How to Deal With Math Dyslexia

written by: Sharon Dominica • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 1/4/2012

Many children often experience issues with mathematics. Somehow no matter how much they try, they are not able to learn basic numbers, sequencing, arithmetic and other math related subjects. The article suggests tips for helping these children learn math.

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    What Is Math Dyslexia?

    Children facing math dyslexia cannot understand and learn basic mathematic skills like counting, sequencing, arithmetical functions, etc. These children are perfectly normal in other fields like reading, writing, and speaking. However, when it comes to mathematics, they find it extremely difficult.

    Most sufferers have issues with a problem area like the multiplication tables, statistics, percentages, fractions, decimals, or ratios. With these concepts being introduced in schools, these children need extra help and support from their teachers and parents.

    Treating such students requires lots of patience, understanding, and positivity for teachers and parents. This sensitive process is ongoing and requires a lot of encouragement and support for the child to overcome the disorder.

    The article discusses a few tips to help teachers and parents work with their math dyslexic children to develop their mathematics skills.

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    Tips for Helping Children With Math Dyslexia

    • Numbers in Order: Most dyslexic children find it difficult to sequence numbers in order. Thus, this is the first step for teachers and parents. They must ensure the child knows their numbers in order. Such children often have problems with short-term memory. Games that require children to count are very helpful to learn number order.
    • Strengths vs. Weaknesses: It is important to analyze the child’s strengths and weaknesses. The strengths need to be made stronger so that they can cover the weaknesses. Moreover, the child needs to realize their strengths and be positive. This helps children stay motivated, in spite of difficulties they face with math.
    • Take Small Steps: Math has numerous concepts that must be taught in small steps. Teachers and parents should make sure the child has understood a particular concept before going to the next one. For example, do not teach the child division unless they have mastered multiplication. The key is to teach them by making math entertaining and fun. Teach them using various games. If the child feels distracted or bored, consider another fun activity.
    • New Techniques: It is important for math to sound interesting to your child. To effectively teach them, adopt new techniques that sound interesting to them. For example, most children enjoy drawing and coloring. Get the child to draw and color his favorite numbers and signs. Various audio and video CDs are available to promote learning. Multi sensory learning can also help children to pick up new skills easily.
    • Practice Makes a Man Perfect: And it is sure to make your child perfect too. A plan must be designed and implemented for the child. Follow the plan and keep track of the improvements. Keep revising old lessons to make sure the child does not forget them.
    • Using a Calculator: Teach the child to use a calculator. This device cannot do all the calculating but it can make things simpler.
    • Using Coins: Use real coins and money when teaching such children the usage of money.
    • Games are Fun: Games are a fun way to learn. Teach children math by playing number games like Bingo with them. These games will not only teach them numbers, but will also build up their self-confidence.

    The idea is to make math easy, simple, fun, interesting, and entertaining. By breaking down concepts and teaching one at a time, learning could be much simpler for students with math dyslexia. Patience, consistency, understanding, and support can help students a lot.