Maths Dyslexia - does my kid have it?
What on earth is Maths Dyslexia?
Do I have to deal with more issues than reading and writing?
“Help, I can’t cope with something else!”
Do not worry we can explain all. there is help, so breathE it’s all going to be ok.
Does your child have difficulty using and understanding symbols and words in Maths?
Maths Dyslexia / Dyscalculia children are often brilliant at the bigger concept maths (Einstein was Dyslexic!) but those tricky smaller words or symbols can really throw them.
Which leads teachers and parents to believe they are rubbish at maths which is untrue. All they need is their ‘Super Einstein Powers’ unlocked. Maths Dyslexia need not stop you learning maths.
Words that don’t have an image attached to them are often impossible for Dyscalculia children to decode.
No image - if, but, of, into, their, there, will 😖
Images - horse, mountain, gold, friend 😁
Dyscalculia or Dyslexic children often have problems with the concept of time, order and sequencing. It might explain why they’re always late, often confused and do things in the wrong order!!
While in life this can be tricky and in maths its can be near impossible to pick your way through the confusing symbols, bizarre word problems and equations mathematicians love to use.
Let’s take the maths problem - “How many times does 9 go into 54?” - its more than likely the dyslexic child will only decode the 9 and 54. The other words :
… are meaningless to a maths dyslexic child and only causes confusion.
Also maths dyslexic children may look at the number 54 and turn it round and read 45 instead. It’s a minefield out there.
As for Algebra that’s another world of confusion. Although not as many words the symbols can get very messed up.
Take the equation : 4 x X = 32 (the student has to find the value of x)
To a dyslexic child the symbols x and = may get confused and muddled before they’ve even begun to work out the problem. As for the x and X that could fox them altogether. “Which x value am I trying to find. What’s going on??? Aargh”
So what’s the solution for Maths Dyslexia?
IMAGES / VISUALS are the answer - most dyslexic and those that have maths dyslexia have strong visual and spatial reasoning skills. So if they can see or look at a maths problem in a different way then miraculously it’s easy.
For younger children who you suspect have maths Dyslexia touching and feeling numbers is a fantastic way to get round the issue . Give them 18 beads and ask them to divide into 3 piles, no problem they can do it easily. However ask them what 3 x 6 = and they will look pained, embarrassed and confused.
Each child is unique, thank goodness, otherwise life would be very boring! However this means every child has a unique problems to get over and will need to find their own way.
However getting over these problems is ESSENTIAL otherwise school and maths becomes painful. If you don’t find a way for your child to access maths they may think they are stupid (which they definitely aren’t - well not unless you banged them on the head with a frying pan for not knowing their Times Tables!) and have confidence issues for the rest of their lives.
For the majority of maths dyslexic children you have to find a visual way of representing maths so they can easily get over their problems. There are websites like www.tablefables.net that will let the children learn while watching funny animated stories, which is incredibly easily, fun and effective.
Teachers, tutors or parents need to keep in mind that children with maths Dyslexia may simply misunderstand words or symbols rather than not understand the problem. They are often very good at working out harder mathematical concepts we just need to unlock their ‘Super Einstein Powers’ and watch them sore.