Dyslexia and Maths
A common misconception about Dyslexia is that it just affects reading & writing, but it can also affect Maths too. Dyscalculia is a learning difference that means a child has difficulty understanding numbers. It should not be assumed that all children with dyslexia suffer from dyscalculia (although a high percentage do) or that all children with dyscalculia will suffer from dyslexia. Dyslexia in itself poses problems with maths and algebra. Children with dyslexia have difficulty using and understanding symbols and words. They can also have difficulty with understanding concepts of time, sequence and order.
Make a Difference
The BBC series of films featuring KS2 and KS3 pupils who have dyslexia are a great watch. Designed to support teachers, these are a must-watch for parents too! The films offer practical suggestions on how best to support dyslexic children, as well as honest and raw accounts of their experiences.
The film on dyslexia and maths gives great insight into how dyslexia can affect maths. So refreshing to hear from the kids themselves as to what struggles they face, as well as what helps.
Tips to Help with Dyslexia and Maths
- Number reversal – This is one of the earliest signs of dyslexia. Wall displays, magnetic numbers, or placing numbers in front of children to refer to are a great way to help.
- Times Tables – Children with dyslexia can struggle with memory, so times tables prove difficult. Using games and memory aids are a brilliant way to help. Such as using your fingers to remember the 9 times table (I only learnt this when training as a TA a couple of years ago – Thanks Mr M!).
- Word-Based Maths – Words just add to the confusion and can distract from the actual task. Learning to scan and highlight only the important text is a great skill to learn. Prompt cards can also be useful.
- Telling Time – Like a lot of children, children with dyslexia can struggle with telling the time. It might be an idea to use a digital clock first before attempting an analogue, and visual guides/tricks can be used to help remind children of minutes, hours, past and to.
- Visualisation – Many dyslexic children can visualise maths problems, so giving visual props (Numicon, building blocks, lego etc.) and number lines are a great way to help children make the theory real.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to educate yourself and then use that to help your child/children. If you can understand their learning difference then it will make a huge difference in their development. For more hints and tips see the resources below.
I hope this helps any of you in the same position as me! And if you need to offload, then I’m here. I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt over these last few months. #bethechange
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